Sunday, August 11, 2013

live happ illy- where's the joy?

It is wonderful to reconnect with all of you. The last weeks have been quite an adventure with many joyful experiences and some critical awarenesses. I have looked forward to sharing some of my more memorable experiences with you.
I was in Europe visiting my in/out laws. For the first two weeks I had one pleasurable experience after another. After years of slogging through the mud of consciousness with only a few oasis's of pleasure, this was beyond a welcome relief.
The trip started with me creating a lot of suffering. I left July 3rd and was just energetically coming out of the tailspin that were the months of May and June. Despite trying to counter it with a lot of mental chatter, my predominate energy about the plane flight was one were I was deeply concerned I would not have the energy to pull it off. Needless to say my creation came true with delayed flights, long delays, switched aircrafts, missed flights, huge lines at security in London and even a body search. After numerous hours waiting in London and a tearful outburst, I was so exhausted I literally doubted I could go on. I have almost never felt so depleted. I finally remembered to call for some help from my inner and outer resources. Immediately I found a place to lay flat with my daughter sweetly perched guarding over me as I fell into a profound altered state. All the noise and chaos of the airport receded into the far distance and I was miraculously able to restore myself enough in that hour laying down to go on. It was a very powerful experience.
So then came the weeks of fun and games including one of the best days in my life. My marvelous sister in/out law took my photo that evening and happiness radiates from my face. I will see if I scan the photo in sometime.
But the next day I felt sad as we left the incredible joy I felt swimming in the clear Mediterranean waters near Piran. I would have preferred to stay longer but our plans took us to Italy. I felt regret and some resentment even. When I arrived in Dueno I was not a happy camper. The water was slick with some unpleasant looking substance, the little beach had lots of people in their chairs with umbrellas and it did not really appeal initially. So I pulled myself together and found things to like. I loved the patio at breakfast, looking on the bay. I loved Dama Blanca guarding the old castle when I swam to her feet. I loved the Italian cappuccino and was entranced with my cup that said live happily with the logo for the Illy coffee company embedded in the word happily. I decided I would be so happy to have that cup and asked to buy one. After much discussion on our last day, they offered it to me as a gift. Unfortunately they gave me the expresso cup, not the cappaccino. And here's where I got to explore the difference between my understanding of happiness and joy. Happiness is situational and thus ephemeral, fleeting.  The moment I received the expresso cup my stomach dropped out and I felt terrible. Silly I know but one little example of how I can chase happiness yet never capture it. I did not appreciate the generous gift and I started to spin, wanting MY CUP. I couldn't let it go and schemed how to get my cup. The details don't matter, what matters is the underlying reality that happiness can not last. I watched myself get addictive when the happiness eluded me. I bought a shirt I didn't need and don't even really like to keep the claws of unhappiness at bay on a day where I was wiped out by humidity and extreme heat. I chased a dessert I couldn't live without when I felt those weeks of happiness begin to slip away. 
I decided to make that little expresso cup work for me and set about determining how to pull it off. I decided to use it as a symbol  of what brings lasting joy. For me joy is a state of being, a consciousness. This is something that can last as it is based on Who I AM rather than a temporary state. More often lately, I am resting in pure awareness that is neutral and carries such freedom and yes joy. In this place, others' actions are netural. I am not pulled by the tide of co-dependency or special relationships, one of my biggest remaining traps. I simply AM. This is what I choose to remember when I look at my expresso cup
I am back in the States. After feeling overwhelmed at the end of my trip by a need for silence and solitude, I now feel a bit lonely and isolated. It is clear I can never create continuous conditions to my liking in the pursuit of happiness. What I am recognizing is that the pursuit of happiness is absolutely linked to suffering. Then I am pursuing something that can never last. So my intent now is to strengthen my commitment to going the distance, to restore myself to my true nature, to remember that place within where I am at home in very circumstance, at peace with every moment. A tall order yet it is clear to me nothing else will bring me the joy I know is all of out true nature. 
So often on this trip I was able to recognize my true unlimited nature. And it has nothing to do with cappuccino cups.

P.S. I order the cappuccino cups from Illy when I got home. I serious doubt they will bring me much genuine happiness but hey, I thought I'd experiment and see what happens. Maybe at least five minutes of pleasure.

Ah, and I did manage to get a photo of the cup and happy photo and posted it below.

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