Sara Whitman

Joy: The Art of Soaking It In

Filed By Sara Whitman | April 14, 2010 6:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: relaxation, soaking it in, unfettered joy

When was the last time you felt joy? Pure, clear, heart totally full joy?

I can remember being on the water in downeast cand coming up on a shoal where there were seals and suddenly a bald eagle landed, not more than 5 feet from me. I was alone, with the seals and eagle, not a sound but the wind and water.

It was glorious. Tears came to my eyes.

When Zachary did his presentation about Thomas Becket, and answered a question about religion and the king with an awareness about society and fairness that simply blew me away. I thought to myself, this boy has an old soul.

When I watch Jake play his harp- his concentration and the beauty of the sound. For those few minutes, everything seems to stop for me. He cannot help but be musical. It is sweet to see his mother's genes shine through- although he is into improv and she is most definitely not.

When Ben was dancing at the Black Eyed Peas concert. He had been unhappy and struggling for so long, to see his happiness, filled my heart. His body moved, arms pumping in the air, his pals surrounding him- music touches him on a level I don't always appreciate. I did that night.

At that same concert, looking around during the song "Where is the Love?" and seeing thousands of arms in the air waving in unison to a song that is about social justice (remember when the Peas were about social justice?), I felt a huge lump in my throat. Look, I said to my friend standing next to me, it's amazing. It's about love and Jesus, and humanity.

The last time Jeanine and I made love and she held me after and said the words I love you, Sara, something I hear daily, a million times over but following the intensity and connection it felt like the first. It was the safest place in the world, in her arms, in that moment.

All were moments of pure joy. A friend had asked me if I thought we leave our bodies during intense joy and happiness the way we do during trauma. For a long time, I could not remember feeling joy, minus the days my children were born.

Perhaps, on some level, I do leave my body. It is so hard to take in, to accept and cherish. Or maybe I'm too afraid to take it in fully.

I am always waiting for the other shoe to drop. Sometimes? It doesn't.

As I go into my week long trip with Ben and Jake, I am going to be mindful of joy. All too often the familiarity of pain and anxiety keeps me seeing the good.

There is much joy in my life. I think I simply need to learn the art of soaking it in.

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Thank you for this post. I was feeling very depressed tonight and I really needed someone to make me think about times I've felt joy. Really, truly, thank you.

thanks, samwise. I was feeling pretty blue when I was writing it- thinking I'd never really felt joy.

then I remembered the eagle...

Where's the like button! LOVE THIS!

Thanks Sara. I also cry when in pure joy. The last time? I know there are some who will not relate to this but the last time was yesterday evening during church. As the pastor was giving a message about not judging others I looked around at the diversity sitting in the pews and was overwhelmed with love for each and every person, including those who struggle with acceptance of GLBTQ souls. I believe everyone there was getting the message of look to our own individual failings and never judge others. Tears.

This isn't the last time I felt joy, but it's one I wanted to share. :)

Do you remember when we last saw each other and I gave you a big hug? That was a joyful moment. *big cheesy grin*

Just a few minutes ago when I was out digging up the soil so I could plant more peas. Out in the yard there were daffodils all over the place, the Japanese quince were a glorious red, violets were beginning to bloom and I looked at a bluejay who was looking back at me. I felt calm and peace, just for those few moments. A religious experience if ever.


Every moment of every day.

Right now.

Now, too.

And I've talked about that before...