Joy At The Center

A student in my Finding Purpose course said something a few weeks ago that has really stuck with me. In speaking about her intentions for joining the course, she talked about wanting to find more happiness throughout her day, not just “at the margins” of her life.

I used to know happiness only at “the margins” too.

Back when I was an overworked, overwhelmed high school English teacher, my job demanded almost the entirety of my mental & physical energy. After the most demanding days, I would drive home in a daze, throw together some food for dinner, fall asleep, and then wake up to do it all over again.

Still, I had my passions: writing poetry, studying spirituality, practicing yoga & meditation, spending time in nature. But all of these passions were “at the margins” of my life, not the center.

I was a writer “on the side”, trying to write lines of poetry on the weekends. I would set my alarm early to meditate before rushing off to work, but more often I would hit the snooze button instead. I would occasionally go to yoga classes in the evening, but only when I wasn’t completely exhausted from teaching. Visits to beautiful natural places, like the mountains or the ocean, had to wait until holiday breaks.

Everything that was nourishing & joyful to me as a human being had to wait until the weekend, wait until I got off work, wait until vacation, wait until I could find some time.