In my facebook feed this morning there was not one but two posts about joy:
I remember my cousin Billy telling me when I was 11 years old that I was far too serious and that I should be outside playing enjoying my childhood.
Well contracting paralytic polio at age 5 and experiencing family violence do not create conditions to experience the joy that one hopes every child can experience. To quote Tom Robbins, "It's never too late to have a happy childhood."
I am so blessed that I have the opportunity to cultivate joy in my life; pure and true happiness.
Like last Sunday as I crushed that PR at the Bill Rodgers 5K Run/Walk 5K for Prostate Cancer:
And how is this for pure unbridled joy:
By putting down the anchor of having been a parentified child and feeling the weight of the world on my shoulders, I am free to live and run in joy. I run lighter without the burdens of fear, worry, guilt, blame and shame.
And it's not about joy in the doing. There is joy and happiness in Being.
Hearing the birds sing. Feeling the breeze. Listening to the ocean. Hearing my own heartbeat and appreciating the miracle of my life. Listening to music. Experiencing the change in the seasons here in New England. Sharing in the joy of others. Helping to heal the sorrow in the heart of another and knowing the joy of being able to give from an open, tender, raw heart.
What do you do to cultivate joy in your life? How do you weed the garden of your soul from all that prevents you from knowing and experiencing joy?
Wishing you a joy-ful day.
"Wait, I have one more goal," Mary McManus told her personal trainer in February of 2008 shortly after coming out of her toe up leg brace. "I want to run the Boston Marathon for Spaulding Rehab Hospital." Mary traded in her polio shoes for running shoes and embarked on the journey of a lifetime. Mary McManus was at the height of her career as a VA social worker when she was told by her team at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital’s International Rehab Center for Polio in December of 2006 that she needed to quit her job if she had any hope of preventing the progression of post polio syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease. In “Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility” Mary takes you on her seven year healing odyssey as a survivor of paralytic polio and trauma from her diagnosis, to taking a leap of faith to leave her award winning career at the VA to heal her life and follow her passion as a poet and writer. You’ll experience her trials, tribulations and triumphs as she trains for and crosses the finish line of the 2009 Boston Marathon and discovers the opportunity for healing in the wake of new trauma: the suicide of her nephew in 2011, and the aftermath of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. This is Mary's journey of coming home to her human form free from the influences of the ghastly ghostly invaders who had invaded her sacred earthly home. Her memoir includes journals and blog posts from her seven year healing odyssey. This is her journey of transformation and her message of healing, hope and possibility.
I donate 50% of royalty payments through on line sales to The One Fund to help Boston Marathon survivors and their families. Copies are also available at Brookline Marathon Sports. $5 of each book sold at Marathon Sports is donated to The One Fund.