Counting Down to Day 19 (Day 110 out of 129) of the Middle Path Makeover – Balance

What goes up must come down. What you throw out there will come back to you. What you think most often you will attract more thoughts like that to you. There are (at least) two sides to every story; which side are you? Listen to them both before forming an opinion.

Stand on both feet with your weight distributed evenly and your body will expel less energy than if you stand on only one. But stand on one foot and your other limbs (head, arms, leg of the second foot) will automatically answer the call of the first foot by extending and expelling more energy to balance out the lack of the first. Falling or not, that IS grace. It is the balance of life. And life can be a little off sometimes. How wonderful that we have the opportunity to witness our own unevenness!

One foot or two, or no feet at all. It is all just life working in balance with what we throw out there. Hang on to your sense of humor! 🙂

-Leah Joy, The Zenful Blogger

Counting Down to Day 39 (Day 90 out of 129) of the Middle Path Makeover – Giving Back to Pay it Forward

Hey Zenful Dancers!

Earlier on in the Middle Path Makeover Project I had donated some money to a school near my home in order to help fund a new classroom projector. The online platform I used (DonorsChoose.org) reached out asking me to complete a survey of my experience (which was completely positive) and in return has sent me five gift cards valued at $25 each to be used towards helping any school of my choice.

I am offering these gift cards to the first five folks who reply/comment to this blog post in hopes that you will let us all know about your experience in helping a school in need. Please be sure to leave me your email address so I know where to send your gift card. Thank you in advance for your kindness.

Keep on keepin’ on and keep on giving,

-Leah Joy, The Zenful Blogger

Counting Down to Day 40 (Day 89 out of 129) of the Middle Path Makeover – Traveling Without Moving

As the season (finally) begins to change, I feel like I’m traveling to another, warmer place without having to actually move anywhere. In honor of Springtime, I think it’s only appropriate to leave you with this haiku from Richard Wright (1908-1960):

Keep straight down this block,
Then turn right where you will find
A peach tree blooming

Have a lovely day,

-Leah Joy, The Zenful Blogger

Counting Down to Day 44 (Day 85 out of 129) of the Middle Path Makeover – Retreat

Sometimes stepping back and taking a moment to reflect can be a healthy tactic in discovering a new perspective. But sometimes one or two steps back isn’t enough. Sometimes it’s good to physically remove yourself from your normal, everyday surroundings and go on retreat.

I have taken myself on a few retreats in the last 15 or so years (certainly not often enough) and I can tell you that each time I have come back feeling an enormous amount of appreciation and acceptance for myself and others and the Planet. I smile genuinely and often. I feel lighter; relaxed but extremely energized. I’m a better listener to my loved ones, clients and co-workers. I feel purposeful and that feels really good.

But it’s a very different experience to go on vacation versus going on retreat. For me, the difference is in the intention of “break”. A retreat for me includes some solitude to write and read and learn about myself and the choices I’ve made that have brought me here to this point in my life. A retreat to me is a safe space to cry and let go of some unhealthy things I’ve been clinging to (many of them aren’t mine to hold). It’s a space to meet new people who are also on a path of healing intentions and know that I’m not alone. It’s a chance to connect back with the real me (whomever “me” is) before I got really busy covering me up with piles of stuff that isn’t me at all.

Vacations are great too- but if I’m feeling brave, retreats are the best. 🙂

Sonoma Mountain Zen Center – Santa Rosa, CA
Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, NY
Kripalu, Berkshires, MA
New York Open Center, NYC, NY
Esalen Institute, Marin, CA
Shambala Mountain Center, Red Feather Lakes, CO

-Leah Joy, The Zenful Blogger