What a fantastic day it is for a walk in our SF Bay area! The weather reminds me of Hawaii, temperate and humid. Thunder rumbles in the distance. Spring has arrived on time with pungent earth smells released by a week of rain, birds chirping loudly, a fledgling hawk screeching as its mother approaches with a meal in her talons, fresh green ferns and yellow daffodils popping out under oak trees on loamy slopes.
Nature’s exuberance will not be denied!
Exuberance! Remember that feeling?
It’s the dog’s tail when you say “walk?”
It’s the swagger of a young boy in his blanket cape wielding his duct-tape and wooden sword.
It’s the twirling, whirling and laughter of little girls.
It’s the giddiness and innocence of falling in love for the first time.
It’s the way the world sings, trees and all.
It’s life loving being alive.
It’s source energy reveling in the experience of physical form.
Exuberance is the music that runs through us all, but we have become really good at turning it off, tuning it out, devaluing it, making it an obstacle to getting real. I’m not kidding – an obstacle.
As a child, my exuberant singing at bedtime often brought a “good night!” from down the hall. True, it was necessary for me to get some sleep and it never failed to scare me silly as it stunned me out of my reverie.
Other variations with which we are all familiar are:
“Somebody’s going to get hurt!”
“You’ll poke an eye out with that thing.”
“Who do you think you are?”
“What will the neighbors think?”
I laugh when I think of saying these things to the daffodils or the fledgling hawk.
I knew exuberance as a kid. We were all fledgling hawks at some point, circling ever higher toward the sun, that symbol for passion. I had a passion for making things, for creating plays, for make-believe scenarios, for writing stories, for teaching other kids how to do arithmetic on the chalk board in my garage. I would not have called it passion then and I certainly would not have called it exuberance. I would have probably simply said I was having fun. I had an idea of something I’d like to try and I set about the task of making it real. In those days it was all about what I could create simply for the fun and play of it, the exploration.
As time went by and the educational system got hold of me, my focus turned more to what I could get for succeeding and what the consequences were for failing. Let’s say I was a good student and maybe too good. (For more on success and failure see my last post “Failure and Success.”
We say we have lost our innocence. We’ve become worldly. We say we are grown up now. And our hearts are in pain for it all. I’m not totally clear here, but I believe there is a way to reclaim our innocence and it has to do with holding the more real perspective of who we really are.
Say “I am” out loud and let the numinous silence that follows in-form you of a more real you than all the identities and self-images you’ve held could convey.**
Here’s the thing about exuberance – it’s not something that comes to us because of something we do, get or have. It is something that already exists as can be seen all around us on these fine spring days. Exuberance comes from exuberare which is abundance. We are abundant in our aliveness. The only reason we don’t know that, don’t feel it, is because we’ve choked it off, pruned it back, made it a cause for humiliation, embraced cynicism, let fear tell us we can be pretty much exiled for being overly exuberant.
Exuberance is not something we do, it is something we allow. When we are exuberant, we allow the life force to sing through us freely. It moves us, it makes noise, it dances, it celebrates. My guess is it also keeps us healthy.
If you’ve lost your exuberance, your passion, don’t go looking for it. Stop judging it, criticizing it, blaming it, stuffing it. Allow it to live in you, through you.
Invite life to express its magnificently creative self through you,
the only you that ever was
and ever will be.
my darling snowflake,
my dancing mirage of stardust,
** for more on “I am” see my post: Tree of Life (the Movie) and I Am (not the movie)
copyright(c) March 2012, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved