Updated: Mar 10, 2021
It's interesting that the most tender part of our being is actually a physical object. The heart is the guide, it is the receiver, it is the bridge between worlds, it is the key, it is the center of love, and it is the nucleus of an honest life.
Most of my life has been about building. Gathering the components required to assemble a life that I thought could protect my heart. Aligning all the chess pieces of my psyche into an optimal configuration. Through healing from trauma and strategizing ways to invite true happiness and abundance in.
What I have achieved is remarkable. And there is much to say on that. Yet I've been perpetually shadowed by a looming force I have been trying to do away with. A force that told me I was not enough, yet simultaneously provoked me to take action toward creating my IDEA of what I wanted. And I got that. Many times over. And a lot of people do get there. A lot of people attain their idea of what they want. Yet we are not content. Where is the content? For many people, only upon attaining what you THINK you want will what you TRULY want be revealed to you.
I spent so much time organizing and building, as well as focusing on everything that was wrong in my childhood that created this mess I had to undo. I did succeed in undoing a lot of that, but in my hyper-focus on “fixing” I subsequently disregarded really key defining moments of my early life. Really fond yet frivolous memories that really possessed true spiritual transformational significance I would never have been able to grasp at the time.
No it wasn't our illustrious Christmases or birthdays or vacations growing up. I'm not talking about that kind of happiness. I'm talking about that thrill of anticipating a Friday night out at the movies with your best friends. That unencumbered joy at the sight of freedom at the end of an emotionally/physically grueling week at school. Or gathering three or four of your close friends making some popcorn and binge watching old movies on a weekend. Playing tag or kickball with the neighbors kids. Or when it was summer vacation and we could go in our pool. Have you ever been to a pool and seen kids in action? Running around possessed by joy, totally unhinged. Almost like they are on drugs! Except no, they are FREE. Their souls have been unleashed and given freedom to BE. Can you imagine if we gave ourselves as adults that same permission to be free?
I mean, we really take for granted the smaller moments. I think we file it off somewhere in our brains reserved for childhood. Running on the assumption that adults don’t get to feel joy. That was definitely an imprinting feature of my childhood. I think many of us believe as kids that there will come a definitive in our lives in which we must let go of that childhood excitable nature and accept the harsh world, duties, and responsibilities. I think many people associate childhood with being joyful. They associate adulthood with pessimism or some other negative emotions. Most adults are longing for the childhood innocence. With an exception to children who've experienced extreme trauma in childhood, most of us as kids at some point have also experienced the joyful feeling of imagination and dreaming. We recall the feeling of when magic and miracle was real in our hearts. And not some make-believe concept designated for stories or Disney movies.
Today I closed my eyes and visually projected myself to a memory of being 15 at the mall with two of my friends at the time. Those little outings were so incredibly liberating. There's nothing like those belly cry laughs with your friends from when you were a kid. There is very little that can compare to that height of joy you experience from those seemingly minuscule moments of our youth. In those moments, there was NOTHING wrong. Yet it required such little effort to attain it.
It makes you think what is life actually about? Is it about climbing? Is it about healing? Or is it about accessing whatever moments we can access in order to experience those heightened states of joy and elation and bliss? Life is about a collection of those experiences. Life is also about reconciling with our pain and gaining perspective that refocuses that joy to manifest in new creative forms.
Creativity. The best life is characterized by how creative you are. And how open you are to the creative ways of accessing that desired state of being and carving space in your life to allow those experiences. Creative ways of healing from our pasts through life experiences that are ultimately always calling us back to ourselves in new forms anyway. There are an infinite amount of feelings to feel and ways to go about feeling that way. In your immediate surroundings, even. Yet we’ve been conditioned to believe that it its either not there, or it’s not reliable. That that feeling doesn’t last unless you build it around you. Well, one of my biggest lessons was realizing it is the opposite. Achievements are not lasting.
Accomplishments are fleeting. And the only thing we can really count on always being able to access is a thought. Accessing whatever is in your immediate surroundings that evoke the feeling of your spirit being alive. Whatever drives your inspiration. Whatever generates a thought/emotion that makes you feel like yourself again.
And no I’m not saying just positive think and visualize your way out of your pain. I’m saying consider what you really want and the unnecessary ways you’re going about attaining it. All of the strategies you’re going about controlling situations in your life to ultimately invite in a feeling you always had access to. You will save a LOT of energy. And then if you still have those big goals, at least the process of achieving your goals in life will be a much more enjoyable process in getting there. We are often times holding off for some big payoff either emotionally or physically through reaching or working toward something big. But again, that achievement-based happiness does not last very long. It is fleeting. And as great as it feels to achieve it or attain it, is how awful it will feel when it’s over. So what can we rely on?
I think there's a pressure we all feel to continue reinventing ourselves or building on our legacies. Finding new ways to channel that joy into our experience in new ways. But the real creativity lies in realizing that it’s not about climbing a mountain to reach a haven where we are exempt from fear or struggle. It’s not even about a light at the end of the tunnel. The most valuable things in life are not the biggest things in life. It's the SUBTLETIES, it's the MISCELLANEOUS , it's the CHUCKLES. Life is about the IN-BETWEEN moments. Rather than the destinations and outcomes. THAT is what you can rely on. Accessing joy in the in-betweens. Cultivating a foundation to propel you into your goals if you have them. Or living in the presence of BEING, understanding those goals could never get you to feel as great as what you have access to inside of you. That life and our efforts and work are actually just attempts to prove/validate what is already inside of us. And sometimes it takes achieving those big things to realize that what we were after all along is inside of us.
Some of us are after these extravagant lives and diverse experiences to access those heightened state of being. But when you look back, some of our favorite memories didn't really involve much at all. Usually some silly spontaneous memories. When I think back of my favorite memories I don't think of the biggest things I've done. My heart takes me to silly memories of when I almost died laughing with my friends taking funny photo of ourselves. Or making silly videos and bootleg edits back in high school with my friends. Or sitting on the patio with an open heart, tiki torches, yummy snacks, heartwarming conversation, and nostalgia. I think of when we would have field trips in school. The thrill of knowing ALL my best friends were going on a trip together! I think of playing on the swings feeling like I am flying. I think of when I would come home to the surprise aroma of baked goods in the oven. Or when my sister bought me a tennis racket knowing how much I loved and longed to play tennis.
The one link between all these positive childhood memories is FREEDOM. So I know that for me, my joy corresponds to my level of freedom. At any given moment that freedom is compromised in any capacity, joy leaves me.
In those TRUE bliss-filled moments there is no preparation, there is no strategy, there is no calculating. I think as adults we tend to mentalize our joy. We spend too much time trying to solve solutions not realizing that trying to solve the solution is the problem itself.
Life is a continuous journey of accessing love and returning to love. Truth is about remembering what do we really value in this life is versus what are we prioritizing? Life is not about what we attain or achieve. What we attainalong the way are just byproducts of your experiences and choices. They are creations conjured through those experiences. But life is not about the product, it’s about the experience and journey to get there. Our creations are markers for stages throughout our lives.
But who we are NEVER waivers. Because in any moment that we experience that BLISS, we remember that that feeling is NOT foreign to us at all. It's actually the realist thing we've ever known. Part of the pleasure of experiencing bliss is that you remember it. Because in those moments of bliss our heart calls us back to the purest moments of our lives in which everything was right. Laying in the grass staring at the clouds shift forms and the fractals of light fall. All is right in this moment. So I believe that life is about re-accessing that feeling. It's about remembering who we truly are.
With Love Cody