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Joie de vivre

A French saying that embodies Joy of life. More than just taking joy in certain things in life like eating, spending time with family and friends, etc. This saying, to me, means a way of living with, and in relation to And about Everything.

In this climate it has been difficult to feel this and to practice it. And why not? We are bombarded with fears of our health due to this pandemic and the unknown of it. It often feels as if our political system is coming apart at the seams and understanding the fabric our our beloved country is requiring a deeper look. Many people have now lost their jobs. And the economists know that we will feel this disruption to our ways of life (the entire shut down due to COVID and our governments need to supplement monies) not so much now but as later. The impact of fall out curves take time to develop.

Please know I write these few examples not as "good" or "bad". I write them just simply as I observe and feel them. They are what they are. Many things transcend and/or embody parts of a continuum.

These very real topics can all feel too heavy. And yes, some time must be taken to ponder them, discuss them, process them etc. And I do believe we are all called to move in action regarding them as we each feel able. This is such a hard statement and one that others may disagree with me on: we each have to conduct ourselves in a manner that we feel is beneficial to all beings to the best of our ability. This means that my actions and yours may not match at this time. Because we are all on this path of life and yet in different places of our personal growth.

What helps is to look at universal truths such as: the Only control any of us have is over our own conduct. We cannot force another to be where we are (as frustrating as this may be). The greatest chance we have of influencing anyone is simply by our own living actions. This has been stated by Many Wise Teachers....because it's Truth.

"So, as I sit and meditate, my understanding is that I'd like to embody Joy. Especially in these times. And it does not mean that I am not dealing with things or that I am indifferent or that I do not care. It means that I would like to embrace the gift of the freedom to play wholeheartedly with my 4 year old who so easily practices Joie de vivre as he picks out his favorite Star Wars t-shirt and wears it with unabandoned exuberance! Or having coffee with my 15 year old daughter, and loving her complete passion about life and remembering when I too felt So Alive (understanding that life if ahead of you). And make no mistake she Is into the tough topics! She just attacks them with more hope than I do many times. To practicing yoga in our physically distanced studio, regarding all safety practices as best as we are able. There is a feeling of complete joy and gratitude of having such a place to come together and practice. Because the underlying greater consciousness of that group is so felt as joy, gratitude and hope that one most assuredly Knows it is going out to everyone else in our community and the greater world. The pond ripple effect that's needed to help counter and balance all the heaviness.

"Gather yourselves," say the Hopi elders. "See who is in the water with you and celebrate. All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration."

There are so many lovely and wonderful things in this life...things that are "ordinary" in our everyday lives and yet they are vital as we think on them and then become Thankful and feel that Joy that underlies our life. Yes, even in the midst of strife.

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