Life Can Be Fantastic: Your Joy is Your Power
By Tama J. Kieves
I am committed to allowing myself to receive more freaking goodness than I can imagine.
To start with, I am going to know that, independent of anyone else’s predictions or convictions, my life can be fantastic. I am going to stop calling negativity and limitation “realism.” I’m going to just start calling them negativity and limitation.
We have all bought into the superstition that goodness is a soap bubble about to burst. But I challenge you to think of sadness and strain as a bubble, too, a bubble that can burst as easily. It all depends on where you put your focus, what you call real, which altar you light your candles on.
Let me tell you a personal story.
Years ago, to support the release of my first book This Time I Dance! Creating the Work you Love, I put myself on the road.
It was a brave move, investing money in myself, and speaking to practically any group that had cheese and crackers. At the first event of my “tour,” I spoke to a high-powered women’s business group. They loved me and I did cartwheels inside.
That afternoon, still cartwheeling, I walked into a Cost Plus World Market, one of those stores that sell ethnic home accessories, fun art, and things you really don’t need, but suddenly have to have.
I sashayed down the aisles, boogie author, she who had just nailed her first real talk on this adventure. I picked up a piggy bank, a leather olive green pig with red and purple wings.
“When pigs fly,” I think to myself and grin. My journey of writing and launching the book has seemed like realizing the impossible. I hold the little crafted object. I should get this, I think, to symbolize shattering the customary, rising above the gravitational pull of doubt and fear.
“Yeah, but you know how things go,” another inner voice pipes up. It’s just the beginning of your trip. You don’t know how the rest of the events will turn out. You could be disappointed and then you’ll feel silly with your triumphant, hopeful totem here.”
The voice throws me a bone. “Let’s wait and see how things turn out,” it says. It’s my rational voice, the one that controls the checkbook, buys the sale flowers at the florist, and never orders a brownie with her tea. I put the pig back down.
That night I did a book signing that broke my heart. So few people came. Then a man with long stringy gray hair interrupted my reading with wandering political rampages and very private jokes, every author’s nightmare rite of passage.
The crowd, or more accurately, the handful, stared at me helplessly. I looked at the empty chairs, and thought about how much plane fare, hotel, and other “manifestations of faith,” this trip would cost me.
I felt like a piñata, clubbed until the sweetness fell out of me. “Good thing you didn’t get that silly triumphant pig,” said the voice inside. Now I felt ashamed. I cringed at the thought of having believed in myself, believing everything would turn out just right, believing I was now finally on that roll I’d always dreamed about.
Today, years later, I think I should have bought the pig. I should have bought my celebration totem, because in that moment I felt alive and I believed–I knew something true deep in my bones.
The following disappointment didn’t change the truth of the original dazzling moment, until I let it.
When I said, let’s wait and see, I turned my power over to outside circumstances.
That “wait and see” was an admission that I could change my mind about myself, about what had already transpired inside me, about my ultimate path and the navigational skills of my Infinitely Loving God.
That “wait and see” was a nod to the bitter pills, darkness and difficulties I had trained myself to expect. But more than that, it was also a vote to make moments of pain carry more weight than moments of joy and realization.
“I’m having more fun than I’ve ever had in my life,” a client said to me recently, giddiness in her voice. Her business is beginning to take off and she feels she is starring in a new movie, one in which she’s the lucky, leading lady.
“I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop,” she says.
And I’m struck by how we do this to ourselves. We tell ourselves that life can’t be that good. It has to stop. It has to end. What goes up, must come down. “We are meant to grow and expand,” I tell her.
It is our evolutionary instinct to strengthen, blossom, and develop heightened capacities.
I share a quote with her from Esther and Jerry Hicks: “The better it gets, the better it gets.” She agrees to practice opening to her full expression, startlingly fabulous though it may be.
It’s considered prudence to prepare for rainy days and challenges. But we don’t do much to prepare for joy. Instead when love or abundance comes to our house, we think it’s a fleeting visitor, a lost butterfly, a hoax, or at best, a reprieve from the gray bulldozer of reality.
But I invite you to consider that when you’re in your joy, you’re in your sane mind, your big mind, the part of you that is connected to a wholly alive stream.
Everything else is the miscalculation. Just because negativity is familiar, doesn’t mean it’s significant.
When you’re in your joy, you are more intelligent, resourceful, and present to possibilities.
It’s who you really are.
Circumstances that follow may tempt you to forget your passion and your knowing. But it’s the disillusionment—that’s really the illusion.
For me, the path of being self-employed, having a dream and moving it into the world in a big way, has been one of constantly remembering a sweeter reality, no matter what conditions look like.
The circumstances fluctuate, but my good does not. I’m always on the road to even more grace. There are so many fantastic opportunities that are waiting to come into my life right now the moment I allow myself to fully accept my value and welcome them.
I’m not denying reality. I’m claiming it.
Yes, it’s easier to assume doom. We fit in. We’d probably even be seen as thoughtful, prophetic, and on the money. But fitting in is the booby prize. It’s not the point of this life.
We’re here to claim our divine potential, raise the bar, break through old beliefs and prejudices, and allow the Creative Force of Love and Intelligence to have its reckless, abundant, glorious way with us.
Our happiness can save the planet. Our laughter can coax the trees to grow, the rains to fall, and the stars to shine.
We can do more good with joy than we could ever do with pain. We are here to tap our own magnificent innate powers, shine, boogie, rock on and show each other what’s possible in this lifetime.
Of course there is suffering and pain in the world. But these are the places where we, the members of humanity, haven’t gotten it right yet. Why would we make these the standard of reality, if it’s not a reality we wish to create?
By the way, I am not saying it’s wrong to feel pain. It’s a place we all explore, on our way to healing and joy.
Good things are knocking at your door right now. Open the door. Allow yourself to believe that you can have the dream you desire.
Take in the abundance wherever you are and allow more to shower upon you, with your arms wide open for as long as you can.
It’s never too much for you to handle. You were designed to blossom.
Practice allowing yourself to be loved just as the Sufi poet Hafiz describes: “And the sun and the moon sometimes argue over who gets to tuck me in at night. If you think I’m having more fun than anyone else on the planet, you are absolutely correct.”
I urge you to try on a new sense of realism. When good things happen to you, don’t wait for the other shoe to drop. Expect something even better now.
You’re just revving up. Remember, you’re in your power when you’re in your joy. I’d say the shoe on the ground—is about to fly.
With my love and blessings,
©Copyright 2009 Tama J. Kieves. All rights reserved.
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Tama J. Kieves, an honors graduate of Harvard Law School, left her law practice with a large corporate law firm to write and to “embolden others to live and breathe their most meaningful self-expression.” Learn more about her workshops and life/career and creativity coaching or sign up to for her free newsletter at AwakeningArtistry.com
She is a national life/work and creativity coach and the author of Trusting the Journey of Creating the Work You Love, which was chosen as a Finalist for the national Nautilus Book Award, along with the Dalai Lama’s The Art of Happiness.
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