Joi Aikens, love is not enough

This sweet Child, for she is all WONAN, my family with a Heart, Soul, Sprite & Mind the is Joy. I will share more about her from my Heart Later. Now read from her Heart… I am honored to share the space with her for Ever. Uncle Curtis

“Simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures. Simple in actions and thoughts, you return to the source of being. Patient with both friends and enemies, you accord with the way things are. Compassionate toward yourself, you reconcile all beings in the world.”

― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

 

As we are nearing the end of 2018, I am reflecting on this year. It has been a world wind, and while I have accomplished many things on my goal list, I still find myself thinking that I am still in the same place I was last year.

Rockdale High

I picked up this random journal that I had because I wanted to start writing. As I flipped through, I found an entry I wrote back in March 2018. There, staring back at me, were the words “Live your best life.” I didn’t remember writing this but I do recall that this has been the buzz phrase for 2018. I thought back to what must have been going on at the time that I wrote this and it dawned on me. It was March, and I was on a beautiful trip I won at work. I remembered being with one of my work friends on our way to an excursion. I don’t remember the conversation exactly, but I remember this beautiful friend proclaiming “I am just trying to live my best life.” This  proclamation struck me and it reverberated in my head for the duration of the trip.

Dog Sledding Go Joi

This statement must have left such an impact because it struck a nerve and it inspired me to write it down. But, why? Approximately 6 months ago, when my friend made this bold statement, she made it seem so simple and easy. Could it be? When I reread that particular journal entry, it was clear that back in March, I had just realized that were moments when I allow myself to experience being. In those moments, I feel pure joy, pure bliss. It is in those moments that I see with clarity and I see truth. In those moments, I experience peace that surpasses all understanding. And in those moments, the only thing that matters is me and the recognition that I am one with all that is. I have slivers of these moments, but the rest of the minutes, hours, and days, I am plagued with busyness of mind. Do you know that we humans think thousands of thoughts a day? It is has been said that we actually think 60,000-80,00 of thoughts to be exact. Thoughts like…. “ what do I need to do to get ahead”, “ how do I make myself more loveable, more worthy”, “ who do I need to be or what do I need to do to for someone to see me”? Of Course these thoughts are buried somewhere in between the other thoughts like “I forgot to return that phone call” or “I need to put gas in the car”, or “am I going to be able to make this deadline.”   Any variations of these thoughts are on constant repeat in my head, and when I am sleep (not aware) these thoughts run the show called my life. And when these thoughts are running the show, it looks a lot like a new year’s resolution I will never keep, I cannot ever seem to get it right, or better yet, I am always going to have to struggle in order to have the life I want. Sounds familiar? We are not alone. More and more, I am seeing people around me die of heart disease, stroke, diabetes related complications, and cancer. Yes, I know that if you have a certain condition and you refuse to change your lifestyle, you will likely suffer consequences. But these are only symptoms and there are deeper root causes. A lot of health issues can be traced back to stress. STRESS…. Diss-ease… Did I mention that for some people who worry, they try and soothe themselves by overeating? And most times, it is not the best choice of food. Then there are some who tries to fill a void in their life with things. The satisfaction is fleeting and then they are left with a debt that seems like it will never be paid off. Then there are the sleepless nights. The list does go on. I hope you can get the picture.   Here, my friends, is where I get real vulnerable. I am that girl still fighting, trying to figure this thing called life, living in my own personal toil and turmoil. I am that girl that looks back over the several years of her life and see where the disappointments seem to out-weigh the accomplishments. I am that girl who feels that it is only a matter of time before she breaks from the weight of the world that she carries every day.

Six months ago, I realized that I had it wrong and I am starting to see that I am not alone. Instead of trying to live our best lives, we have been trying to live an idea we have of what a successful well lived life looks like. So we fight to get ahead, we steal time from those people and things that matter the most and give it away, we hurt ourselves and others. We miss out on true opportunities of love, laughter, and connection.   These are the things I believe we are truly chasing. But somewhere we believe that they will come someday, after our hard work, not realizing that by our very actions, we are chasing what we want away. We don’t realize that we can have these things right this minute but the caveat is, we will never have those things unless we choose them. And while we are at it, why not go big and make today that day we make that choice. Guess what friend, it aint gonna be easy. You see, we have built a habit of being this way over the course of several years. Now we are going to have to build a new habit. The good news is that every single day that we open our eyes, we get to choose again. And in every hour, minute, and second, we get to choose again and again. How, you say? In March 2018, my friend, who has no idea that she made an impact on me with one simple statement, struck a nerve. You see, I was gifted with a trip to beautiful Beaver Creek, Colorado where they had sunny days, and beautiful pristine snow. I was with the people I enjoyed, I was meeting new people, and of course there were these dogs. You see, we were preparing for a dog sled excursion. It was magnificent. The dogs had jobs they were going to do and they were so excited to get to go on a run. That day we learned how each dog was trained and held their position. We learned the connections that each dog had with another and the human that was controlling the pack. We laughed, we had hot apple cider, and we even got to hold 8 day old pups. It was pure heaven. I soaked it in. I inhaled and exhaled. I had found the peace that surpassed all understanding. In that moment, I realized that I was in the presence of GOD (the universe, creator , all knowing, ever present being). I also realized that this all knowing, all loving, all powerful being always is. The only thing that separates me from the all is me!

For the past 8 years, I have been on a search for the peace that surpasses all understanding. To me, that peace was synonymous with having a relationship with GOD. I wanted this more than my next breath. This desire set me on a journey that I would not even imagine of chance meetings, spiritual circles, trips, and unlikely friends. Once, I had a massage therapist tell me that sometimes when she works on a client, she gets an image in her head. She said that she has always tried to relay what she saw to her clients. Her tactics always depended on that person’s receptivity. For me, she just came out and said that she saw B. She said, it was not a bee, or anything else with it. Just a “be.” I laughed and I told her that I have heard this before.   Fast forward, a few months later.   I was at a friend’s house in rural Monroe, Georgia. We were doing an activity where we would look around the land in search of an item that called to us. My friends brought back things like, flowers, rocks, and feathers. What did I find? A Seashell. It was shocking to say the least. We proceed to go around the circle and share why we connected to our item. When it was my turn, I expressed how I could not get past the fact that there in rural Georgia where there was no ocean, I found a seashell. My very intuitive and wise friend shared with me that it was simple. I just needed to learn how to be and watch how treasures no one can imagine will come to me.   The lesson was that the secret and true gift was in just being. It dawned on me that the peace that I so fervently searched for and wanted more than my next breath was actually in my next breath and the only true way to experience it was in the being.   That was the gift, the lesson that life gave me.

Back to September 2018, I realize that I have not had radical change in my life from this beautiful aha moment. I am, also, aware that it is because I have not chosen it. I heard it stated that “if you want things in your life to change, you have to change things in your life.”   Well, today, I choose. In one of my spiritual circles we talk about how we must be willing to surrender. Surrender what? We have to be willing to surrender the fight. This requires a willingness to put down our armor and our weapons. Ahhh, you may be saying, “but I don’t fight and I am not at war.” When I am talking about the armor; I speak of our armor of fear, worry, and stressing as a means of being safe. Our weapons are not literal weapons, but they are more dangerous, because they are our judgements of us and others, self-deprecation, and our need to please others. This choice will take constant work. I must not sleep but I must stand watch so that I do not fall back into old habits. And when I do, I must have compassion enough to know that I did and I can correct it in any moment. Also, here is where you come in. I am inviting you to join me on this quest to discover how we can truly live our best lives. I will share with you my aha moments, my explorations in energy, travels, and how I am learning to live my best life. Who would have thought this little girl from Conyers, Georgia would find herself in Beaver Creek, dog sledding. And who would have thought that one simple statement would lead me to want to free myself in order to live my best life.   But you know the saying “God works in mysterious ways.” Well, Atma Namaste my dear friend, I hear ya. My soul salutes that divine spark in you.

 

Chef Joi is all joy Love you & so Proud of you

Want you join me? I look forward to hearing how your journey is going. In the meantime… Blessings of LOVE, LIGHT, and POWER to each of you. Here is to us getting out here in this world and LIVING OUR BEST LIVES!

 

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