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Follow the Joy

I am not much of a writer. Or that’s what I tell myself. Today I intended to write a brief Facebook post reflecting on my birthday. As I watched the birds outside my window eating the seeds gifted to them from the innovative bird feeder that my 5-year-old daughter designed and created, these words just flowed out….

Today marks the end of my 37th journey around the Sun. This last year has been filled with bittersweet farewells, exciting (and sometimes scary) new beginnings, and transformation on many levels. I left a career that I had aspired to be in since middle school, said farewell to lots of amazing friends and coworkers, and moved back to my wild and wonderful hometown. I knew it was time to move on and live a different life. A more peaceful, wonder filled life. A life in nature. A life filled with exciting journeys with my family. A life with less hustle and more stillness. A life with more connection.

“Follow the Joy” has been my motto. On the days I forget to listen to what my heart is saying, I can tell, and I know there is something missing. In these times of overwhelm, I find myself drawn to be outside. I go out on the deck and just stand there with my eyes closed soaking up the glorious nutritious sun beams on my face and I…just...breathe. Receiving breath in stillness in nature is truly “like a breath of fresh air”. I allow myself the opportunity to just listen. And Feel. Listen to the chatting birds and the singing trees. Listen to the voice of truth inside my heart. Feel the wind’s colorful brush strokes on my cheeks. Feel the life-sustaining energy from the sun. I just Breathe. Listen. Feel.

When I open my eyes, the world is magnified and I can see with the clarity and depth of an eagle soaring overhead. I see the magic that exists all around me. The magic that is always there. We can only see that magic if we allow ourselves the opportunity to really see. See the curiosity that has been lying dormant inside of us since childhood. See that we are all part of this amazing gift of life. Of nature. Of this ever evolving, growing universe. We must follow the path that is in our heart. And just bask in the wonder filled journey that unfolds.

I look forward to the changing scenery and to the many new invitations for growth and discovery during my 38th journey through this ever expanding wondrous universe. I look forward to new connections with the human and more-than-human world. I look forward to rekindling the fire inside my heart and reaching out to others that need help remembering. Remembering how to see. Remembering how to connect. Remembering how to spark the joy inside their own hearts. I look forward to following the joy and flowing with the magic that unfolds.

The attached picture is a beautiful card that I just opened from my wonderfully supportive and loving husband. It is perfect. A perfect picture of how I want to live each day.

May all your days be filled with Light, Love, and Joy

~Valerie :)

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