Reclaiming your Joy

Every once in a while, life throws us off balance and tests our resilience in ways we never could have anticipated. I’ve written a bit about the challenges Layne and I have faced over the last eight months, but oddly enough, now that we’ve “done the thing” and we’re on the other side, I’ve been surprised to find myself feeling flat. I’m realising that integrating all that’s happened and reclaiming my joy and vitality is a journey that’s just beginning.

These are my musings on the subject, I share them in the hopes that they’ll serve any of you going through a difficult time.

Honour the full weight of whatever you’ve been carrying. Acknowledge it, give yourself grace and be okay with feeling depleted and even sad. In yoga we often talk about the importance of “grounding.” For me this has meant reconnecting with my movement practice in a way that feels nurturing rather than the more physically demanding stuff I tend to seek out. Gentle yoga and movement, walks, lots of breathwork, and meditation can become a sanctuary that helps to rebuild your strength from the inside out.

Explore nature. Our move to this quiet rural setting was more than just a change of scenery; it was a conscious decision to immerse ourselves in nature. The privilege involved here is not lost on me, and it’s worth pointing out that you don’t have to live in a rural area to do this. No matter where you are, whether surrounded by the abundant subtropical greenery of Brisbane, or the austere winterscapes of Chicago, nature reminds us that even amidst chaos there is a steady, unchanging beauty in the world that reflects the unwavering support of the Universe.

Tap into your community. Over the past year, I’ve formed a deep bond with an extraordinary group of women through my teacher training. They walked with me through this journey, and their support and sisterhood have bolstered and carried me time and time again. Surrounding ourselves with high-calibre people who genuinely care enough to hold space for our journey is invaluable. Sharing stories, offering and receiving support, and simply being in the presence of people who care is tonic for the soul. In her final exam class, one of these women used the theme of Resilience. In setting the theme at the beginning of class she said…

“Resilience involves finding meaning in difficult situations.”

I couldn’t agree more.

For those of you going through a challenging time, please know that patience and self-compassion are essential. Healing is not a linear process; there will be days when you feel like you’ve gone backward. The key is to keep the momentum going forward, one small step at a time, embracing the journey and learning from it as you go.

©Julie Smerdon 2024

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