Yes, it’s a wild ride (but I wouldn’t have it any other way…)

best magic carpet

A while ago I felt really moved (in a ‘Corinne, this is your deepest, truest self speaking, and if you don’t book those tickets, I’ll have something to say about it’ kind of way) to book myself a ticket to Spain and go and live in a tipi for a while with some really beautiful souls where we danced and ate veggies from the garden and pointed out the eagles (yes!) and the vultures (40 of them in a huge swirl!) to each other in between dances and swimming in the river…

When I booked that ticket I had no idea I was going to do all those things, or what I was really signing up for, but I knew I just had to be there. This was an interesting feeling in itself as I hadn’t felt it for sometime, so I was curious, and wanted to see where it those Spirity breadcrumbs might lead.

I’d needed a new suitcase for my trip so I looked online and scrolled through loads of perfectly nice, perfectly functional luggage options. Meh…Then something caught my eye: a bejewelled little beauty, the veritable suitcase of my Dreams. I bought it, and soon it was on its way. Eee!

Now this was where it got interesting. The suitcase arrived, and rather than rip open the parcel in the child-at-Christmas type frenzy you might expect, I let the huge cardboard box sit in my hall, not just for one day, but for two, and then three. I was ignoring it. One day, coming through the door and manoeuvering my way round what had literally become The Suitcase In The Room, I knew I had to face it. What the dickens was going on here?

I took a breath and listened, scouting around inside myself to find out. Ooh, interesting: I didn’t want to open the box. ‘Why not Corinne?’ (talking to myself in a kind and gentle way, so as not to scare myself off the trail…) ‘Well, when I open it, I know I won’t really like it and it’ll be a huge disappointment and I’ll feel rubbish.’ I suddenly recognised I’d been in very similar situations before, Dreaming something into life, then pushing it away by telling myself it wasn’t what I really wanted, and feeling hugely let down and upset. And here, in the middle of the floor was this box, like an enormous present containing something beautiful just for me, and I was already getting ready to reject it. Hmm. (How I love these little inner-stalking missions…)

But it didn’t stop there. I dug a little deeper and found the gold: underneath lay a little part of me that believed I didn’t even deserve anything beautiful, that it would just disappear anyway, so pretending I didn’t really want it was the best way to proceed. Gosh! Whilst that might have been true long ago, it wasn’t what I wanted to believe or do now, so I gave that little version of me a hug and we decided to move bravely on.

So, ceremoniously brandishing the kitchen scissors, I cut through the tape and slowly opened the box. My heart was beating, and I think I may even have been sweating a bit. I could feel myself not wanting to look, putting off the inevitable heart-sinking ‘Oh, it’s not as nice as I’d hoped for…’ moment, but I pushed through and pulled out the suitcase. Right then, I felt the temptation to reject it. It was interesting. I felt the possibility of convincing myself it was garish and ugly, feeling stupid for wanting it and now having to lug around this lumpen reminder of my disappointment and failure for the rest of my days…But that approach actually felt a bit boring, so in that moment I chose a different one. I saw its beauty. It was beautiful. It was an awesomely beautiful suitcase, but, friends, indulge me, it was so much more than that.

I was experimenting with actively saying Yes to something gorgeous, welcoming Beauty and Lovely Stuff into my life, and celebrating it. So I chose to choose that, and every day I would stroke this little suitcase as I passed it (at one point I even hefted it up into my arms like an unwieldy and squarish child so I could dance with it) and started to see it as my magic carpet, my travelling companion to unknown and mysterious places, and it would kind of twinkle back at me with the delicious promise of adventure in its suitcase-y eye. I started declaring, ostensibly to myself, but just in case the suitcase (or Anything Else) was listening: ‘Welcome, Beauty! Welcome, Love! Fantastickness, thanks so much for showing up!’

suitcase.jpg

‘Why, thank you…’

This was the true Gift: I’d spotted an old pattern of behaviour that didn’t fit me any more, loved it into a happier shape and had consciously begun to welcome Lovely Things into my Life. And so, my magic carpet flew me all the way into a wondrous adventure and back, and afterwards, as I came into land in Everyday Life, things felt a little bumpy, and there was some definite turbulence as I made the transition from slow-motion-off-grid-tipi-experience and onto the nail-biting-single-mum-of-teenage-boys rollercoaster. I guess at some point I’d booked myself onto both.

But the great thing about magic carpets is that from all the way up there, you get a whole new perspective on things, so returning from my journey and in the face of my two boys healthily pushing boundaries all over the place (it’s their job, I know that, and they do it so well…), I was more able (mostly, when I wasn’t leaving the room to take a breath or have a little weep) to remember the Big Picture and connect to the deep humming frequency of Joy. It’s challenging but helpful to do this when you tidy up a boy’s room and find something weird (then realise what it is, and you wish you hadn’t), or when your teenage son answers your polite request to move a sock with a whirlwind of roars and expletives that leaves you blinking slowly and wondering, ‘What just happened there?’ And it’s ongoing, this challenge to hold my centre in the centre of a little whirlwind here and there, but actually I wouldn’t want it any other way – it hones my Commit To Joy warrior skills in a way that just wouldn’t be happening otherwise, and I’m a better person for it, I know this.

Like so many of you expressed last week, things can feel simply overwhelming and crazy at times, and we’re all feeling it, both in our home lives, and when we look out to the wider world we are all part of. Let’s remember that the small steps we each take to bring more Calm or Love or Joy to our own small experiences might be rippling out and making a difference to the Bigger Picture, and as we calm ourselves, talking gently and with tenderness to those parts of us that are sad or hurting, maybe that’s us also doing our bit to soothe the world.

So, lovely friends, as we encourage the presence of Beauty in our lives this week, say Yes to Love, and start to really believe that we are all worthy of this, let’s share how things unfold for us, encouraged by knowing that we are all in this together. Yes! And watch out for Magic showing up in its many shapeshifty forms (this post was going to be called ‘When Is A Suitcase Not A Suitcase..?’) because who knows what breadcrumbs might start to appear on the path, to lead us into Goodness knows where..? Magic carpets ahoy!

 

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Okay, I Commit To Joy. It’s On!

A few months ago I was playing around with ideas for a new project, and suddenly the phrase ‘Commit To Joy’ popped into my head. Yeah! Commit To Joy! I really got into it, noting down all these ideas that were flowing and dancing about all over the place…Thought I might as well get a website domain name sorted while I was at it, so had a nosey to see if it was available, and ooh! it was ‘pending’, which meant it was up for renewal in 14 days. The signs were good.

14 days later I went back to see what was going on and a little auction was underway – Commit To Joy was up for sale. I backed down as someone else snatched the Joy from under my nose for a huge sum. I felt awful and was stomping about the kitchen, mumbling to myself and sighing, when I suddenly caught myself stomping about the kitchen, mumbling to myself and sighing…’Where’s the Joy now, Corinne? I thought you were supposed to be committed?!’ I enjoyed a small giggle at my own expense – I’d been given this fab idea, not just as a concept or a product to develop – to Commit To Joy meant more than hunting down a pesky website domain. This was real stuff, about my Life with a capital L.

Just so we’re clear, Commit To Joy wasn’t about me prancing about and singing in the rain (although I freely admit to a bit of that every now and again, just for fun), pretending everything was wonderful, big smiles to hide the painful bits. Nope. For me this felt like a strong desire to say Yes to finding the Joy – that frequency of deep and smiley-eyed contentment – in the midst of the challenges and all the dark stuff that comes with getting to be a human being on this beautiful Earth. (Surely there’s a piece of spectacular joy-filled luck right there?!)

So, a few months passed, and some big Life stuff happened (more on that in other posts), stuff that reminded me how much I love being as awake as I possibly can to the mystery and possibility and just darn awesomeness of being Alive. I sat on my sofa and Commit To Joy popped up again. ‘Do it,’ it said, ‘Commit!’ And I realised I was being asked, as I’ve been asked so many times, to sign up for the real ride, to commit to going even more deeply into the crazy beautiful Something that is my Life.

So I’m doing it. I’ve decided to sign up and see where it takes me this time. I’m signing up to notice the things that open my heart, to stand in a noisy room and see what happens if I hold my centre and tune into Joy, to practise this. And this is in the midst of a Life that is just as messy in parts as yours I bet – I want to try connecting to that frequency of Joy (which is there, all the time, whether I choose to connect to it or not) in the midst of the mess. I’m gonna give it a go! And when I wander off or fall asleep or forget, that’s okay too, because the way I see it I’ll be recommitting over and over and over again, which sounds good to me – it’s what practice is!

So here goes, and if you want to join me and Commit To Joy in your own way too, I’d love that. You can nudge me when I forget why I’m doing this, and I can remind you what we’re doing it for. Because let’s face it, if our world needs anything right now, Joy is it. The darkness and violence and hatred exists, we can’t ignore it any more, and maybe this is our golden opportunity to look at it fully and unafraid? Maybe it’s showing up for exactly that reason, to be seen and acknowledged and Loved back into something more whole again, who knows?

In every moment I have choices: to throw anger and hatred and separation back at what I see outside of me, feeding the madness, or I can choose a different way. The choices we make create the world around us and if I, in my western life with such freedom to choose, can do my bit to at least stop adding to the mess, I’m going to do it. Can we keep choosing Joy in the face of hate until Joy, Love, Connection, The Good Stuff wins? Is it possible? I don’t know, but here goes.

Sign up in the comments with your own I Commit To Joy, and let’s do this together.

Corinne

PS And when I finished writing this blog, I had a nudge to check out the website domain name again. ‘What?! Yeah, yeah, I know it’s just a test so I have to Commit To Joy in real life and practice not being bothered about such tiny things, I get it…’. Search…

committojoy.com was available, and this time it didn’t even matter. I laughed out loud and I bought it. Watch this space!