Joy Rising — I learned that from Oprah. My life had been full to the brim with love, joy and happiness. I have been blessed, and I am grateful. But I’m not convinced I had ever experienced Joy Rising….until today.
This morning, I was running my 3 miles, it was cool, the air was fresh, the sky was huge, with some cloudiness, but still strikingly beautiful. I felt strong. The music in my ears was striking chords in soul. I felt really good. That made me happy, cuz I’m a woman on a mission after all….but soon, it started to feel different. Different in a good way.
I was pushing myself — working hard to keep my running at a target pace — working hard to run up the hills (which my brain, muscles, and lungs do NOT like much), and the more I pushed……the faster I could go. The more I pushed, the more I was capable of. It was like my abilities were just exploding inside of me. Ok, now that was good…but that’s not even the best part. As I pushed, and ran…..the normal worry-line on my forehead relaxed. The feelings of struggle and effort began to fade away. My body was relaxing from head to toe. As all these feelings just melted into my sneakers, the overwhelming feeling of calmness took possession of my body. With each step, all my stress, and worry , and everything else I carry with me everyday without realizing it — just faded into the breeze.
It was then I realized something else was gone. It took me a few minutes to recognize what it was. Because it had been a constant companion most of my life. But, for certain, this morning — IT was gone. The. Fear. Was. Gone. Fear of what? Oh hon, it was a general Fear of Everything. The fear of not being able to do IT (whatever IT was), of not being good enough (for whom, I don’t even know!), I think it was a basic Fear of Living. Ok don’t laugh, but I think alot of my excess weight was body armour I put on over the course of my life as protection against everything I was afraid of that comes along with Living Life. Hey, Living Life isn’t easy all the time. We have to be B.R.A.V.E. to be Out There, Doing Stuff, and Living. And when you lose your Dad to cancer when you are 13 years old, and watch your Stay At Home Mom assume all the pressures and worries of going to work and supporting 5 kids under the age of 18 years old all by herself…..you learn early on that Life is Scary. And that you are on the Tight Rope Without A Net sometimes. And the Masked Man in a Cape Ain’t coming to save you. So, I think I decided (unconsciously) that if I kept myself safe, I wouldn’t have to be rescued so much. The only problem is….Keeping Myself Safe became a form of Hiding from Life. I stayed home, and kept myself safe, and ate, and ate, and ate.
So I’m learning to let go of my General Fear of Life. I’m learning how to stop allowing my Fear to limit my trying things. Because, people….Trying new things IS PART of LIVING! And I’ve lived 46 years of my life, having hid from trying things that scared me. But no more. I’ve eaten enough, I’ve sat on my couch enough. I’ve watched TV enough. I don’t want to do that anymore.
So this morning, I think I actually felt the Fear leaving my body. Like it was simply evaporating from within my cells, and like rain condensing off the pavement on a hot day, it lifted out of my body and floated up through the air into the gorgeous huge morning sky. What was left inside my soul was the big surprise. I kinda wonder (with my curious toddler brain), what would be left inside me once the fear was gone? Would it be a huge open space of Nothing? A vacuum? An emptiness? What was I made of once the Fear was gone?
As my feet padded down the side-walk, I found my answer this morning. I ran for three miles with my heart and soul filled with Joy Rising. It started in my feet, with each touch with the ground. And slowly began to rise. Up my legs making them go faster. Into my stomach, causing a new type of butterfly sensation…..you know, the kind you get when you fall in love. When it reached my heart, my mind and soul — the sense of freedom almost made me cry.
I was L.i.v.i.n.g. today for the first time. Free. Unencumbered by my own self imposed limitations. Joy Rising from my toes to the top of my head — cradling me in its arms for 35 minutes as I ran. I’m certain people in their cars were looking at me wondering — What is going on with that woman? How can she be so happy and so sweaty at the same time? Well, they couldn’t know, could they….just how long and how far I had come to Begin Living my Life.
Positive Affirmation for Today is about Joy Rising!
Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.
Ciao for now…….Diane