I live in North Georgia – in the foothills of the Appalachians. It’s beautiful here, with lots of mountains and waterfalls, and a lovely four-season climate. Nothing too extreme. On the whole, people here are not too keen on snow, probably because we are not set up to handle it very well and the roads get a little crazy and the power goes out. And yet…it is not uncommon to see people get all fired up about having a SNOW DAY!!! I literally saw someone doing a happy dance yesterday when snow and ice were announced and work let out early, with a promise of a shut down for a day or two. It was a genuine expression of embodied joy – so wonderful to see. It made me smile and laugh also – because it was REAL. It was the joy of the promise of having time to live life without the constraints of the forced schedules and rules we live by most of the time. It was a glimpse of having the freedom to just BE and to love BEING.
When was the last time you did a ‘happy dance’? When was the last time you felt such genuine joy, like a child in a happy family splashing in a puddle? Just for the sake of it, just because you can, just because you are alive?
We are innately full of joy.
How did you feel when you read that?
If you’re like me, and most folks, you may have felt a sinking feeling in your heart. Because of that longing. The longing to be free, to feel good, to know joy. And then that voice that says: “Well, that would be nice, but not likely.” Maybe for a moment, maybe for a day, or a week while you’re on vacation. Or maybe when you see or hear something beautiful and inspiring.
As a society, we are so trained and convinced that jumping in puddles is for children. Literally and figuratively. And then we try to get around it by finding ways to escape that seem acceptable for our particular set of beliefs and habits – maybe we relax with a glass of wine, or watch TV, or go running, or meditate, or have sex. Or whatever you do.
A good escape, you say. And then ‘reality’ sets in again. And we feel trapped, like we are wearing clothes that are too tight. And so on from there.
You know what comes next…you begin to believe the clothes that are too tight are really YOU. And life begins to shrink, and hurt, and you feel that inner SCREECH.
You can take those clothes off. They’re not you.
Primal spirituality is the spirituality you were born with. Not your religion, or your culture, or your beliefs, or your talents and abilities. Just your own b e i n g n e s s. Your own yumminess. The yumminess that comes from being real, from being yourSELF. And guess what? Your SELF is part of a whole organic system of other SELFS.
Let yourself feel the joy and the goodness and the love of these kittens. Feel it in your heart, and let it nurture you. And hold that smile…….. It’s real.
Dr. Maria Zayas is a practicing psychologist, teacher and researcher in integrative health and well-being. Dr. Zayas uses her scientific knowledge and holistic perspective to design growth experiences that are uplifting and playful. She is a great believer in the healing power inherent in everyone, and the power of a caring community in restoring the capacity of individuals to live a full, meaningful and joyful life.