Getting On the Joy Train

posted in: Photography, Your best life | 2


Showy Lady
Showy Lady

The weather gave us a one day respite from the frigid temperatures and I thought about going to the Como Conservatory but then decided that I had too many other things I should do.

I sat down at my desk and began working on a blog post. After about 15 minutes I found myself daydreaming about spending time wandering through the conservatory with my camera. As I became conscious of the daydream I felt a swelling of well-being in my heart.

“Ah… That’s it!” I realized. My heart is speaking to me.

I’m getting on the joy train.

I saved the blog post, shut down my computer, grabbed my camera and headed out the door to drive to the Como Conservatory. I realized that I had almost “shoulded” myself out of doing something that brings me great joy.

At the Conservatory I happily wandered through the warm humid air. Surrounded by green things growing and the scent of life, I could feel myself relaxing and sliding into joy.

Tree Fern Fiddlehead
Hawaiian Tree Fern Fiddlehead reminds me of gardens on the Big Island of Hawaii

“Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.” — Rumi

I’ve written in previous posts about my decision to follow joy in my life and the challenge I have experienced recognizing and acting on joy cues versus following mind games that disguise themselves as joy.

As I continue to explore the territories of joy, I find that I am still bewildered and misled by my thoughts more often than I would like.

What I am learning is that following joy means following the whisperings of my heart.

Following my heart takes a new kind of listening that requires that I shut off my thinking mind.

That’s not easy.

I have practiced mindfulness meditation for over 20 years and I can tell you that turning off my thinking mind is devilishly difficult.

Martha Beck suggests that the key to finding the way into the heart is “Wordlessness.”

“This is the key to Wordlessness, according to the wayfinders from all times and places—and it’s not just metaphorical. To navigate the wild world, you need to move your basic perception and analytical thinking out of your head and into the whole inner space of the body…

Menders of all times and places have taught that silencing the thoughts in our heads and opening to the experience of the body and emotions is the basis of all healing. It’s the only means by which we can reclaim our true nature or feel the subtle cues telling us how to find our way through life”

— Martha Beck, Finding Your Way in a Wild New World

But how do we master Wordlessness?

colorful fern frond
Color and rhythm of life

I am finding it more of a process of unlearning almost everything I was taught in school about intelligence.

It requires a kind of deep practice. At this point I experience it in brief flashes. This morning, I “got it” as a felt sense in my heart.

The things that help me “get it” more than anything else are spending time in nature, seeing beauty, practicing yoga mindfully, consciously letting go of attachment to any particular outcome, playing, and meditating.

What about you? Are you spending all your time in mind games that are unsatisfying? Is it time for you to get on the joy train?

May you walk in beauty.

Note: all photos in this post were taken during my joy junket at Como Conservatory.

Delicate fern
Delicate fern
Peculiar Plant
Fun plant!
Koi were swarming in the fish pond
Into the mystery
Into the mystery
Pink Lady's Slipper
Graceful Pink Lady’s Slipper
Sunken garden
A bright day in the sunken garden


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