Have You Left Your Joy Behind?

I’m nervous!

You see I’m performing tonight for the first time in 10-years! Back in the day, I played my guitar and sang out in coffee shops, restaurants and small clubs a lot. And I loved it.

grease

I'm in the leather jacket, looking all Kinicki-like!

Music brings me joy. Or I suppose it’s more accurate to say that music awakens the joy that is already in me. I began playing guitar when I was 6 and have played on and off ever since – Wow, that’s 40-years! I performed in musicals starting out as the Captain of the Pinafore in 6th grade and ending with perhaps my crowning achievement, my role as Kinicki in Grease in a community theater performance… You know “Go greased lightnin’ rollin’ on down the line!”

(And as an interesting side note, I recently learned – through Facebook of course – that Dane Cook, the apparently somewhat famous comedian, was in the show. Is it bad that I didn’t know who Dane Cook was until I looked him up?)

But, as much as I love music, it’s interesting that it has always come and gone. I’ll play for a few years and then drop it. Play again for a while and then drop it.

And that’s just what happened about 10-years ago: Somewhere along the way, in between moving away from my musical “comfort zone” (where I knew all of the venue owners and could perform whenever I wanted) getting married, “settling down” and having a child, the performing dropped out of my life. I continued to play at home and invite friends over to jam for a while. But eventually even that stopped, and, for quite a few years, my guitar sat in its case, in a closet, untouched.

Why?

Playing music is something that brings me massive joy and lets that joy spread out into the world.

So why did I let it go? Why did I say “no” to my joy?

Well, as with any complex life experience there are number of factors. But at the very deepest level, I think it comes down to a core – and mostly unconscious – belief that I don’t deserve that much joy! I know it sounds sort of dramatic, but when I play music the joy can be almost overwhelming. And it lights up and activates any of the old, wounded places inside of me that have not been healed.

And my guess is that when I’ve chosen to move music to the back burner it’s because the places inside me that felt I didn’t deserve such joy were stronger than the parts of me that wanted that joy. My wounds won!

Now, it’s very interesting that for the past 3-days I have pulled the Hummingbird Medicine Card. And I shuffled the deck really well each day!

According to Jamie Sams – the creator of the Medicine Cards – Hummingbird is all about Joy! She writes.

“If Hummingbird is your personal medicine, you love life and its joys. Your presence brings joy to others. You join people in relationships which bring out the best in them… You move comfortably within a beautiful environment and help others taste the succulent nectar of life.”

That’s it. That’s exactly what I do when I’m playing music.

Does the fact that Hummingbird has flown into my cards for the past 3-days mean that I’m done leaving that part of me behind? Does it mean that I’m ready to reclaim my joy and my ability to fully share that joy with others?

We’ll see!

And what about you? Have you left some of your joy behind? Is there something you used to do that opened you to the flow of joy and allowed you to share joy with others?

What is it? Where has it gone?

Whatever “reason” you have for no longer doing it, get over it!

For the past 10-years, my “reason” for not playing music was my family. I felt the pressure to be “responsible” and, as my father used to say, to “Do the right thing.” And a part of me believed that being responsible meant giving up the things that bring me joy.

D’oh!

How could I ever be truly responsible for my family when I have turned my back to joy? How could I ever hope to model TRUE Abundance to my daughter if I’m not willing to embrace and share my joy with her and with others?

Sharing what you love, sharing the song in your heart – whether it’s music or art or healing or whatever – is one of the most challenging things you can ever do. But until you are willing to say YES to your joy and to the things that bring you joy and to the joy YOU BRING to the world, TRUE Abundance will continue to elude you.

You may have lots of money, but that money will be empty, for your heart will be closed to the true nature of this life, which is JOY!

So take some time to consider what you have left behind. And when you find it, take a baby step today to start bringing it back into your life!

If you feel like sharing, send me an email, or leave a comment over at the Evolving Times blog.

Oh, and the next time you hear a hummingbird, remember this, from the Medicine Cards:

“Follow sister Hummingbird and you will soon be filled with paroxysms of joy and experience a renewal of the magic of living.”

I have no idea what “Paroxysms” are but they sound pretty frickin’ good to me! I’ll take it!

Your partner in TRUE Abundance

Edward

PS. If you’re in the North Bay and want to come share in some of the joy tonight (Saturday) I’ll be performing at Infusions Tea Shop in Sebastopol from 7:00 – 9:00.

PPS. I’m getting ready to launch a new training course – The Money System Upgrade – later this month. But before I launch the group program, I’m going to work with a handful of private clients and take them through the Money Upgrade System, one-on-one, at an introductory price. If you’re interested in working with me and having me upgrade your Personal Energy Systems so they are aligned with TRUE Abundance, go check out the details here.

Serious Spiritual People Suck!

cistine-chapel-2All right. I admit it. That title is a bit harsh. But I guess I’m qualified to write it, since the person I’m mostly talking about is myself! You see I spent a significant portion of my life being a serious spiritual person. And most of the time, when I was serious, I sucked!

And yesterday I caught myself falling right back into that sucky, serious, spiritual space and I didn’t like it! My daughter was in a great, goofy mood, and I just couldn’t meet her there. That, old, core belief that to be spiritual you have to be serious had taken over the controls again and all goofiness and fun was out the window.

The problem many of us spiritual people have, is that our models of spirituality are all serious. Think about it: have you ever seen a picture of Jesus smiling? How about God? Any candid camera snapshots of the big guy in the sky cracking up?

And how about bible stories? When was the last time you had a good belly laugh while reading that good book?

Eastern religions seem to have a bit more lightness. Think of the laughing Buddha statues. I love those. And yet, when you read the story of the Buddha’s life there doesn’t seem like there was a whole lot of goofing around happening during his lifetime.

What’s up with that? Who made the rule that spirituality and fun and joy and laughter and lightness don’t mix?

I realized just how much of a core belief this is for me just now when I watched a video of Ken Wilbur talking about Big Mind or the part of us that is the observer, detached from the events in our life. As I dropped in and tried to find that Big Mind space in me, I realized that I didn’t want to find it because if I did, I believed that I would have to spend the rest of my life being serious and stoic and removed from life.

That doesn’t really provide a whole lot of motivation to go and find the Big Mind!

So I’m embarking on a “Lighten Up Francis” campaign for spiritual people – especially myself! (And if you don’t get that reference you obviously missed one of the classics of contemporary western cinema!)

Let’s bring some lightness and laughter and, yes, even silly goofiness into our spiritual development.

I mean, how’s the serious thing been working for you? If you’re like me, not so well!

There actually are some examples of light-hearted, deeply spiritual people. When I visited Agape a month or so ago, I was cracking up. Michael Beckwith was smiling and laughing and joking… And it was one of the most deeply moving and transformational experiences I have ever had at an organized religious event.

The emergence of Rumi and the light-hearted Sufi poets as spiritual models is another example.

dalai-lamaThe Dalai Lama also seems to exude a lightness in the midst of his profound presence. You often see him smiling or grinning. And sometimes it sure looks like a pretty mischievous grin, if you ask me!

And what about all of these new – and not so new – spiritual development practices that are filled with light and lightness? Transformational dance workshops, tantra, high-energy intensives (think Tony Robbins) laughter yoga, karaoke seminars (well, I haven’t seen any karaoke seminars yet, but you get the point). We’re beginning to recognize that spiritual development can actually be fun.

In fact, I’ve come to believe that the more fun you have, the more joy you experience in your life and in your spiritual development practices, the more you actually develop spiritually!

Now some might say we’ve gone too far, that the pendulum has swung to the other side and there is too much lightness and indulgence in our modern spiritual development practices.

Well how about if we all just stand up right now and moon those folks!

So the pendulum has swung. Big deal! Pendulums do that. And we sure do need a break from the super serious spiritual systems of the past.

What can you do today to bring some lightness to your spiritual practice? How about listening to an old Steve Martin recording during your meditation practice? How about playing Weird Al Yankovich songs when you teach your yoga class! Alright, maybe that would be too far!

But seriously… no, scratch that… see if you can find a way to merge fun and spiritual practice today. Let me know what you come up with. I’d love to hear about your Lighten Up Francis adventures!