Pure Joy

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A week of nothing very exciting, yet every where I turn, something little and joyful. About two feet of snow fell in the valley this week.  Somehow three days of shoveling for an hour at a time wore me out only enough to make enjoying hot tea and a fire very relaxing.  I am absolutely amazed that it is the end of December already, and that I’ve also been in Utah for about five years. The amount of snow reminds me of what sucked us into moving here to begin with.

Let it snow!

Throw back, to Tele, swimming in the powder, 2011

The week of joy has been filled with the notion of not needing to drive anywhere at all for the excitement. A ski “tour” in the park, just a block from my house.  Riding my mountain bike to work.  And snow angels, because you can.  IMG_0002 2It’s been a week where lots of pieces are finally pulling together.  I feel confident about decisions to stay in Salt Lake, to make this community my home and to plan a future here.  Pure joy seems to be appearing around the corner in many directions, from celebrating with friends, trail “running” in knee deep powder, and exploring the possibilities of where my career will take me. There is something really special about engaging in laughter and talks  and knowing a smile on an old friend’s face and having holiday celebrations with new friends and knowing their excitement and smiles as well.  I didn’t need the snow to make my week, but it seems to have arrived to serve as the nicely piled bow which punctuates a gift. So my friends, while the holidays are stressful, see if you can give yourself the gift of pure joy.  Because, it is, simply where you find it, and where you make it.

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Judgement and Flow

If you had told me ten years ago what my life would look like today, I doubt I would have believed you.  Strangely, I also don’t know that I would have been able to pin point why I’m shocked where I am.  It is different, yet strangely not surprising in the least, that I am where I am.  And I am absorbing all of that, it is both freeing and confining at the same time.  I made the comment the other night that a lab, is a lab, is a lab, about Tele always trying to look cute and want dinner.  Aren’t we inherently the same, no matter how much we change?23269019565_bb12e6e87e_o

I have reached a point where friends are going through divorces.  It is bewildering, eye opening and heart breaking all at once.  I’ve long since made the claim that you must be true to yourself, because you’re the only one you’ll ever be able to rely on, yet internally I’ve held out hope that someone can prove that wrong.  Maybe we’re of a generation where these illusions become victim to self awareness and selfishness.  I am also at a point where I am recognizing how much I fail myself in terms of some of the external things I wanted in an attempt to not compromise on myself as a whole.  When do we get it all?  I think by definition I have it, yet I want more.  I want to be more and do more; I have been too fortunate not to give more.

I am going to start seemingly small though, at the source of some of my biggest personal failures.  I am asking myself and others to focus on removing judgement.  The world has enough hatred and judgement to go around these days, isn’t that the least we can do? There are parts of my life which have held lots of judgement, about me, sadly likely from me, and much from places that I doubt, you as an on-looker, would expect.  It pinned me into a hole, I pinned myself into a hole.  This, I realized was embodied in daily actions and physical presence, say for example by moving my bed into a nook.   Somehow, I had decided that the geometry of the bedroom, just wouldn’t work any other way.  This was after 2 months of electricians re-wiring my house and then a week of having flooring installed.  I did shorthanded judgmental measurement and decided it and that was that.  A year after struggling with the flow, and getting up every morning with awkward geometry I couldn’t even remember why I had been so decisive.  I rearranged everything and the flow was wide open.  I instantly was waking up on the “right side of the bed.”  At the risk of sounding hipster-y and part of the new fangled mindful culture cult,  I had literally spent a year pinning myself into a hole, and it feels, often, that many other things, both given and received had been pinned there as well.  As I read this week, trying to plan some kitchen changes: “If you create an unobstructed home with good flow, it will reflect on your everyday mood. Not having to confront barriers on a daily basis in your house will inevitably change the way you feel about your space in a positive way.”  I have removed myself and my physical space from that obstructed start to my day and feel immensely (broken rib aside… but that’s another story all it’s own) better and more free to give every where else I go.  If we can be willing to remove judgement and obstacles and it creates the space and openness to look into someone else’s shoes, that is true empathy, and I think it will change the way we all interact in a positive way.

Now, I am making  concerted effort to be better, to remove the judgement, to remove the obstacles in friendships, and paths in life.  I also ask, you, to do the same.  Even if I am going to be the same as I ever was, there may still be new opportunities to grow without compromising the self.