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Live Joyfully

Forest trees reflection on lake

In helping others shift their perspective to live more joyfully, I focus on three themes: mastering tranquility in disturbance, removing any sense of feeling separate from what unfolds, and tapping intuition and dreams to connect with one's inner vision. One of the greatest things people get out of my courses is the knowledge that they have access to this inner knowing. What blows their mind however, is awakening to discover a life that has far more meaning than they ever imagined.

These themes become important in connecting with the universal flow of abundance.

Transcending the Need to React

Our normal orientation of 'me in here' vs 'that out there' is an illusion we work to transcend. Committing to the process of understanding ourselves through the situations we encounter means we must control our tendency to react. When we become more observant, we recognize the purposefulness of what unfolds.

Awakening to joy is something that happens in stages that go ever deeper as time evolves. We can master our ability to be present, yet find ourselves pulled back into another type of conflict. It is as if we are stationary on a track while our life passes by in front of us. We reach out to grab the passing scenery, clinging to it with words like 'mine,' 'I need' or 'I can't let go' and suddenly we are no longer observant and on track. We have traveled aboard the passing train that can take us far away from ourselves.

Getting back to ourselves and the moment is reason the world suddenly appears tense. It is as if the universe can only stretch so far and so, it tugs back and you feel stuck. ​​

Without taking ownership of what you are holding, nothing changes. Chances are you are holding a piece of the passing scenery that was merely meant to teach you something about yourself. You are not the scenery; you are the witness. When you let go you will always return to yourself.

The Universe is Playful

A funny thing happened the other day when I opened my sock drawer. I have a diversity of running socks lined in various neon colors. My laundry basket fills up, the laundry goes into the wash, and the clean socks go back into the drawer. You too, may have had this happen where suddenly you find only one of each sock color. In fact, if you search the internet for "where do missing socks go?" you will find an abundance of answers and will discover you are not alone.

But I saw this as a deeper layer of letting go. Our universe prefers chaos over organization. It seems to explore new possibilities through whatever vehicles exist - even a washing machine. In fact, if you leave anything to nature's devices, you will witness entropy at work. Rather than grow frustrated over the missing sock, I could feel life's playfulness reminding me that I can open to its creative flow. I had the sense that I had been included in nature's exploration of creativity, and actually felt honored to participate.

The greatest breakthroughs come during any 'down cycle,' when ego has been wounded or life stops us in our tracks.

Opposites Attract

Life seems to be a process of teaching us to look backwards. Our assumptions are often overturned and what we think is going on 'out there' is really happening 'in here.' Many people believe that like attracts like but in our universe, opposites attract.

One who is open and present might be called into the disturbance of another. This serves two purposes: first, it is how nature evens out extremes. It brings unlike things together until a balance is achieved. Secondly, the one in crisis learns to let go, and the one who is open learns more about life's playful side. We tend to judge circumstances as if something is always wrong. In reality, it is always correct, right and perfect.

No Separation

Tranquility in Disturbance is a cornerstone of Taoism because it teaches us to be more observant and less reactive. It allows us to witness rather than judge, and it allows us to see the humor in what unfolds.

Overcoming the illusion that we are somehow separate from all we see around us is another important principle. When I walk into a room, people see all that I am - not just body parts, cells or organs. In any crisis, we are either part of the solution or part of the problem. Remembering that we are more than any classification or distinction, we open to the possibility of what we can become.

We open to the possibility of what we can become because we transcend needing to be anything.

All that we are was part of the Big Bang as it recycles the carbon and energy of creation - endlessly. If we trace this to our ancient beginnings, it is easier to understand how it can still be happening. Neil Degrasse Tyson wrote: "We are all connected; to each other, biologically. To the earth, chemically. To the rest of the universe atomically. We are not figuratively, but literally stardust." Describing the intricacies of how we are all connected might take a lifetime, but we live more joyfully when we remain committed to the idea that this is so. To become a part of the solution to any crisis, we need only let go. Tao knows what it is doing as nature shows us in its drive toward balance.

Intuition and Dreams

This universe that is shaping us through outward events, is also driving us from within. Scientists explain cell activity like cities. The cell membrane is the city wall, the cytoskeleton is like the transport system, cytosol is the city's streets, mitochondria are the power stations and lysosomes are the recycling plant. Cells interact and communicate with other cells but the nucleus is drawing from its own unique guidance.

Inside the nucleus are chromosomes that carry genetic instructions. They are a set of instructions that specify how the cell should develop and operate. This is not unlike how intuition and dreams guide the development of our original sincerity. We mature through our encounters, but we were born with qualities that are unchanging over time. In many ways, experience is an unmasking to our inner world.

Seventeen people can come together in a workshop in a way that five make major life changes. Two human beings can spend time together in a way that a third human is born, apparently from nowhere. In the same way that something enters our carbon based world animated by energy, or a plant reaches across space to take energy from the sun, we tend to compartmentalize what nature may see as one.

Everything is Equal

The degrees of organization of various molecule types produce the myriad of life forms that we see. One is not more important than another. We give what we see a value and importance but to nature, all are part of the melody that composes life.

So here you stand on the track watching your life go by in patterns that are sometimes linear; sometimes circular. Don't grab at anything - just observe it. Let the sense of what is unfolding reveal its playful nature. Let what is unfolding teach you more about who you are.

You will notice how the past is rewritten in a way that you tend to only remember the good times. Although any given moment rises in complexity, keep it simple. It is essentially going to become a fond memory for you and it is the little things that will become important.

Why not step up to the platform and open your heart to the possibility of now?

You only feel separate and misunderstood when you are not sharing who you are with those around you. When called to serve another, you discover your greater capabilities. There is no give and take - only an endless flow. You will live your life more joyfully when you remember that you are part of something more fantastic than you can ever imagine.

It is is wise...and it is you.