I was googling for joy the other day…
Let me take a moment to savor that phrase: “googling for joy.” For a learner like me the fact that a world of information is at my fingertips brings joy. The idea that this month I get to spend time learning and thinking about joy is delightful. What a wonderful world!
I was googling for joy the other day, when I discovered Kristine Zakarison, who began her professional life as a minister and now teaches yoga and nia in Washington state. In a blog post called “on becoming a joy warrior,” she describes an idea from nia that helps her practice joy: R. A. W.
R. stands for Relaxed, A. for Alert, W. for Waiting.
First, I like the word – raw. It is hard to practice joy if I am encased in emotional armor. Guarding myself against hurt, I put so much distance between me and reality that I leave no room for joy. It is only by leaving myself open and vulnerable that joy wriggles in. I need to be…
Relaxed. Moving my focus to my body and letting go of the tension, opening to the areas of discomfort, I release my physical and emotional baggage. Relaxing into the arms of sacred space and sacred time, I believe that all is well. Bringing my attention to the present moment, I become…
Alert. Once I am present in my body, I can expand my awareness to my sensory experience. Noticing what I hear and taste and smell and see, I am struck by the beauty of my surroundings. The dog snoring and the car engine roaring in the garage add base notes as the squeaking of the garage door and my daughter’s laugh from the other room sing melody. My tongue remembers this morning’s toothpaste and my ginger tea. The echo of the ginger joins the wood of my desk and the gathered dust when I notice the flavor of the air moving past my nostrils. The light from my computer monitor bathes my face as the colors of the mini posters on the walls of my office-closet fills my peripheral vision. I am here, now…
Waiting. Waiting opens me to the next moment, the next slice of beauty. When I was a young girl, I read many fantasy books where magical creatures might appear at any moment. I hadn’t yet become schooled to drudgery, so I wandered the woods of Wisconsin alert and waiting for magical beings to arrive. What lovely anticipation!
Now, here I sit, R. A. W. in joy.
[Kind promise: I will live joyfully for no reason.]
I’ve been reading and rereading this all day long. I’m so happy to have learned about R.A.W. And I love your phrase “googling for joy” – wow, that’s fabulous! I have similar lake memories (like your woods wandering in Wisconsin)… I took our little rowboat out to a nearby island and pretended I was a mermaid splashing around in the water. I felt certain more mermaids would soon find me! And I love the bit of purple on the lower left of your artwork… very artistic and pleasing.
I’m having a rough month… unpleasant emotions bombarding me, worries, fears. I hear you sister, looking for the joy. You Joy Googler you!
Thanks Mary. Sorry to hear you are having a tough month. I find it helpful – when the monsters roar – to focus on something beautiful: music, art, a flower…
About the bit of purple – the Sugar in the Raw folks have a little brown whatsit in that place. Their designers lead the way!
Blessings, little mermaid!
You are awesome.
Thank you – so are you!