I am always guided by Spirit when creating a theme for the Women’s Grounding Retreats I’ve hosted twice a year since 2019. Women of all ages and walks of life come to gather with other women, share what’s in their hearts, relax, and give themselves some respite from the challenges of everyday life. Once Spirit whispers the theme for the next retreat in my ear, it seems as though everything I see reminds me of that theme. It’s actually fun to watch the next retreat unfold in my mind’s eye as all the theme related experiences, poems, songs, meditations and even foods appear before me to be included in the next gathering. And just as I think I’ll never come up with a theme for the next retreat, Spirit whispers another theme in my ear and I’m planning the next one.
So, it didn’t surprise me when I was given “Moving to Joy” as the theme for my June 2023 retreat. “What is Moving to Joy?”, you might ask. Moving to Joy is moving away from the negative thoughts we have about ourselves and toward living IN JOY no matter what is happening around us. It truly is possible to live IN JOY even if everything isn’t going as we would like.
Life is about relationships. What would you say if you were asked the question, “What is the most important relationship you will ever have?” I hope you would say it’s the relationship you have with yourself. You can learn more about that relationship by writing or saying the words “I Am” and seeing what adjectives you write or say after those two little words. The words that come after the I Am are either helping you move to joy or keeping you stuck in a joyless existence. Try this exercise: Write the words I AM on a sheet of paper 20 times. Then go back and fill in an adjective after each I AM that describes you. Don’t stop and think about it, just write whatever comes to mind, allowing all thoughts about who you are to flow.
Analyze your results by noticing whether the adjectives are loving or not so loving. Then cut each I AM statement into small pieces. Put the statements you want to keep in one pile and the ones you want to get rid of in another pile. Now it’s time to consider all the negative ones and why you think they pertain to you. When you are ready, let those negative statements go by cutting them up in smaller pieces until you can’t read them anymore then throw them away with intention. Now study the positive loving statements. Close your eyes and restate them to your self several times. Now look in a mirror and restate them several times out loud. Post them on your mirror to read daily. That is your first step to having a loving relationship with yourself and the first step toward Moving to Joy.