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I love nature. I got out of the van this morning after driving my daughter to school and saw the rose bushes by our front door – they are COVERED in beautiful flowers that are colorful and sweet smelling and lovely to behold. There is something energizing about things that grow and bloom and flourish. I could FILL a garden FULL of flowers and spend all of my time there just taking in that divine energy.
I drive a big 12 passenger van. When you have nine people to transport it’s about the only thing you’ll all fit in comfortably … especially when the kids get to be adult sized. You can probably imagine the amount of gasoline a large van uses … a lot. I don’t believe it to be super economical of course, I only know that it’s necessary for us at this time in our family’s life … and I’m actually really grateful that we are able to get to where we need to go. It’s a tool to help us get from point A to point B – nothing more.
One of the dashboard settings is “fuel range.” It tells me how many miles I can drive until I will need to refuel. I keep it set at this setting so I can easily determine how far I can go until I need to buy gas again. Thankfully, we don’t go a ton of places all together all of the time (that would get CRAZY with 9 people!), so I don’t have to buy gas all that often; but when I do fill the gas tank up I look at that “gauge” telling me I can go however many hundreds of miles it says and I am always grateful to live in a time and place that allows me the freedom to have this luxury.
I mowed the lawn last week and as I was mowing, the lawn mower ran out of gas. I had ALMOST finished the whole yard, and at the very end the mower just stopped. There is not a gauge on the lawn mower to tell me how much gas is in the little tiny tank. Not that I know of anyway, and so I had no way of knowing when it would run out. I suppose in time, I would learn how much of the yard I can mow before the gas tank will get to empty, but last week there wasn’t that convenient gauge that I could look at and determine where I was at, fuel-wise.
When the mower just stopped running my immediate reaction was not “oh, it must have run out of gas,” I remember sort of going, “what? that’s weird.” And then within a moment I realized it must have run out of gas and sighed and walked back to the shed in the backyard to carry the heavy gas tank out to the mower so I could fill it up with fuel.
This is not a huge thing, it’s not super annoying. It is just a tiny inconvenience. It would be MUCH easier to have that handy gauge on the mower to tell me how much more I can mow before I’ll need to put gas in the tank. That would be easier. This way is fine … it works, but because I have a car I know there is an easier more convenient way to gauge gas in the tank.
A gauge is a tool used to measure something. In terms of a car, a fuel gauge tells you how much gas you have and allows you to know when you need to get more so you will not run out of gas and ruin your car or be stranded somewhere undesirable. You get to choose to fill up your gas tank whenever you want of course. You can wait until it’s almost empty or you can keep it above half full if you’re one of those people who like to be on top of things more. I have never run out of gas because I am one of those “likes to be prepared” people. I don’t think there’s a “right” or “wrong” way … there’s just the way that works for you. I personally would HATE running out of gas with a bunch of little kids in my van and so I watch that gauge and it tells me when I need more fuel and I fill it up before it gets too low.
Did you know that you have a “gauge” within you? It is there to help guide you so you don’t end up “out of gas in an undesirable location.” It’s not a fuel gauge, it’s more like GPS or homing beacon … an internal compass of sorts. It is there to help YOU gauge which way to go, what things to do, what will help you grow, how you can expand your soul.
I call it the “joy gauge” … I have heard others call it an “internal guidance system.”
- Some people call it their intuition, the holy spirit, God, the Universe, their inner energy, their guardian angels, etc. – it is that space or energy within you that helps you know which “way” to go.
- It is unique to each individual … mine is for me, yours is for you.
- It is always right. Even if other people look at the guidance you receive and don’t understand, that doesn’t matter … your guidance system is guiding YOU to YOUR potential and it will not lead you on the wrong path.
- It takes “faith” or trust to follow it.
- It is FOR you … meaning that it is there to help you know which pathway to take to your growth and higher potential.
- It is sometimes hard to hear … it takes listening with a clarity that doesn’t come from anything outside of your being, you actually have to “turn off” the voices outside of you to be able to hear it most clearly.
- The more you “listen” or heed your gauge’s guidance, the more guidance you’ll receive and the easier it will be to hear and know when it’s guiding you.
Do you know why JOY is the gauge’s “system” of guidance?
Because joy is your divine potential.
In the place where you are MORE than you are today … expanded being … there is more love, more excitement for life, more peace, more life, more light, more JOY. (“Men are that they might have joy” after all … that is our “reason” for existing.)
I think defining joy is a key … and I think you have to figure out what “joy” means to YOU. Ask that space within to bring things into your experience that fill you with joy so you can KNOW what joy IS.
For me, joy is this expanded place that is limitless in nature. It is MORE. It is happiness, yes, but more clear, more pure, more light, more easy, more relieving, more freedom, more full of love than just happiness. It is that space where your heart will burst because the joy is so great. And it feels SO good. It is the “burning in the bosom” heart warming “I love this life” “I feel free” spot that you desire deep down in the foundation of your being. (expanded joy brings a feeling or lightness, ease, and freedom)
That is joy. And that feeling is how your soul is guiding you.
If it fills your heart and soul with joy? Go that way.
If it is the opposite of joy? (contraction, fear, suffering, hate, anger, frustration, worry, stupor of thought, control, bondage, negativity, etc.) then don’t go that way.
It’s as simple as that.
Is there sometimes fear in unknown things? Yeah, there is … but overall is the thought of the new thing exciting, expansive, and joyful? Do you WANT to do it even though it’s scary because it’s unfamiliar? Do you see that you will grow in wisdom or love or light? Then it’s FOR you, it is your divine potential. Go that way.
I could talk forever about this and the truth is you have to figure out your own gauge. You have to follow your own joy. You have to go toward the light within you. Your way to your divine potential is unique and individual and will be your own brand of joy. It won’t look like my way, don’t go MY way … go the way that sets YOUR soul free.
Every moment I realize that I have the opportunity to choose what lightens my experience or to choose those things that bring heaviness and burden. I get to choose … but the gauge within me helps me know which things will ultimately be FOR my benefit or not. And when I feel joy, peace, love for life, excitement, relief, ease, lightness? Then I can KNOW with a certainty, that I am on the right path for my journey. Those feelings are the breadcrumbs leading me to the divine potential of my soul. They are part of that gauge within … that divinely appointed system to help me get to where my soul WANTS to go.
It’s not about going somewhere some entity outside of me thinks I should be that has nothing to do with me … it’s about what my unique soul – my literal energy – is calling for within the very foundation of my being. That is what activates that “joy gauge” and that is what I choose to follow as I do the things that bring peace to my soul, as I go the way that joy calls for, and as I “listen” to my unique “guidance system” within.
It is there for me for my benefit. It is a constant companion if I choose to listen to it. It hasn’t lead me wrong yet … the peace tells me I’m on the right track, and I have to go by what I feel inside after all … that is how I know.
And so, I choose today to follow the joy within me … it leads me to my divine potential. And sometimes it looks like staring up at the clouds and smiling at the heart I see the sky forming just for me, or sometimes it looks like filling my van up with gas and feeling gratitude for the constant blessings life bestows.
Whatever it looks like in any moment, choosing the joy ALWAYS expands my heart, and in that expansion the joy grows and I continue to have greater peace than I have ever known, despite what is going on outside of me …
… Within me is a beautiful lovely garden of my perfect brand of joy … I live and breathe in the garden and my heart is full.