Profound joy

I had a moment of JOY the other day. 

I don’t know that I really had distinguished joy as an emotion separate from happy, content, or excited before that day. But I guess, like love, you know it when you feel it. 

At 46, was it my first feeling of distinct joy? Or have we just come through so much sh*t in recent years that it seemed so distinct? 

My daily hiking practice has been more of a challenge the last few days. (I think I’m about a month in?) I had allergies, and I don’t know, maybe the early enthusiasm was wearing off. Today I really didn’t feel like it, but I was awake and I’d already set everything out, so I hauled myself out of bed, telling myself what we talked about a lot in our Finding Flow class: Do you ever regret working out? 

I accidentally brewed water, because no one put coffee grounds in the pot. Not off to a great start…

But the hike took over and I have to say, by about mile three, I experienced profound joy. 

My normal hiking trail has been very Coachella’d out the last few days. But today I saw one other person in two hours. There is something about being alone in the grandiosity of nature when you feel still at home somehow. I listened to the end of the book, and then hiked further than usual with a killer playlist, and I was actually singing out loud as I was hiking. I was spreading my arms to take in the gorgeous surroundings. I may have twirled. I was praising everything that I was here and healthy and could have this moment. I was like Maria at the beginning of The Sound of Music

You know how people are always like, “Musicals are BS because no one just breaks out into song in real life…”?

Apparently, that sh*t can happen. 

I laughed because I remembered a story my former mother-in-law told about a time my ex was a kid and he was at his grandparents house in Texas. He’d gotten up early to go fishing at the pond and came back red-faced and enthused. They asked where he’d been and he gushed, “It was such a beautiful day! The sun was shining! The birds were singing! And I was just fishing and praising the Lord! Fishing and praising the Lord!” 

I guess I am hiking and praising the Lord, I thought.  

I felt so much profound gratitude and joy, and it lasted the rest of the day. It reminded me again of the wisdom of LL Cool J that I shared in a previous newsletter: The blessing is when you keep going. 

It’s only when you keep going that you hit it. If I hadn’t pushed myself to go on my fifth hike of the week that morning, I would have missed it.

What advice or support can you offer fellow members today?