Traveling with Joy

 Boost Creativity and Productivity through Bliss

Last week I wrote about the book Get High Now (without drugs) and, somewhat coincidentally, this week I find myself blissed out to an extent I haven’t felt in quite a while, and as a result, my creativity is humming.

I know it’s probably foolish to analyze this. The minute you try to grab a hold of the bluebird of happiness, it craps on your head and flies away, right? But on the other hand, I have noticed there are certain nests, certain seeds you can put out that attract that fickle creature more than others.

So, boldly risking the bluebird’s wrath I ask, why? Why am I so damn happy right now? I’m not any thinner, richer or more famous than I was a month ago… and that’s all any of us really wants, right?

Last week I mentioned some of the natural highs to be found through meditation, and I’m pretty sure that is part of my current upswing. All I can say is, if two years of yoga and meditation makes you feel this good, I can understand why the Masters just sit around on mountain tops beaming all the time.

I also just got back from a short vacation and maybe that’s another factor. For four years I’ve been dreaming about a trip to see the giant sequoia and redwood trees in northern California. For me, to be in the presence of these ancient beings was a pilgrimage akin to what I imagine a Muslem would feel going to Mecca or a Catholic visiting Rome – a deep spiritual connection that reminded me of who I am at the deepest levels, and filled me with gratitude just to be on this planet, healthy, free and soaking up beauty.

I realize most of us can’t just make a trip like that any time we need a change of attitude (I certainly can’t), but it occurs to me that there are places closer to home where I can experience a similar shift in attitude… except, too often I’m just unwilling to make it happen, believing I have to do this and have to do that, RIGHT NOW.

But if one glorious day off primes my creative juices and makes the next six days twice as happy and twice as productive… why the hell do I resist it so much?

Maybe the trick is to routinely take the time to pull our heads out of whatever hole they are normally stuck in and go look at something completely different and wonderful until we feel that “vacation feeling,” that relaxing shift of mind and body that means we’ve remembered there is a big universe out there, and whatever it is that we’ve been so intent on doing is just an infinitesimally small piece of it.

What matters is not how far we travel in miles, but in spirit (how many times have we crossed oceans to arrive at exotic places, and yet come home unchanged)? We need to wander in a sacred space, whether museum, temple, river, or in our own backyard, until we remember both that we are eternal beings, AND that this life is finite, precious, and must not be wasted.

I’m finding that when talking about happiness I want to contradict myself, because when I try to tie it up too neatly, I feel it starting to ebb away… So maybe that is another clue: finding balance on the knife’s edge between the mental and emotional, work and play, motion and stillness, the material and the spiritual, the constraints of time and the sense of limitless expansion…and most of all, traveling through life in service to something greater than us, which, in the end, is us, after all.

Because it’s all love. You, me and the tree, the cars and the stars. Just love disguised in different clothes.

More Resources for Virtual Bliss:  These sites are like Scooby snacks for our spiritual and creative selves, to keep us going in between journeys.

Ashes and Snow is a photography exhibition, a novel, a film and an installation. But oh, these are not just any photos: they’re humans interacting with raptors, whales, big cats and elephants. Lots of elephants. This is a creative and spiritual masterwork. My favorite part is under the Enhanced experience, click the Explore tab to see large versions of the photos with music and spoken excerpts from the novel. You can click on different parts of each photo to get to other photos: a fluid maze of beauty. Go. See.

Rob Brezny – is a raunchy sage and a poetic mage who works magic with words. His site is called Free Will Astrology.  You can read any of the horoscopes (not just your own) and be amused, dazzled, enlightened. And then there are his books, many excerpts of which are found on the site. His bible is Pronoia, the antidote to Paranoia, the belief that the world is conspiring to shower you with blessings. This is not shallow, sunshine up your skirt, Polly Anna-type pap. It’s history, mythology, poetry, statistics, exercises, and symbols. Pure, joyous genius.

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Also check out this related site, Pronoia Resources which is like a newspaper of good news and a daily dose of beauty, like this photo of a solar flare.

The Beauty That is Everywhere – One woman’s love notes to the world. Lisa Jones Crowley casts her net wide, finding joy in things like station wagons, small talk, drying herbs, old glass bottles, dreams and washing machines, and she writes lovely little essays and prose poems that make you see the beauty that she sees in these magical, mundane things. Like this: Angels in Plain Sight. She also has lots of links to clips of TV shows, movies, books, art and other stuff that she finds bliss-inducing. You can get lost in this kaleidoscope site, just browsing, just delighted.

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