I want to tell you a little story. It’s one I’ve wanted to tell you for a while except for the worry that I’d sound like I drank the Kool-Aid. And as much as I try not to pre-pad my posts with preparatory remarks, I think we need one.
Things are about to sound really weird. But maybe only for me. Maybe not for you?!
The first time it happened to me, it was the middle of the night.
I was deeply asleep one moment, and the next, I wasn’t. Something shook me awake. I bolted upright, heart pounding hard. Sweaty and afraid. It wasn’t a dream that woke me, there was something going on in the house. Winston the Wonder Dog knew it too: he was pacing the floor, his little toenails clickity-clacking on the hardwood as he moved from corner to corner, sniffing. I considered waking #1husband up, but something told me to be still and wait.
So I lay there a while, catching my breath, listening. I heard nothing. Outside, the moon was full and so bright; its blue light was streaming in. I went downstairs and poured myself a glass of water. Winston came downstairs too, and he continued his pacing and sniffing.
I was losing any hope of getting back to sleep. I just couldn’t shake feeling spooked. The last time I felt like this, I was 17 and had made the mistake of reading Pet Cemetery before bed. I remember being afraid to put my foot down on the floor. This was a lot like that.
I couldn’t shake the feeling that someone was in the house.
But, no matter how still I got, I heard nothing. So I fumbled my way to the couch and sat there a while. It’s amazing how awake you can be in the middle of the night. I stared into the darkness, willing my fear away, the moon brightening the room enough to see shadows. Worried I wouldn’t feel quite myself without sleep, I just counted my breath. By this time, Winston had given up the search.
I had a client the next morning, a friend actually, and I didn’t want to be groggy for the session. And just as I was thinking of my sweet friend, and our recent visit, I heard it: a soft woman’s voice speaking.
Yes. I definitely heard a voice. Talk about the heebie-jeebies and goosebumps at once!
And this is where I get to the drinking of the Kool-Aid part: the voice wasn’t out loud, and it was most definitely in my head. My hair started lifting up, goosebumps. The space around me felt electrically charged. Her energy right was there in the room and I was kind of freaked. Whoever this woman was, she was connected to my friend I had just been thinking about.
In my world, this is not really all that weird but…
It’s not that I don’t have spirits visit me; it happens often when I sit before a session with a client and ask for guidance. But in those situations it’s controlled, I flip the internal switch and allow this to happen. And it definitely never feels like a person is sitting next to me. This was different and scary.
She spoke about something called Tangible Joy
This spirit was speaking excitedly about the irony of us trying to be so good while we’re alive. Almost laughing, she talked about the way we’re attempting to walk this pure and perfect path, one we believe will redeem us and keep us safe. One that makes us feel we are doing all the right things by renouncing what we actually LOVE about life. She was telling me it’s this big cosmic joke: we spirits long to be in the physical to experience the tangible joys in life and then once we’re human, we spend most of our lives in the pursuit of happiness which often means shunning fun.
People do not understand, she said, once we croak, it’s all different.
And because we miss the most important parts, we are initially pissed when we return to the other side.
Now I was wide awake totally vibrating with understanding. What makes being here on earth so fab is the tangible joy. But so often, we don’t allow it. Our act of restricting brings deep unhappiness. It drives our longing even deeper into the subconscious so that we’re caught in an almost constant struggle between craving and abstinence. Of course, we have rebellious overindulgences…but we don’t see that we are the ones creating the dilemma.
She said, yes, as spirits we can be everywhere at once, we can reunite with loved ones who’ve passed, we can bathe in the most beautiful energy of love. BUT, being here in the physical is a different experience altogether: you can eat pizza, and bite into a crisp juicy apple, and roll in the grass, feel the warmth of the sun, hug a beloved, experience physical intimacy. As a spirit, you won’t actually feel the paintbrush in your hand, or your heart pumping as you dance to a favorite song. It’ll be different. You’ll remember the sensation. You’ll have the memory. But it won’t be the same.
I personally have a long history of trying to be good.
To be one who meditates for hours, chanting sacred scripture. I tried to live in an ashram once. I’ve had long bouts with giving up alcohol, sugar, dairy, and flour. Anything frivolous was OUT. If it didn’t earn money, it wasn’t worth doing. And here this spirit was telling me, this is exactly why being human is so awesome, for the tangible joy of it all.
I once heard Wayne Dyer speak. When asked if sugar was evil, he said,
Why would sugar be evil? It’s your relationship to sugar that’s the problem. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a sundae – but remember: everything in moderation.
We complicate things. We make it so hard.
We spend massive chunks of time resisting chocolate and wine and pizza. We resist playing hookey. We abstain from going for walks, painting, drawing, dancing, and matinee movies in the name of being good, even though our spirit is calling to us to do these things.
We manage to make something we love bad or wrong and then we set up parameters and these complicated reward systems that end up sucking the life out of life. We restrict the level of joy we can have.
My clients often ask me: WHY? Why do I do this? WHY?
The reasons why are less important to me. The point is to wake up to how you do this personally and make a change. there is a life force inside you which needs to be allowed to flow. You have a pleasure center in your brain which needs feeding and it’s underfed. This is what matters.
Unused creativity is not benign. It metastasizes. It turns into grief, rage, judgment, sorrow, shame. – Brene’ Brown
When people ask me if I think they have a numbing problem, or if I think they’re addicted, I usually get curious if they’re secret Joy Restrictors.
When we restrict the joy, we usually take to getting it from a few channels only – like, wine, cigarettes, chocolates, television. Our one guilty pleasure. We use it and use it and then suck the life out of it. We overindulge. It’s no longer fun or special. We’ve become numb to the numbing.
Those old habits don’t have to be erased, they just become replaced by a new habit that is more in vibrational harmony with who you are and what you want.–Abraham
Some of us need to widen the spectrum of what we allow fun and joy to be. We need to add a few goodies to our repertoire. Others of us need to let loose a bit more: go ahead and let yourself enjoy the tangible joy. Get excited about it. Let yourself be totally into what you are into!
Life is about fun and joy. And, we do not have to suffer to feel joy.
You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. You only have to let the animal of your body love what it loves.–Mary Oliver
When you resist what you love by telling yourself it is bad, you are making your own delight wrong.
And this is the underlying problem. When we dial the joy down to a narrow pinprick, we suffer. Delight, fun, and joy are all necessary fuel for us. Those experiences inspire us, they pump our cells and juice our hearts.
Like the Borg said, resistance is futile.
Back to my story, and the spirit and my friend…Well, I’ve relayed the most important part: we’re here for tangible joy. Let’s not waste our time worrying about whether or not something is good or bad or if we should have it or shouldn’t have it or if it’s going to make us fat or thin or an addict or whatever… let’s enjoy and be present with what is here now. Because when we’ve croaked, it will be different.
The rest of her message was for my friend, so I won’t share it here. But I will say that when I relayed the messages from her loved one it was a very emotional experience for us both.
I knew from this moment on, everything would be different.
I never did get back to sleep that night. In fact, I wrapped myself in a blanket and walked outside, and sat under that gorgeous moon. I didn’t care anymore that it was the middle of the night – or that I might seem like a crazy person. I was deeply moved by the experience and the powerful message: we are HERE for tangible joy.