I’m Friggen’ Rich!


Hey Zenful Dancers, happy Sunday to you!

The other day it occurred to me how much my own net-worth was as a fellow New Yorker passer-by decided to flash me his $1,000,000 bill on the street.  Of course I was opportunistic enough to grab proof as I don’t typically run with crowds who carry around this kind of cash much less waive it around in broad daylight as if begging to be mugged by anyone within a one mile radius of 14th Street.

And after Googling that there was in fact no one million dollar bill (Google saves the day once again- go ahead, make fun), I realized how profound carrying a reminder of this great proportion can be.  A reminder that I walk around with my very own million bucks all the time and I so often forget that it’s there, burning a hole in my pocket; my own self-worth.

I am sometimes quick to bend or apologize or shy away from standing up for what’s right in order to avoid conflict or difficult conversations or actions not because it is uncomfortable for me to lean in- of course it IS uncomfortable- but because I forget that I have value.  Conceit and self-centeredness jokes aside, I am rich with loving friends and family, rich with overall good health (barring any recent stress-induced sleep issues), rich with the understanding of love and my ability to be compassionate and to make decisions from a place of love instead of fear- when I remember, that is.  Lately my life has seen more challenges and it seems I need more reminders. So in an effort to pull out my million dollar bill and waive it around as a “reminder to self”, I would like to share my riches with you:

I’m so grateful for a loving and supportive family who lets me do my best to love and support them back

I have incredible friends who check in even when they are too busy to check in

I have true love which is far more magnificent yet often quiet-and-unassuming while being simultaneously more terrifying (read: vulnerable) than I ever imagined it would be and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world, not even for a real million dollar bill

I have the ability to dance like nobody’s watching and it provides me with endless inspiration

I have access to music that feeds my soul, no matter the day/mood/location/experience

I am grateful for a steady job that challenges me and provides the flexibility to manage my own time

Meditation.  It keeps me grounded when I start to float away

I am very grateful for a healthy body and mind (hey we all have our “moments” but you know what I mean)

Compassion.  I know what it is and I’m not afraid to use it

My sense of humor (bad timing and all) has gotten me through some of my darkest days and I continue to think I am by far more hilarious than anyone else thinks I am 🙂

Care to share some of your riches with me?  Go ahead, SHOW ME THE MONEY!  It might be just the reminder you need.

-Leah Joy, The Zenful Blogger

Homage to Love

A Frenchman from Montreal and a California girl from New York met in Dallas last April.

On the 4th of July they met again in Queens and again in Marseille. It was love.  Simple and true.

The Autumn turned to Winter and her insecurities weakened her trust and doubt entered his mind for the first time.

Snow came to New York and Montreal and her love softened and warmed them both but he decided his love was not enough to strengthen what was now a delicate vulnerability.  He questioned everything.

They held each other in tears through the night and It ended this Tuesday morning in January in Montreal in the dead of Winter.

Spring will come soon.


My Morning Mourning

This morning I cried. I cried for the 12 staff members of Charlie Hebdo who lost their lives because they chose to exercise their freedom of press and speech and expression. This morning I cried for the bombing outside the NAACP. I cried for the murdered police officers in Brooklyn who serviced their Country and community. I cried for all the peaceful Muslims, Jews, Christians and Buddhists of the world who are caught in the crossfire of religious extremists who commit selfish acts of hurt in the name of God, power or money.

This morning I sobbed for all the selfish people in the world who truly believe their needs are more important than someone else’s needs. We are all selfish. We all have needs. Let’s not step on the backs of others to get where we need to go! But we do it. We do it again and again and it seems we will never learn.

Today, I choose to be kind. If I’m brave, I’ll choose this again tomorrow, and then the next day. You should choose this too. Don’t allow your weaknesses to get the better of you. Be strong and choose kindness over hate. Compassion over power and manipulation. Love over fear.

But for now, I feel really sad. Sad and alone.

-Leah Joy, The Zenful Blogger

TZB Project 365 (Day 29) – Auditioning for Life’s Work

Hey Zenful Dancers! What is your life’s work? Do you know? Have you defined it (yet)? How do we go about narrowing it all down? What determines the goal? Strategies, then tactics? Are you planning on making a plan or has the plan already been put into action? Is it important to have a plan? I believe it is.

The Free Dictionary defines life-work as “the chief or entire work of a person’s lifetime”. I’m not entirely sure I can make a decision now that will sum up my entire life. But maybe that’s not what’s being asked of us.

Where do I begin? Some say it’s best to work backwards. Some say chunking-it-down is the key. Visualization works successfully for a lot of folks. I’m sure I could pay a bunch of money to have somebody tell me what my life’s work is. There are probably a hundred sound techniques out there to figure it out. Instead of trying these other ways first, I thought it would be good if I just auditioned for the part of life’s work, so I wrote a script in order to work it all out. I’ve never heard of this technique before (to me, I think I just made this up), but someone out there has probably already tried it with great success. 🙂

Scene: It’s a Tuesday afternoon. A well-lit, high school classroom with a few desks arranged at the head of the room to create space in the middle for those auditioning. Life sits at the front of the room in one of the desks. Work walks in.

Life: State your name for the record please.

Work: My name is Work. I’m from New York City.

Life: Aha, and tell us why you are here today.

Work: Well… I’m here to audition for the part of Life’s Work. I feel it’s a big part to play (well, the biggest actually) and I really feel I’m up for the role at this point in my career.

Life: Ok. And what piece are you going to read for us today?

Work: It’s called “Memoirs Of A Dust Ball”, Chapter 1, by Leah Joy.

Life: Sounds interesting. Please begin.

Work: My whole life I’ve been swept under the rug or caught in a corner only to be swept under a rug again. Pieces of me have blown away over the years, while other pieces have joined up with me at certain points. I’ve waxed and waned too many times to count. One time, what seems like decades ago, I thought the end was near. I had dwindled down to only a spec of dust- just one gust of wind and I’d be a memory. But the wind never came and I accumulated new parts again until I was a healthy, hairy, dirty dust ball. It was then that I realized that waxing or waning and the location of where I was swept made little difference to me in the larger scope of things. My life’s purpose: to be the best and happiest dust ball I can be. Throughout any inevitable changes, I choose to focus only on what is in my control. This is my life’s purpose. This is my life’s work.

Life: The topic you’ve chosen is really quite apropos for this audition.

Work: Yes, I wanted to stick with the theme.

Life: Tell me, why should I give you this part?

Work: I’m coming to you as an expert. No one can play this part better! I already know what Life’s Work is, because I am Life’s Work.

End of Scene.

I don’t think it’s enough for us to know we are our life’s work. I think it’s much more important to know that there is no destination; it’s that we’ve already arrived. That’s my plan. I feel we must honor that!

What do you think? What’s your plan?