Saturday, May 7, 2011

Leaning into Joy

I heard a phrase the other day that pulled up such a mental picture that I haven't been able to forget it.

"Lean into Joy" is what the woman said.

The very first thing I thought about was how Eddie leans into a good back-scratch (what we humans call "grooming"). His neck extends, his eyes close, and that upper lip stretches and wiggles like he's returning the favor. When I get to a spot he especially likes, he leans all of his 1200 pounds into the curry comb. He's been known to stagger with the shift in balance. I'm surprised he hasn't fallen down.

What do I do? I do just exactly what every other horse owner does -- I scratch him harder and laugh. I love to see him so blissed out.

That got me to thinking. Do I do that? When something great happens, do I embrace it and, well, lean into it? I used to -- when I was much younger.

I think as we get older we know there's another shoe that is going to drop. It's tough being disappointed, and we try to protect ourselves from it.

But there's something else, too.

Sometimes the good stuff that happens to us is at the same time something not so wonderful happens to the people we care about -- friends, family. Sometimes we get singled out for happiness while other folks have to watch. Personally, I hate to rub other people's noses in my good fortune, but by the same token, just like Eddie's bliss at a good back scratch, I have to remember that the joy of my friends and family lifts my heart. I want to happy dance right along with them.

They need that gift of joy from me, too.

Happy Mother's Day to all. Share the joy -- it makes it that much better.

"Those who joy would win --
Must share it. Happiness was born a twin"
                                        --  George Gordon Noel Byron