June 26, 2022
“Joy is the most infallible sign of the Presence of God.”
I’ve come to believe that joy is like a hidden treasure buried deep within each of us. It is our natural essence as children and gets buried along the way. We learn to conform, behave, please, and subdue our vibrancy. Life gets hard. We learn to protect and defend ourselves. Vulnerability is seen as weakness, and joy gets pushed down. Lately I’ve seen it show up in new ways which have caught me by surprise.
Art and I were driving through the Kroger parking lot, and he let out a laugh of delight as he pointed out a man carrying a little girl. “Look at that dad with the little girl!” He made a comment about what that father had ahead of him. I saw joy in Art’s demeanor, which has not been a common occurrence over the years. When he was a new father, he was serious and stern. Never silly. He was deeply devoted to our family, but his joy was buried. As our girls got older, the weight of his role seemed to lighten, he began to relax more, and vulnerability arose. In these conditions, joy is given entrance. I call this state “lightness of being.”
We experience lightness of being whenever we are fully present and relaxed. It’s easier when we are getting enough sleep, taking time for ourselves, and avoiding negativity. Anything that awakens our inner child is like magic. We can also find it when we have the courage to step into something new. This opens the door to creativity, energy, and growth. Last week Art started a new job, and the difference is remarkable. The culture is gracious and generous. He has less stress and more stability. It’s like he has received an infusion of oxygen, and joy is becoming a regular companion. Life seems lighter and brighter.
Present moment awareness is the portal to peace, joy, and lightness. In contrast, stress, anxiety, and fear come when our thoughts drag us into the past or the future, and when we are carrying too much in our backpacks. In the present moment is pure being. Presence. As we learn to focus and savor, we experience effervescence.
These are difficult times, and we are all carrying multiple layers of grief, anxiety, uncertainty, and tension. This weighs us down and makes us weary. When we care deeply, we feel the collective ache and agony. This is part of our human experience, and we can’t escape it. We need to move through it consciously with courage and compassion. The practice of present moment awareness can expand our love and increase our light. It lifts us into lightness of being which brings energy, joy, and freedom. In this space it is easier to lift up our concerns and let go.
Lightness of being is not about looking away from trouble but bringing a higher awareness into it. When we are fully present, we open the portal to clarity, wisdom, and love. We can hold space and grace for others. Perhaps this is our sacred responsibility and how we were meant to live.
Rise & Shine,
Elisa J. Juarez