In reply to by Open

Thanks Open. I was able to work into this some this morning.

A subtle discomfort in my right scapula shot me back into an experience as a 15 year old freshman in high school in the weight room. A group of around 20 guys had been lifting weights together every day after school for a several weeks for offseason basketball training, and we were all testing our "1 rep max" bench press to see how we'd improved it from our first try the month before. I'd never touched a weight in my life to that point so "fitness" and "weightlifting" was all new to me. Well, after a month straight of highly disciplined practice following a strict program, when it came down for all of us test our progress with a new 1 rep max, on the "big day" I couldn't even do what I'd done the first try four weeks ago. My spotter was caught by totally by surprise and the weight dropped like a lead stone on my chest. I heard a shocked and scornful, "Eric!" as my good friend and lifting partner helped pull the weight up off me.

Failure is never fun, particularly in the showoff alpha male world of hierarchy and sport, but in this case the public humiliation was extra infuriating because I'd been so disciplined in working so hard every day, only to be worse off than when I started. 

In the meditation I came to realize the failure was from overuse - my muscles weren't being given the requisite time and nutrition to heal and recover, especially since I'd just innocently jumped into this program full out. It wasn't necessarily my disciplined effort that was at fault - it was because I was following someone else's program that wasn't appropriate for me. And crucially, I was doing it more for the challenge than for the sake of joy itself. I wanted to prove something, to be bigger and better than I was.

I asked and felt into what's holding me back from following my joy, NOW my Soul in every moment then? And a series of related experiences unfolded. I felt and saw how so many times when I took steps to follow my joy - painful destruction occurred. In a sudden, shocking and traumatic manner - at the exact moment when joy is at its peak.

There is a deep fear in me for "following my joy" because the rug is always ripped out from under me. 

- playing basketball, making an amazing long range three point jump shot - and tearing cartilage in my right ankle on the landing.

- riding my bike as a little boy the first time with my mom, opening my mouth to shout for joy - that exact moment a wasp flew in and stings the back of my throat 

 - this spring, sharing a special moment with my daughter on the trampoline, where she'd broken through her fear - and snapping the 5th bone in my right foot while literally jumping for joy. In a boot for several months

- not being able to freewheel on my own land for half the year - due to ridiculously itchy welts that last for weeks from chiggers (spider parasites invisible to the naked eye.)

Whatever imaginative journey I put together - there's always that nagging doubt, that fear, that no matter how high I may fly, there's always the lurking specter of being suddenly, shockingly betrayed by Life in the very midst of joy.

Dramatic I know - ;P