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creating space for joy

liz lamoreux

 

366::105

i opened my eyes (my heart) and took this photo . lake superior, april 2012

My daughter is discovering ways to move sand with rocks and sticks as she plays with her grandparents along the shore of Lake Superior. I stand at the water a few feet away, eyes closed, stomach and heart holding a few heavy pieces of this life. I listen to their laughter, the lapping water, and then for just a moment I hear only my breathing. 

I take a few deep breaths right here, feeling my feet beneath me, the sun warming my body, and the wind gently holding me. I focus on the space I create with each breath. Space inside me. Space around my heart. And with an exhale, I let pieces of what I do not need to carry slip out of me and sink into the earth.

Seeking a tactile reminder of this moment, I open my eyes and take a photo of a woman standing in the quiet joy that is creating space to move out of her head and back into her heart.

*****

Slowing down and noticing my breathing is one of my access points to joy. When I quiet the chatter in my head by sinking into the moment, I am gently pushed to see the beauty of simply being here. I notice the world around me, and my senses so often guide me to joy. And when I open up to joy, I feel myself mending and shedding the pieces inside me that no longer serve.

But it is a practice, this seeking joy stuff. It is something I have to cultivate and create space for. Coming to the page and writing about the moments where I find it (and documenting those moments through photos) help to remind me to listen to what I know and to keep on practicing.

*****

This week, Jennifer Louden, Marianne Elliott, and Susannah Conway have invited a few people to share some thoughts on creative joy. (Thank you ladies for asking me to play along as I love this topic!) The three of them are hosting a retreat on this juicy theme in June with workshops in writing, yoga, and photography. (Retreats about joy are a very very good thing!) Find out more about it here. And if you tweet, check out the #creativejoy hashtag this week.