Showing Up

I went out this morning looking for joy. Yes. This sunless and cold morning, I wanted to find something that seems, by definition, radiant and warm.

So, in my fleece with a stomach still heavy from last night's sweet potato, I headed east towards where the sun rises, which surely it must be doing behind the clouds.

And I was thinking about my stomach, how I ate too much too fast. How I'd done that so many times before.

Today will be different, I told myself. Today, I will calm down, slow down. Light a candle, use that smaller bowl. Maybe play some classical music, too.

I'd gone as far east as I could go on my street. Still no sun. Still plenty cold. And I remembered what I'd come for. Which was joy. Which I hadn't found thinking about the had-done's and the will-do's in my life.

And I knew then what I've known and forgotten a thousand times: the only place that joy exists is now. Our work is to show up to it.

We can't experience joy in the past and we can't experience joy in the future. We can only experience it right now. I suppose it's like breath. Can't breathe in the past. Can't breathe in the future. We can only breathe right now.

Breath and joy, I figure, probably aren't too far apart. And when I light a candle and play classical music and eat from a smaller bowl, it probably wouldn't hurt to breathe more, too.

So, at the eastern most part of my street, I took a breath. Filled up my heavy stomach with that cold, sunless morning air. And began to show up to joy.

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