The new world is here! Where, you ask, because I see nothing but chaos and despair. And a pandemic. And division. Well, all that’s within the people. If we can let go of what we thought the world was and what we thought it was meant to be, we can let in something new and beautiful. Resist the urge to control and maintain the status quo. Was the status quo really working for anyone anyway?
I have been noticing a new balance in myself where I’m able to not overthink things. Letting go of controlling life, not holding it with obsessive grip. The phrase “Let the light be!” comes to mind. (A phrase that stumped me the first time I heard it. A sign I definitely was NOT letting it be!)
So yesterday I was thinking, I want some color in my family room. No more gray walls (side note: what does it say about the American psyche that gray became the go-to neutral in modern design? I digress). Back to my painting plans. I wanted a mint green color. Fresh and spring-ey! This idea brewed for a couple days. Then yesterday I noticed my bathroom is the exact color I desire. You would think the person who painted it that color less than a year ago would have remembered but alas she did not.
I had a good half gallon left off the color. I was home by myself with about an hour to myself with no plans. Being utterly wild and crazy, I went to the garage and grabbed the paint, found a brush, and just started painting. Right then and there without Pinterest boards and plans and —imagine this—not even knowing if it would look good! If I didn’t I would just paint over it, I thought to myself.
Writing this out it sounds like a big fat “so what” is warranted. But there was a certain magic that happened from the moment I was inspired to have green walls, and the delightful discovery I actually owned the exact color I wanted, and then just doing it, not stopping myself, not pumping the brakes. In some areas of my life this is not a struggle, but in expressing myself outwardly to the world, for a loooing time I hid or held back, overthought or overmanaged, not trusting and overthinking every tiny little choice. Not any more.
I’ve done a lot of inner work to bring my heart and mind in harmony and I’m seeing where it’s paying off in my ways of being in the world.
Finding the balance of masculine and feminine energies in ourselves —yin and yang, right brain and left brain, however you want to put it—isn’t about heart without mind, or mind without heart, or mind overpowering the heart or heart overpowering mind, but the two working in harmony together. A succinct concept but not a simple one, especially in a world of patriarchy, a failed experiment in the mind overpowering the heart at all costs.
Are there areas you struggle to dance life and find yourself putting on the brakes? Are there areas you can trust yourself more?
(I’m almost done painting by the way and I love how it turned out. Might go crazy and—gasp—draw some pretty designs on my wall, inspired by this cool instagrammer saw in a magazine! Why does it feel so rebellious and delightful to draw on a wall? Gonna let my inner two year old loose!)
Love in its pure form – all the distorted beliefs within yourself dropped.
Love in its freedom– the heart aligned with the mind, working together in harmony, discernment and expression together!
Love unshackled from pain – the small heart–the one that’s felt so many losses, pains, betrayals–healed by the higher heart connected to source.
Love sweet love.
When I read the above quote it kind of blew my mind in that things started to click for me in a new way around flow, abundance, and giving and receiving.
I viewed flow state as sort of its own thing. Separate from a giving-receiving thing. I saw it as a one-way street. I think many of us do! I wasn’t seeing how this act was part of a whole. I did that “3d separation” thing.
Just a week or two ago I was in this lovely flow state of giving and creating. And what do you know, while I was in that lovely energy I started receiving so much. The receiving came in all forms–some of it was monetary, some of it was the sharing of my words with a larger audience, but all of it a beautiful gift that was part of a huge loop! A giving-receiving that was connected. Yes! I see it now!
I want to open my arms to the receiving because to do otherwise creates a block. Does that create resistance in you, thinking about the receiving end? So many of us, especially women, are taught to give it ALL without daring to receiving. That is not what the great mother wants for us! What might be holding you back from receiving–is it about worth? Is it about scarcity? Can you let it go and heal those parts that feel unworthy? Open your arms to not only give but receive?
To help get us in the spirit of giving AND receiving I’m giving away some of my art from my Etsy shop–one set of notes and two art prints including matting! Three winners will be chosen and each wins one item. Starts now and ends 11/30 at 12am.
Enter to win…
To recap: To enter the giveaway just enter your email on this raffle widget I setup. You can either comment on this post or comment on If you don’t want to use the widget or have any problems you can also email me at hello@justfollowthejoy. That’s it!
The ego does not like unknowns. It wants certainty, plans! It wants control.
And yet, all our gifts reside in the place beyond the ego. The vast field of love that is our wider consciousness is just waiting for us to conspire with it.
What if we took a leap of great daring and allowed it to surprise us?
What if we bet on ourselves for once and became our own best friend? What magic might unfold?
“There is freedom waiting for you,
On the breezes of the sky,
And you ask “What if I fall?”
Oh but my darling,
What if you fly?”
— Erin Hanson
(Heads up – I’m giving away this print for free in my Etsy shop with any purchase made now through November 18th! May it inspire you to take a leap. While supplies last, yadda yadda fine print!)
MAY YOU FLY, BEAUTIFUL ONES.
You worry too much. Live out loud. Your thighs look great. Stop wondering about what will unfold. It’s all beautiful. Trust. You are a badass. Play! Don’t wait until you are an old wrinkled coot to play and be crazy. Try some pottery. Get some new lipstick for crying out loud! You are doing it my dear you are. You are me. You are magic. I believe in you.
Old fart Sarah
(I wrote this as an Artist’s Way exercise where we had to ask our future self for some advice. Pretty sure future me is way more badass than current me. I definitely want to grow up to be her! What would your wise crone share with you?)
The essence behind your creations is as important as the creation itself. Are you bringing joy, love, gratitude? Or a fearful, frenetic, desperate, pushing/overpowering energy? Until very recently it was the latter for me, but I feel like at long last I’m finally shifting into a place of loving, joyful FLOW! (Picture me victory dancing atop a piano with Snoopy.)
When I look back to times when my creations haven’t “clicked” almost always there was a wonky energy behind it. I was pushing too hard, I was doing it out of fear or most often it was the case that I had this NOT-ENOUGH-TIME-MUST-DO-IT-ALL-NOW energy–the telltale sign of the ego pushing its way to the front. When it’s about life and death it’s the ego. When it’s about flow, ease, joy, then you know it’s soul-level.
What finally clicked was realizing I wasn’t having enough fun in my life. My spiritual work had become purely WORK (I mean, it’s challenging and all but it shouldn’t be drudgery!). I needed play and spontaneity! I needed that inner child to do her little dance again.
On somewhat of a whim I bought some beading supplies and dove into making jewelry with no plan or purpose, just play. It was SO FUN!! Pure joy. My daughter got in on the act too!
The act of play without any agenda seemed to be just what I needed to step into flow. That tiny act inspired another (some home decorating things I hadn’t been inspired to do in ages) and another (cooking a new recipe, something that had recently been drudgery) and then another (writing on this blog again).
Have you ever experienced the same? What’s helped you step back into flow after a funky period?
I’m currently drinking contraband iced coffee in the teen section of my local library. No teens are here because it is way before noon (as I type this!) Which means that despite the many NO food in the library signs it’s the perfect place to be a rule breaker with my iced coffee tucked away in my purse.
I’m working hard lately breaking norms, societal and self-imposed. Let’s just say the iced-coffee-in-the-library is but a tiny start.
It’s been a long yet short summer of weirdness but wonderfulness. I haven’t written on this blog since April, and not writing and sharing here is a habit I plan to break. I literally woke up yesterday and thought, I need to start writing again. Actually, back that up…I think the realization first came after I did an exercise recently (as a spiritual student of Magdala Ramirez, check her out she is amazing) that got me thinking about ways that widsom has been shared when I needed it most, and how I might share it with the ones who come after me. This blog being a tiny corner of the world to do just that!
Yes much has been received and it’s time to give, too! In this long/short weird/wonderful summer I have been integrating a LOT. I went to sacred ceremony (priestess ceremony) for five days in June and it basically took me all summer to unpack what I experienced. I’m realizing that unpacking it isn’t quite enough. I don’t want to hold tight to knowledge. I need to bring it forth!
Earlier this summer I heard this really great episode of the Pele Report (a weekly video/podcast by Kaypacha) where he talked about how we make something sacred once we share it back with the world. (Trying to find the episode…once I find it I’ll post the link!) For example, let’s say you create art. The creation of the art might be a spiritual act, but if you keep it to yourself you have only done half of the work. In sharing it with the outside world you make it sacred. That final step can feel scary and vulnerable but it’s also so freaking POWERFUL. It becomes a full circle moment. Not just receiving but giving it back to source in a new way.
Which brings me back here, typing in the library as I sneak some coffee. In so many areas of my life I’m being called to bring it forward. No more hiding, no more clinging, just free low of love! It’s boundless and endless, so why cling tight or hold it or hide it?! Let’s make it sacred! Even if we are a little scared! (Wow flip those letters and scared becomes sacred. Just blew my own mind a little! 😂)
This is my long and meandering way of saying I plan to write here a lot more often. I’m excited to hear what you are up to as well. Are you hearing the call to bring it forth? I’d love to hear about it!
You are life itself! It’s time to bloom!
(Also, that’s a tiny orchid in the picture which may just be my new favorite flower. So tiny! So cute! Let’s hope I don’t kill it. I may be life itself but my inability to keep orchids alive might cast doubt on that assertion…)
What’s all this nonsense about following the joy, and who exactly gave you these instructions? I want details, you say! Okay here you go… A tiny bit of the journey.
Just Follow the Joy is a mantra, a message, a path. It came to me one day when I was walking my beagles and (once again) asking the universe, I give up! What do you want me to do?!
And the Voice –(not the tv show though I hear it is excellent!)–the Voice within me, the WISE voice, the voice that takes no bullshit, the voice of love and grace and clarity–said, follow the joy.
It would have been way more convenient if this voice told me how to look for a job or what job to be looking for exactly or maybe a set of detailed instructions about the meaning of this, but none of that came with this voice. And every time I checked in again, there it was. Just follow the joy!
For some you, this might seem pretty logical. Ok yes, following joy sounds like a good plan you say. But for me, I like to keep things complicated. This seemed…too simple. Too frivolous. TOO joyful.
I would like to now interject and add, What kind of nutty conditioning have I undergone that makes the embracing of joy so difficult and dare I say REBELLIOUS? I have this precious life in a body, a body that can eat starbursts (yes the candy) and go roller skating and sing karaoke and dance to “Thriller” and climb trees and paint pictures! HOW AMAZING IS THAT!
Why on earth would I say no to ANY of that? Oh thanks for the offer, but I’d rather sit over here in human misery, thanks. I enjoy bleakness, sadness, turmoil, heartbreak! Yeah that sounds like a good plan!
It took a bit for me to embrace my highest self’s message. I finally decided that she probably has my best interests at heart so I’d be wise to listen. It did, however, mean saying thank you, next to all sorts of things that at one time I thought would fulfill me but were actually sucking me dry. Thank you, next to a law career. Thank you, next to the idea of respectability and prestige and frankly ego-gratifying stuff. Thank you, next to giving my power away willy-nilly! (And with it my joy and creativity! And the tree climbing!)
So here I am, at long last, ready to embrace the joy. I’ve dropped a bunch of false selves and the bologna that upheld them. There ain’t much more to shed. Time to come out of hiding and do the work! Create the creations! From inner-alignment of heart and mind. From love. From…wait for it…a place of…JOY!
I recently gave notice at a job that gave me a lot of freedom, paid me very well, and was in many ways a great gig! But it was tied a sense of self that no longer exists…a self that viewed the world very differently than I do now, and it is time to say goodbye. not just to the job but to a way of being that no longer fits.
Thank you, next.
What is next…? I’ll be following the joy to see where it takes me. It will involve embracing my gifts of art and writing to be in service to my village. This is exciting and a little frightening too.To quote the title of a Anne Lamott book, HELP! THANKS! WOW! I’ll be sharing my journey on these pages and I invite you to join me as I discover where it leads!*
*(Hopefully to some income. Income is good. But hopefully leads to futher joy too! (Obviously!) And freedom! And creativity! And more tree climbing!)