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You Can’t Prepare for Joy


“You can’t prepare for joy”

I sat across the table as the opera singer made this comment after describing the years of devotion and work that it took to prepare his voice to sing an aura. My beautiful friend, and chef, was hosting dinner in her home. As she mixed a salad of mustard greens and watercress, she tossed in a little of this and a little of that effortlessly, decades of preparing, blending and tasting had made her a master of her art. I thought about the hours I had given on my yoga mat – were it a magic carpet I could have traveled to California and back, softening and strengthening, carving away and diving deep in.

You can’t prepare for joy.

A gift that surfaces from a well, deep down inside our soul, and the life within the gift, joy arrives spontaneously. It lands without an announcement, often to our surprise and when we are not seeking. It belongs to an organic and elusive place that we can’t chase. But, we can remove the blocks we place in joy’s way and allow for it’s arrival. We can open and soften the sweet space within ourselves from which it emerges.

The opera singer whose body holds the vocal coordination to create beauty in song understands that this gift required commitment to give it life. It required the years of training and the hours of practice. The chef accepts that her gift requires her to wake before dawn and show up for hours on her feet. But it also requires the spontaneity of joy to awaken that spark that would elevate these gifts to magic art. This is the sparkling jeweled doorway and the door.

Are you realizing your gifts and creating space for the joy deep within your soul?

Be aware of the unique and strange jewels that belong to the joyful you that may be buried under years of habits and fear and judgement. Open the doors and see the path to your most authentic self and realize that the most shiny, beautiful gift that you can give to the world is waiting to be set free. Recognize that your worth is not measured by comparing yourself alongside others, but by acknowledging how you can be more open, vulnerable, brave and creative than you were yesterday.

Go on a treasure hunt in search of your strange jewels. Dig, search, inquire, explore, pursue – you may find joy in the journey. You may find an incredible jewel, but even more beautiful – you may find that the jewel is the journey itself.

Om mani padme om.

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