Joyfully Pushing the Edge

25 08 2008

On Aug 2nd, a little over a week after the birth of my second son, after 10 days of absolute joy with having been home each day with my family, the theme for this new year coalesced into a clear, concrete vision. I know what I need to do.

With the “Year of Excellence”, I’d looked at the quality of excellence as the primary focus and the “slowing down, not rushing thru the process” was the secondary, complimentary quality. What I came to realize as I went thru it was that the slowing down was in fact what I needed and that developing the quality of excellence would help me achieve that. So as I come into this new year, I have a clearer understanding, at an earlier stage of what it is I’m fostering within me. This should help in having greater balance as I traverse onward.

After a few years of slowing down, not pushing so hard, and actively working thru that process, culminating with this last year, I felt a tremendous shift this summer, happening inside. A very familiar one that filled me with an excitement at having it rekindled, somewhat akin to seeing an old, dear friend after many years. I need to challenge myself….REALLY challenge myself, and do it adventurously. I need to push my edge, my capacity to the places where I’m forced to face myself, stripped down to the truth. I know, I know, I’ve just finished talking about slowing down, not pushing so hard, spending years to develop this within me and now your thinking “You Shmuck! Didn’t you learn anything!? Was this all for not?” The difference is the angle I’m coming at it with. These qualities I’ve been developing now help me approach this natural energy within me, with a higher level of grace, balance and effectiveness. This is where Joy comes in.

The quality I’m going to actively develop to foster this need to challenge myself is Joyfulness. It was during my time off after my son’s birth that this came to me. I’ve been rather blessed in my life to always be doing what I want and never feeling stuck in something or someplace I don’t want to be. It is a joy to be married to the amazing woman that my wife is. It is a joy for me to spend time with my sons and be an active part of raising them. It is a joy to be able to do the work that I’m doing, being of some assistance, whatever small part that may be, to the further personal evolution of people’s lives. It is a joy to be living where I’m living. It is a joy to be in the stage of life that I’m at. Yet I can get into this space of very disciplined, very focused, ready to take on any amount of work that comes my way and press on thru it. And sometimes the feelings of joy get brushed aside or are momentarily forgotten. That is except for, I can say with absolute honesty, my time with my sons (which I have made a conscious effort from day one, not to allow the weighing down of negative experiences in life to affect my time and interaction with them). And it was during that most joyful time with them, most especially the time I had with my oldest (since Will and his mom were sleeping most of the time;) that actively feeling the joy in all that I do struck me so.

One would think extreme challenge and joy wouldn’t naturally coincide, and yet, Chris has been known to use “giddy” when describing me on a huge hike, as it gets wetter….and colder….and harder….:) With that, the theme and name for this year is…… “Riding Giants”.

Stick Around🙂





One response

8 11 2008

Joy is the name of the game for me too. The reason we first children have to actually work at joyfulness is that it gets us out of our natural inclination toward the seriousness of perfectionism.

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