Cultivating Joy ~*~ In The Midst Of It All…

HibiscusMos6.23.16

I have a very wise friend named Bekah. She is an advocate of not postponing joy, of seeking it in the middle of whatever is going on in our lives. I have been slow to embrace this but today I turned my face toward the sun. This is after one of the hardest days I have had in a very long time after a sleepless night when I was so filled with fear and anxiety I shook uncontrollably most of the day. Finally enough is enough and today, after a decent night’s sleep, I got up determined to turn things around. Bekah is right, you don’t postpone joy.

Today I created two new pages for Pastiche in what will be the last issue, due out September 1. I started knitting again, working on a crazy quilt shawl that I started months ago and put aside to knit a baby blanket for my new grandson who was born May 31. I haven’t knitted at all since I finished the baby blanket and it was something I really needed to be doing. Busy hands help turn the mind over from depression to a kind of ease so necessary to create the fertile ground where joy grows. And today when I was outside with the dogs I photographed the above Hibiscus moschuetos, a stunner with giant blossoms. This year it is all the more precious because before the house went on the market three months ago I had the whole back yard cleaned out. My garden, being mainly in pots, and little glass houses, with garden art everywhere, was all stripped bare so that possible new owners could envision their own landscape. As the months have gone on and gardens everywhere are springing up and blossoming my bare landscape has made me very sad. I have some things planted in the ground but because it was physically easier for me I turned to planting in very large pots and my dozens of clematis, many roses, bulbs and flowers from seed are all gone. This one lone hibiscus, blooming with such wild abandon, made my heart soar. Even in a barren landscape there is joy to be found. I am sharing it here so I don’t forget.

I am not out of the woods. We are at a juncture where the house is still on the market but we are investigating a possibility that could keep me in the house. I am so hoping this can come to pass. It is this uncertainty that yesterday had me so unglued I couldn’t get my bearings and my whole system went haywire until it just broke down. But the thing is that no matter what happens in the end I still have to live my life day by day, through whatever comes, and afterward, and living frozen waiting for some kind of resolution before I embrace joy and the good things in life is no way to live and leads to frequent breakdowns and bumps in the road. Enough is enough.

I’m taking a deep breath and looking out over the vast expanse of years in my life ahead. We none of us know how long we have, nor do we have any control over that, but we do have control over how we live day by day. For a very long time I have been living so afraid that it wasn’t really living at all. I have to remind myself that this is a choice, that each day as it comes is a gift to unwrap and can be approached however I choose. The uncertainty is hard for anyone but uncertainty met with the steely grip of fear is crippling, and with an open heart one might be able to breathe and live their way through it one moment at a time. I am going to try to choose the latter.

The hibiscus is a wonderful teacher. Each blossom only lasts a day and then it is gone. There are many blossoms waiting to open and as they unfurl their amazing color and beauty seem to know no bounds. They put on a show for all they are worth not worrying that by nightfall they will close and droop and fall making way for a seedpod that will hold the promise of many more flowers to come. Each blossom has but one day and it opens come what may. Life is like that. Each day comes and goes in 24 hours and on any given day we have the possibility of hours of joy no matter what else may be happening. I have to remember to look for that joy and hold fast to it and live the rest with as much courage and fortitude as I can.

My friend Bekah is right. You can’t postpone joy, you can’t postpone life, it will come, come what may. Like the hibiscus I will try to bring all the beauty and love and heart that I have to bear on any given day, and breathe my way through the hard times. Easier said than done, I know, but a practice worth having.Β I am going to try my best.

MaitriSz4.4.16.09

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Comments

  1. That is one gorgeous flower Maitri! I’m so glad you got to capture its beauty. And thank you for mentioning me here. I am so touched <3 . This post makes me happy. I am glad to see you taking care of yourself by allowing some joy and doing some things you like while you wait for this house thing to settle. I am here with you all the way and if you ever need a reminder or if I can help in any way , don't hesitate to ask. Love you!

    • Thank you so much Bekah honey, you were truly my inspiration for this blog post! And yes with your inspiration and support I am starting to find ways to celebrate joy even as I sit in this uncertain place, the limbo place we’ve talked about that is so hard, but all the harder if it is devoid of joy. Thank you for being there, always, with so much love, a messenger of joy in all that you do. I appreciate you more than I can say.

      Sending you so much love…

      Maitri

      • Well you inspire me all the time, so if I can give some inspiration back I am glad! Limbo is no fun. Maybe we will have to make it dance, like the game Limbo πŸ™‚ Oy, I doubt I could limbo under a low pole as well as I used to now, but who knows. It is a funny visual anyway (picturing you and I trying to shimmy under a limbo stick haha). I got a little teary reading this just because I too appreciate you and your love. An abundance of it returned to you over and over again!

        • Thanks so much Bekah love, and oy vey if I tried to limbo under a pole now I would seriously hurt myself! But we can limbo in speech and thought and laugh our way through. Maybe limboing is joy-speak! I love you honey, we’ll talk soon!

  2. Maitri, so many lessons to be learned from the flowers and the trees. I understand. They have much to give us if we simply watch and listen. And they ask for nothing more than to be given the opportunity to give.

    May you live as much as you can in the joyfulness of each day and create for yourself the moments, one by one, memories are made of.

    May the blessings be…

    Meryl

    • Meryl,

      You are so right honey about the natural world, it is one of my greatest teachers. And thank you for your good wishes, I wish for you the same thing and all the happiness and joy a heart can hold.

      Blessings to you,

      Maitri

  3. these hibiscus are a joy to behold, no doot aboot it. just looking at your photograph made me gasp with pleasure. but the real flower is even more wondrous! a life without flowers for me is unthinkable. like a life without books, or music, or cats!

    thank you for reminding yourself to soak up all the joy you can, every day, no matter what the future holds. it’s such a powerful gift, to be able to do so. and as my old zen teacher (who taught me haiku) used to say: “practice, practice, practice!”

    xo
    ka

    • Thank you so much sweet Ka, and yes they are indeed a joy to behold, especially since I had my whole back yard stripped nearly bare when the house was going on the market, my usually floriferous back yard is so bare that when some rare thing DOES come up it is such a gift! And righto, practice, practice, practice! πŸ™‚ No doot aboot it!

      Love you honey,

      Maitri

  4. Olive Appleby says:

    Darling Maitri……….great post as always. If you can stay in your awesome home that would be truly wonderful. Positive thoughts for that. Fear does get a grip, as you say we have to leave it behind and move forward joyfully. I love trees and am watching the swallows doing their sky dance everyday, such unadulterated pleasure. Here the sun is shinning, my gorgeous Mollie Collie is by my side, I have a coffee, what’s more to want. With much love and hugs to you all….
    OliveπŸ’πŸ’πŸ’πŸ’–πŸ’‹

    • It sounds like a lovely time Olive honey, the trees, the sun, your dog, and coffee, you’re right, what else is there? Sending you love and hugs right back, and here’s to learning to leave fear behind us…

      Maitri πŸ™‚

  5. Kateryne says:

    Beautiful flower. It’s awesome to see you being open to enjoying your “present”. Whatever happens with the house you will thrive, not just survive because you aren’t putting all your life into what building you live in. I see such lovely thoughts that will help others. I’m sorry to hear you aren’t going to continue your magazine. It is inspirational and appreciated. Hugs kate

    • Hello dear Kateryne… I would love to continue to do Pastiche but I would need a lot more subscribers to make it financially feasible. It’s a lot of work, which I love, but there have to be enough people to support it along the way. And yes, I am trying to thrive here on this day, writing, knitting, working on Pastiche, loving the pugs, and on I go.

      Wishing you all good things and sending hugs…

      Maitri

  6. Sandra Carter says:

    Your beauty and wisdom touch me.

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