Journey to Joy
Instructions for living a life.
Tell about it.— Mary Oliver
A very warm welcome and huge thanks for joining me at the start of my travel adventures. I’m new to blogging and my reason for being here is to capture my experiences through photos and writing as a record for myself and also in response to requests from family and friends to share.
Another reason though is to follow a desire that has been bubbling for many years to write more frequently and to be brave enough to share my personal experiences more openly. I find Mary Oliver’s work inspirational and her beautiful words above unfold from a place of deep presence, that arises through stillness, listening, observing and sensing. Soaking up the world around her and paying attention, this is my intention too as I make my way to India on Thursday 26th December to the festival Utsava Maa in Jodhpur, Rajasthan.
Why ‘Journey to Joy’? I’m very aware that life is not always joyful and in fact it can be downright miserable and for some at times unbearable. In the words of Rumi;
“Being a candle is not easy: in order to give light, one must first burn.”– Rumi
I believe that we are here to experience all aspects of this being human and to do so with as much kindness, gratitude and joy as we can muster.
Science tells us that we are wired with a negativity bias and we have to work at finding the good and the joy in ourselves, in others and in our world. I’ve become much more aware of my own negativity tendencies and how they can be fuelled when we don’t give ourselves space to see them and to cultivate a more joyful approach to life. So here I am giving myself the gift of space and simplicity so that I can learn to find some joy even when life feels tough.
If you’ve stumbled across this blog and have no idea who I am then in short I’m a woman in her fifties who is finally realising her passion for travelling. I’m also realising a yearning to live life with greater simplicity and am setting off with a backpack, that is currently too full and too heavy! Still some more shedding to do before I fly…….
I was interested to read a young lady’s travel blog that described ‘flashpacking’ vs ‘backpacking’ – a way of travelling that allows for a little more luxury, so think ensuite instead of hostel – mind you the latter is still an option apparently if you are feeling like being more sociable. So I’ll gratefully accept that to travel in my fifties rather than my twenties allows me to do so with perhaps a little more ease and comfort should I chose to 😊.
I have spent much of my life planning and organising and this can be an invaluable skill when used wisely but left unchecked it can also become stifling and lifeless. So I’m now willing to experience letting life unfold and seeing what the Universe offers. I’ll be holding these words from Jon O’Donohue close to my heart…
I would love to live
Like a river flows
Carried by the surprise
Of it’s own unfolding– Jon O’Donohue
Mary Oliver invites us to “Be Astonished”. If I become busy organising and thinking of the next place to visit or things to do then I may easily miss the wonder and awesomeness of what is here right now. So whilst I have a whole list of places I would love to explore my plan is that there is no plan. Staying open and attentive to what life has in store for me can feel scary but oh so wild and exciting too.
To be honest I’ve always loved variety and change but usually I’ve engineered it and worked hard to make things happen. I do feel there is an intrinsic desire as human beings for certainty which is fascinating since nothing in life is certain except that one day we will move on from this world to some place else…
So whilst I’m here I’ll do my best to live this life as Mary Oliver instructs by paying attention, being astonished and telling about it.
I’d love to hear from you with any travel suggestions, experiences that you’d like to share or any general observations on life and how to live it with kindness, gratitude and joy…..