Joy felt as if she were living in No (Wo)Man’s Land – between the temporal and the universal. It was an unenviable place between two worlds. Tired of her lower state of consciousness, she was learning in her meditation practice to focus her awareness at a level beyond everyday emotions and thinking. When she managed it, she immediately felt very peaceful. She was determined to make peace her habitual state of mind – not just during those minutes of meditation but throughout the entire day. Somehow she had to achieve this. She couldn’t keep living as if part of her self were dead; as if she couldn’t wait to get through life – to get to the end. There had to be more meaning, more significance to this experience of living life as a human.
Joy was aware that her physical body was never fully relaxed. Whenever she stopped to take notice, she realised that she was frowning, clenching her fists or holding her breath. She found it required all her efforts to achieve relaxation. As soon as she took her mind off the task, she discovered her muscles had tensed up again. She remembered the times her father, Dino, had taken her on a short holiday somewhere. Those were the rare occasions when she felt relaxed for slightly longer periods – hours, maybe even days. She would allow herself to be like a child again. Her father would organise their time, which would be filled with tennis and swimming, or outings into the countryside and to picturesque places. He would show great interest in her plans and ideas. If she needed anything, he would do his utmost to ensure she got it. Many people had commented that she was spoilt. Perhaps she was, but she was also extremely grateful. The sense of relaxation Joy felt during those trips away with her father was essentially a form of surrender. She would let go of her troubles because she felt protected from her vulnerability, after which she could enjoy what she was doing without fear or worry.
Joy could see how it might be possible to surrender to Life, in a similar way. She could imagine giving up her fears, putting an end to her worrying and living with faith that whatever she needed would be provided. That surrender couldn’t be a passive act; rather, it required an actively aware state of mind.
Excerpt from “My Name is Joy”