Ever since attending the T. Thorn Coyle self-possession workshop, I’ve been in a state of deep awareness with my deep practice. One of the things I’ve been paying even closer attention to is my daily practice. I began to pick apart where I am in my practice, what is working, what isn’t working, where I can best make use of time, etc. I felt like I was missing something, and then a small voice from deep within chimed in “Are you HAPPY, in your practice”. My rational mind said, “Of course I am happy with my practice. It is well structured, I know what time to get up, how long my fasting cycle lasts, what yoga sequences I’ll be focusing on this week, my writing projects planned..,” The soul voice responded, “But are you happy IN your practice.” I had to sit with this for a moment. I find that at times I am going through the motions of my practice. I do the things I do because I know that they deepen my spiritual connection. I know that I need to tune in to my soul, to open up, to listen, to evolve, but I also need to be happy while doing all this wonderful expansion.
I look around and see the same thing in a lot of my pagan and spiritual friends. Out spiritual lives become just as heavy as our work lives, and for some of us our spirituality is our work lives. ”When you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life” is a quote I’ve tried to live by, but at times we forget and let the joy slip out of our work, and even worse our practice. Happiness is spirituality at its best. When we laugh or smile from the soul out we step fully into the moment. Laughter is said to be the best medicine, and it is a medicine that we need a lot more of. Sometimes I make a mistake when I’m leading a yoga class, and we all laugh. In that moment all tension is broken, and we all come fully into connection in our practice. Happiness is letting go and being present in our moment. We have to have fun and let go IN our practice. We have to be present in joyful connection to our meditation. Smudge with joy, let go and sing your chants, dance if you do not dance, sing, and just let go a bit.
I am closing with this picture of a Laughing Jesus. I am not Christian, but the Christian path at times is a very heavy path. I grew up catholic and loved the ritual, but there was a somberness to it that I never really understood. I’m sure that even Jesus laughed, even if we don’t hear much about those parts of his life.
Where are you in your practice? Is it something that you are just running through the motions? Are you joyful in your spirituality, or are you somber?
Michael Brazell CFT CSN MAT PAT