(Reposted from July 5th)

I’ve been exploring for myself the polar opposites of resistance and receptivity over the last couple of days and its thrown up some evidence of the route to what can only be described as my joy zone.

I don’t know that I ever really saw it as a tangible thing before, a place even, but I’ve noticed that it has distinct walls and boundaries like a huge castle with a drawbridge, a moat and everything. Imagine if you will the very tentative steps you might take across the rickety wooden, (rotten in some places) bridge, over a muddy moat full of goodness knows what, obviously an analogy for your deep emotions, some of which are hidden even from you; passing beneath a gargantuan rusting portcullis that noisily begins to lower as you enter into this space that is protected from that stuff on the outside.

Does this sound like the joy zone or does it sound like a giant prison of your own making and not much fun at all?

That one thing you do – that image that you create – that scene that you set, it’s the difference between resistance to the journey and receptivity of the adventure… The difference between opening your heart to the unknown or running from it… The difference between finding the joy or embracing the fear.

Imagine now if you will a huge bouncy castle, a rainbow of sunny colours making up its walls. It is afloat at the centre of an azure blue swimming pool, the drawbridge is made from plastic inflatable stepping stones that threaten to tip you splashing into the blue beneath if you so much as put one foot wrong… The bouncy castle sports a plastic zip up entry flap to keep its guests from falling out all over the place which will be securely fastened the moment you cross its threshold…

Now tell me the truth… you’ve already got your swimming costume on haven’t you?

The scene has exactly the same elements: castle, walls, sealed gate, precarious crossing and deep water… but add some colour to your imagination and the joy zone is much more enticing.

The joy zone is a place inside your mind, the external conditions are accepted or rejected according to how you perceive from your current state of receptivity… i.e. you add the colour.

I’ve got to admit, my castle isn’t always bouncy but that doesn’t mean I won’t find joy in it… if you are looking for joy, you will find it… providing you’re looking past the external conditions towards that one thing you do.

Principle 7: I AM Open-Hearted

More later… x