As a child, my mother used to tell me and my siblings to go outside and “get the stink blown off you”. It did not matter if it was over 90 degrees and the taper candles on our dining room table were melting. Conversely, it also did not matter if it was so cold that thick, long, glistening icicles hung from the gutters of our home. At the time, I thought she was rude and mean. My initial reaction was to retort back that “I do not stink!”. What I realize many years later is that the “stink” she was referring to is the stale smell of my energy from being indoors for too long.
At the beginning of summer, I made the clear intention of creating more opportunities to experience more joy in my life. I did not know how it would happen, I just wanted to be open to it. By instinct, I was naturally drawn even more towards being outdoors. My mother’s wisdom still percolating deep inside me.
Big shifts, and little ones, began to emerge as I just listened to my own inner wisdom more closely regarding what would bring me joy. At first, it was saying “yes” to receiving the gift of a Stand-Up Paddle Board. I had never been on a paddle board before. Experiencing time out on the water by myself with the gentleness of nature surrounding me brought me so much joy and peace. Sheer delight. I did not realize how peaceful I could feel.
Once joy was felt, I began to attune more accurately to my own wisdom regarding inviting in more joy daily. One morning, I was heading to my back patio for my morning meditation when my intuition led me to make a sharp left turn in my home. I ended up, to my surprise, on the front steps of my home. Sitting outside on the front steps has been transformational. The sun filters through the branches of the trees and lights up my face. I see the beautiful patterns of the spider webs attached to the trees like hammocks waiting to be shared.
Then one magical Sunday evening my intuition led me to the front steps again. I was filled with awe as I began to hear the call and response of the cicadas. Their voices rising and falling with such exuberance. Fireflies were responding with delight. There are no words to express the experience I felt. Once the cicadas finally began to slumber, the crickets’ song emerged even louder from the background. At that moment, I realized the many missed opportunities for joy. This incredible symphony was just outside my front door waiting for an audience! What a difference a slight change in location can make, even in the same home.
Connecting to the greater life all around me has caused me to pause and reflect on where my place is in all of this. I was then gently reminded of my own heartbeat. My heartbeat connects with the rhythms of nature and when in tune, I feel the greater peace and joy that nature has to offer. I am connected to something much bigger, ancient, and wiser. A true gift.
The wisdom of my mother has traveled with me through the years. It has just taken a little while for me to get to the deep intimate spiritual connection with the sacred rhythms around me. These rhythms are a true source of peace and joy.