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Trying Fails Me

March 5, 2010

I awoke like I often do, after making up sleep, with a bombardment of thoughts. In the middle of the night, it had come to me to call this entry Dodging Thought Bullets, but I awoke completely devoid of inspiration, and in something of a panic.

“Yikes! I’ve committed to writing a friggin’ blog about joy three times a week?! And to doing it when  the truth is, I’m not joyful all the time. Why, I’m not joyful at all! Not now; not this week…not for months! “On top of this I felt an urgent pressure to push the blog ahead; build an audience and get the word out — now!

Worse, I felt like I had to prove my own point — written in my entry #1 back on Monday — that “joy is something you allow.” So there I was, finding myself sitting up in my bed, trying to pressure myself into allowing joy to come through…

 “Just get out of the way, and let it come, Charley!”

 …pulling at the Chinese Handcuffs in my mind; pulling against myself like someone grabbing their own feet in an attempt to hoist themselves up.

And then I had a thought — I don’t know where it came from — what if I was right where I needed to be? What if this — this stuckness and cluelessness about getting to joy — was where I’m supposed to be? What if everything is coming along  just fine? The blog; this whole process?  And what if I was ok, just as I am  (yes, including all the pushing of myself; and all the stuckness)?

Suddenly, with a big sigh, tears of relief erupted from below. You mean, I’m not supposed to be joyful? It’s ok if I’m not there?  And then I burst into uproarious laughter, right along with the tears,  like the sun bursting through rain clouds. Laughing from relief, and at my silly self.

And what was this feeling that now was bubbling up like a warm glow from my chest? Dare I say it?!

The first time I’ve felt truly joyful in a long time.

So I don’t know how to make myself joyful! When I try, I fail!

And when I allow — not joy, but myself —  to emerge, and just be where and who I am, right now (and right now I’m a befuddled, silly goose) I’m there!

My problem is “I should just be where I am” is a concept way too simple for me to grasp. It eludes me like light when I close my hand around it.

And where I am right now is clueless about joy, and tired from trying, and from feeling  burdened with trying to prove myself worthy of your time and attention.

And, at least today, at least for myself,  that’s enough.

Today’s Joygasm: What if the “t” in “there” stood for trying? (As in trying to get somewhere). Take it away, and where are you?

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Diana Slattery permalink
    March 5, 2010 1:18 pm

    yeah, when blogging becomes a performance or an obligation, it is not so joyful. we’re just so enculturated to making our mark so to speak that it is hard to dodge those bullets. and harder to put the gun down. sounds like the karmic workshop is offering great teaching for you.

  2. March 5, 2010 1:29 pm

    Nice, Charlie

  3. March 5, 2010 3:58 pm

    You are in deep trouble, friend. I’d get out while you can. I mean, you can write this one only once–you know about not feeling joy, and feeling stuck, and the pressure to write 3 a week, and then the release, the tears and the joy–that’s all great, but what about next time? I wouldn’t want to be you. Maybe change the name of the blog to “The What I’m Feeling and THinking Today Project”–gives you a lot more leeway. I mean especially if you hit it big. You’re going to have to appear on OPRAH and BE JOYFUL???? God help you.

  4. Jessi permalink
    March 5, 2010 11:20 pm

    “Be With What Is”
    by Vasant Lad

    Life has its own momentum. Life has its own agenda. But the ego in its foolishness wants to control life. What is, is! “What is” is not static. It is ever evolving. “Should be, would be, could be,” are ideas, which is illusion. When you remain with what is, there is a death of ego. To love something means to accept it completely. Give complete awareness to what is and what is flowers and showers benediction on you. Look at what is with all your mind, with all your heart and all your gut. Then your grief, your attachment, your longing or your discontent will burst into pure bliss. This is your true nature. This life is most unique. Don’t waste it on trifles. Every moment, live it completely. Everything is here. The entire Universe is throbbing in your heart. The entire existence is breathing in your lungs. Surrender to what is is surrender to God. And in that surrender the door opens. When you surrender to what is, then what is ends. And what remains is the transformation of man. No religion can give you that. No guru can give you that. Do you have the gut, the courage to be with what is?

  5. March 7, 2010 6:52 pm


    You’re off to a great start! Provocative and inspirational. Who isn’t interested in cultivating joy? Thank you.

    Getting out of my own way, in order to allow truth to flow through, is a daunting yet imperative, lifelong, ever-changing journey. Is joy that truth? Sometimes….

    This requires ongoing and often challenging investigations of obstacles I face, emanating from both my perceptions of the outside world and those I have (more obviously) created for myself. (isn’t it ultimately all the same thing anyway? Isn’t “separation” an illusion?)

    As the sages say: the more we search, the more illusive our destination becomes…. Grasping for joy is not the answer…. Giving ourselves space to quiet down that annoying mental chatter and allow what is ever-present to emerge, in spite of our challenges, may be one helpful practice.. or as you said: laughing, crying, (yelling, screaming, talking with a friend, changing the subject, taking a hot bath, creating something, making love, helping Haiti, writing a blog, whatever…)

    I find that when i balance self-investigation with giving (without expecting a “return”) I am happier, if not more available to joy. Oh yeah, getting enough rest helps, too!

    You are giving a lot by starting this blog.
    Your joy is my joy.

    Rock on!

  6. March 8, 2010 1:35 am

    Hi Charley
    Your brother Richard passed your blog info on to me. I just wanted to encourage you to stay with it. You have a naturally charming and fluid style of writing and expressing yourself. That is enough joy to start the conversation.

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