Do you put yourself in handcuffs?

As many of you know, I have had the pleasure of performing for all different age groups.  At my most recent performance, I was oddly drawn to one girl who was sitting way in the back.  She was quite pretty and quite tall.  She had a nice figure and was wearing an AMAZING pair of high heeled shoes – spiked and about 5 inches.  She was scowling. 

As the concert progressed, more and more of the audience began to ‘light-up’ and get excited about the music. You could see their spirits dancing throughout the room, but not this girl.  She continued to scowl.  I purposely went to over to her, as part of the show, including her and acknowledging her coolness, but she continued to scowl.  I looked at her directly and smiled warmly and she looked away, scowling.  As I periodically looked in her direction, I noticed her friends had all slowly but surely released themselves from their preconceived expectations of cool behavior yet she remained somber. 

Now, I can be wrong, but as I watched her, I remembered being her age and believing that I needed to portray a certain level of disinterest and detachment in order to feel like I was cool.  I think this is what was going on.  Do you remember feeling this way?  Think early high school… In fact, I still see this behavior sometimes in young women in bars as they strut to the bathroom, staggering, looking unimpressed sporting pouty lips.  

Anyway, as time went by, I watched inner turmoil strain behind her face. I could see that her spirit wanted to be freed, to allow her a physical expression of the joy that was pulsing throughout the room, yet she deeply resisted.  In fact, she couldn’t last the entire concert and left right before the finale. She left alone. 

I festered about this girl. It bothered me that she felt that she couldn’t enjoy the concert.  I also contemplated that maybe she just hated the music but that wasn’t what I saw in her face. That is not what I felt.  We came together to learn from each other – I know this. 

My lesson in this experience was that I sometimes handcuff myself to an expectation, an idea about how something should turn out or of how I should act or even be received.  In doing this, I limit my own joy.  This is the opposite of living in the moment.  According to the Dali lama, the main purpose for being on this planet is to be happy, to experience joy. Sadly, we often limit our own joy because of the limits that we place on ourselves. That is COMPLETE INSANITY!!!  The expression of joy is pure love!  This love will heal our bodies, our lives and ultimately the planet.  Don’t handcuff yourself to anything that limits your joy.  Hold your arms open in acceptance and expression of pure love and say out loud “I am love. I am joy. I am happy!”  It can change your life.

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