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FEATURE - July 2015 - Santa Fe
Engaging with Joy for Empowerment, Inner Balance and Well-Being
By Beth Budesheim
One of the most empowering and nourishing experiences possible is the connection with the joy of our Soul. We’ve all experienced the bliss of this connection, but at times when we inevitably find ourselves feeling emotionally out of sorts, facing a difficult situation, or out of balance in some way, just when we need it most, we often forget to engage with what brings joy. What we tend to do, is get in our heads, struggling to revive a sense of well being through ‘figuring it all out’, blocking, freezing, controlling or some other survival strategy. In my experience, (and it’s been a learning journey!) this simply doesn’t work. What we can do though, is allow, surrender, be with what is present in the moment, and nourish ourselves, to gently encourage an organic unfolding of truth, shift and deeper clarity. We can facilitate this by engaging with what brings us joy. The ‘anxious mind, figure it out, fix it’ space is very linear and structured, and has a tendency to further constriction and limited perception. The practice of engaging with joy, involves being in your body, and being present with a creative act, which opens the flow to the wiser, deeper, and empowered aspects of self. It lifts us into a different energy field, creating fertile ground for heart, mind and Soul to be with our situation from a different space than that in which it was created, allowing movement and shift.
In this practice, we’re not avoiding the depths of our emotions or situational reality, but merely cultivating a tool and resource to have available when we feel stuck. It is very very useful not only personally but also within relationships, including the relationship to your work. It is a heart based way of reconnecting with yourself, your authenticity, of feeding your own essence, and thereby opening space for something to evolve. It can re-empower you when you are feeling depressed, anxious, feeling ‘small’, confused, stuck, or limited in your potential. It will build healthy esteem, lift the emotions, soothe anxiety, provide fertile ground for handling challenges in new soul-esteemed ways, and open possibilities for deeper connection, deeper giving and receiving. I recommend revisiting this practice regularly, even when you are feeling good, in order to refresh, revive, and add more sparkle to your daily sense of self, relationships and life experience.
Make it an experiment for the next month. Try this practice using the steps below as a guideline and see how it works for you. Cut out the image included with this article, as a reminder for your practice.
Daily Practice to Engage with and Cultivate Your Soul’s Joy:
Begin opening a deeper awareness of what your Soul’s joy feels like within your body, mind, and heart. Joy is an energetic signal in the form of a feeling that let’s us know we are in relationship with an essential illuminating part of our Soul, who we truly are. As you refine your self connection and sensitivity to energy, you become more and more aware of what it feels like to be connected to your joy. Practice sensing even the very subtlest sensations of joy, of pleasure, relaxation, well-being and calm. Joy doesn’t have to look like exuberance; it can be a subtle vibration, a gentle bubbling or an inner smile. What brings you joy? Baking a cake? Yoga? Sitting on the porch? Painting? Meditation, dance, writing, gathering with friends?
Recognize when you are stuck and not in flow. This often happens when we are triggered and our defenses arise. As energy healer Barbara Brennan says, when in this state, the essence of who your are is blocked and distorted. When you feel stuck, do something, even one small step, that connects you to your joy.
Make time for joy everyday! Make it a priority and conscious choice. It can be especially effective to choose something that isn’t already within your daily routine. This creates a freshness and stronger shift. Listen to some new music, sign up for that class, go to a concert, walk around the block, look at the stars tonight, take 5 minutes of silence, dress up just for yourself, dance while you’re cleaning house... etc.
Cut out the image included with this article to remind you of this practice. Place it somewhere you will see it often. This image, as visual energy, supports balance, self connection, self compassion, joy, connection with the ‘honey of life’, self esteem, playfulness, trust in the organic process, sensuality, vulnerability, inner strength and transformation. Its colors and shapes resonate with the 2nd, 4th and 6th chakras. You can also meditate upon the image, place it over a chakra(s), imagine the image filling your whole energy field, or sleep with it next to your bed to invite healing in your dreamtime.
As you do this joy cultivation practice, you bring more of your Soul’s essence out into the bubble of your energy field. Notice the effects! Among other things, you might notice feeling greater well-being, heightened intuitive abilities and the ability to relate to life with more freedom and presence. Enjoy, and as always, be compassionate and gentle with yourself. If you wish, please feel free to share your experience with me.
Beth Budesheim is an artist, massage therapist, energy medicine practitioner, RN and Angel Therapy Practitioner®. She offers intuitive painting commissions, including Personal Power Symbols and Goddess Energy Portraits™, and conducts sessions with people both near and far. www.PaintedJourneys.com