Whole Life Magazine

June/July 2019

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12 wholelifetimes.com By Wendy Strgar IN JOY healthy living SEX TALK J oy is love's twin flame. The experience of joy happens in us when we are on the receiving side of love; in the reciprocity of romance, the harmony of family, or just the sheer visceral release of splashing in the water on a sunny day. Joy is how our body reflects feeling loved and loveable. And yet, for many of us remains a rarer, more difficult experience to capture than sadness or grief. In part, this is because most of us are better trained at giving rather than receiving. The familiar neurological pathways to discontent and sadness are well-worn and similar to the way we think about good sex; we often believe that joy is something that just happens to us. It's more authentic when it sweeps us up and is beyond our control. Like good sex, we erroneously believe if we work toward joy, planning time and strategizing to make it happen, it is not really joy. In truth, joy, like love and sex, is the grace resulting from the hard work of opening our hearts. While sadness, anger, and fear have a lot to teach, it is easy for these emotions to become imprinted on us, becoming a primary filter of our perception. It takes effort to open to joy because for many of us, it is unfamiliar territory. Try this 3-step process for embracing more joy this summer: u Believe in your own worthiness I had an old friend for a long time who often drove me to serious bouts of envy. What I was most envious about was her remarkable capacity for joy. She saw goodness everywhere around her. Wild animals were drawn to her side. She laughed and snorted freely at things that I barely perceived. In the end, she was a great teacher to me because of her understanding her intrinsic worthiness in life. I mistakenly attributed all of her joy to her happy circumstances, but I didn't understand how the joy itself was actually generating the gifts life kept sending her way. I share this story because unworthiness often shows up masquerading as judgment and jealousy over someone else's good fortune. I learned it doesn't get you closer to what you want most, which is the joy of knowing your own worth. u Build a visceral vocabulary of gratitude I have been training in a variety of spiritual healing techniques and I realized that as unique as these different practices are, they are all prayers to channel gratitude. The experience of gratefulness is opening your heart. Having not grown up with this most essential aspect of receiving, I had no idea what it felt like or even how to conjure it. Often, just saying thank you left me feeling hollow. But when I started to understand how just feeling better about myself was a form of gratitude, I realized how accessible gratitude became. It's there for the asking, and the more you do it, the wider your capacity to ask and receive becomes. u Surrender control over outcomes I am all about to-do lists and having a clear vision for the future I am working toward creating. These are powerful practices that guide our daily, even hourly choices, helping to stay focused. Yet it is easy to confuse this work of self-direction and accountability with the nervous habit of trying to make things turn out the way you want. Offering your efforts to your work, your relationships, and your goals is an act of generosity. Getting hung up on controlling how things work out is a dead end to joy. Surrendering control over the outcome is an act of faith and a burden lifted. Joy is available when you can show up without needing a specific result. Wendy Strgar, writer, teacher, and loveologist, is the founder and CEO of Good Clean Love, makers of Almost Naked 95%-organic lubricant. Carlos the Medium Evidential Medium What to Expect: Accurate Connections Clear and Concise Professionalism Direction Soul Healing and Closure carlosthemedium.com 703-825-7122 (se habla español) carlosthemedium.com Skype or Phone Readings Only $100 for 30 minutes It's Summer!

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