Soul food is not a luxury…

Recently I sought advice from a wise woman. She told me firmly and repeatedly “stop pushing yourself. Have fun!” Finally the penny dropped.  There is one thing to intellectually “get” something and it is quite another to really feel it in the body– and it felt like freedom.  My soul had been crying out to me -

HAVE FUN!
BE IN JOY!
START LIVING NOW!

Finally I was listening. I got that this is it - this moment right here.  It doesn’t all start tomorrow, or when the house is clean, or you have lost 10 pounds, or you have met your soul mate, or you have landed your dream job, or you have written your bestselling novel, or you have launched your successful business.

I realised that I had not really been experiencing life at all.

I had been putting off actually allowing myself to enjoy life until I had achieved certain things.  I didn’t deserve to have fun until I had “got somewhere”. I was allowing shoulds to rule my life – I should have done this or should have achieved that today. That sneaky little word – should. It seems innocent enough, but its purpose is to eliminate joy.  

I realised that pleasure and fun and joy are not luxuries to be earned through striving and hard work.  They are soul food. They are necessary. All the pushing and striving was strangling my dreams, not feeding them.  There was no room for creative flow and universal magic to help me on my way.  

This evening I walked to the beach at dusk. The final dog walkers were heading home. A tiny frog crossed my path. The cicadas’ night time chorus merged with the roar of the ocean. The reds and greys of the mackerel sky were quickly swallowed by night’s arrival. I swam naked, enjoying the cool water against my skin. It was pure pleasure, the joy of just being. Allowing all that doing, and all the shoulds to fall away.

Being fully present in your life brings pleasure. Get up at dawn and watch the sun rise. Take your shoes off and walk in the dewy grass. Splash in the ocean. Play in the snow. Find a cosy corner in the library and read a great book. Be really present with your child and be in wonder at her ability to have fun. Take pleasure in each experience, knowing that these moments are it. 

The joy is right here right now.