Inspiring me all weekend long was everyone's response to being a Joy Warrior! So many of you are already practicing, you just hadn't made a formal declaration or realized we can be a movement ... a tidal wave of energy generating more and more joy in our world.
So I've been giving a lot of thought to what it means to be a Joy Warrior and what are the tools that support me in that mission. So many of you noted the very essentials: bubbles; twirly skirts and scarves; glitter, sparkles and any fun adornment; side walk chalk and finger paints and really any form of color - today I pulled out the watercolors and india ink:
But really, when I get right down to it, the only essential tool is my attitude. Attitude and attention. Paying attention to myself and to those around me. The concept of being a Witness is central in yoga and I am recognizing its importance in my creative life. Having worked through an intensely transformational program like Deep, I became acutely aware of my need for the support of my tribe if only to be a witness to all that was manifesting within me via the fearless painting process.
These words spilled out over the weekend:
“Mommy, mommy! Look at what I made!”
“See what I can do …”
“Come watch …
“Look again …”
How often in my day do I hear those words?
And for as many times as I step away from what I am doing
to go to my daughter,
I am also guilty of responding:
“In a minute”
“Of course you can!”
“Let me finish this first …”
And “I’ll be there when I’m done.”
Missing that initial flush of triumph, pride and achievement on my child’s face.
The failure is to misinterpret her requests for my attention
As a need for approval or validation.
What she is really asking me to do
Is to stand as a Witness to her triumphs
As well as her disasters
To be present with her for all of it –
Sadness, pain, joy, excitement
To help her hold a space
As she is in that moment.
Isn’t that what any of us really wants?
To be seen,
Our lives Witnessed.
To have another soul
Hold our hand and acknowledge
“Yes, this is real.
Yes, this is hard.
This is painful.
This is wonderful.
This is exquisitely beautiful
And beyond any words.
This is …
And you are …
And I am here.
And you are here.
And this moment matters
And you matter
And we matter.
Not to label things as
Good, bad, right, wrong, fair, unfair
Not to lay blame, create shame,
or separate ourselves into a categories of better or worse -
But simply to acknowledge
This is happening
This is now
This is real.
When we stand as a witness for another
We are supporting them in learning
How to be a witness for themselves.
My guru taught:
“Self awareness with compassion is the highest practice.”
We bring with us compassion when we authentically see another person.
When my daughter is hurt
I cradle her in my arms
Kissing each tear as it sanctifies the moment
Reminding her – and myself –
That we are held, we are loved, we are deeply cared for
Each boo boo
Teaches us we can move beyond pain
That we are vaster than the limits we impose upon ourselves
And by sharing those moments,
We can no longer hide from our truth
We learn to embrace ourselves
And discover we are already
I am excited to be here as a witness for your triumphs and tumbles and to share mine with you; and to cheer each of us on as we attempt the most courageous of acts - to each day declare ourselves to be warriors for joy.
The transformation has begun. Already, Cowgirl is embracing a new pirate-like spirit:
And I am waffling a bit here, but I do believe there may be one essential tool needed in our arsenal: the ukulele.
I hope you will share your stories and images and artwork chronicling transformation through joy. Once the intention is set, it is pretty spectacular how Joy chooses to share herself.
(and wow ... the word Waffle just inspired me to make pancakes for supper ... how joyful is that?)