Me, at about Jaron's age. My joy in the water began early...in the smiley face pool on our side lawn.

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J is for...
J is for Joy. July. Julie. And her son, Jaron. J is for Jumping. Juicy. And Jiggling.

I’ve known Julie since I was 8. She called the other day (she calls most days – thank goodness!) to tell me she’s more tan than she’s ever been in her life. She’s playing, outside, with her 3-year-old son, Jaron. Pulling him in his Radio Flyer wagon. And splashing with him in the lake. The joy in her voice was palpable. Infectious.

I took a tip from Julie and Jaron today. And when I jumped on my bike, I didn’t think about how fast I was going or how many miles I was clocking. (The mere fact that my odometer has slid down a spoke and isn’t registering makes this all the easier.) Instead, I focused on the feeling of my legs pumping, the hot breeze in my face, and the sun licking my sunscreened shoulders and neck. On my ride, I saw a friend of mine on the street and stopped to talk. Mindless and unaware of the time.

Like when I was a kid. A few years older than Jaron, riding my banana-seat bike to the swim club with my brother, Michael. Cut off jeans over my bathing suit. Flip flops on my feet. We rode fast, with the express purpose of getting as hot as possible. Peeling off our shorts and jumping cannon-ball style into the cool, blue lap lanes – the ultimate reward. The ultimate joy.

J is for jumping. A jumping off point for me. I’ve long thought of writing a bodysherpa’s alphabet but didn’t quite know where to begin. Until now. An unconventional beginning inspired by joy, and the child I watched come into this world – the letter J.

Bodysherpa Exercise
Close your eyes and think of the word Joy. What images does it conjure up? Mid-day napping – naked on smooth, cotton sheets? Eating perfectly toasted marshmallows melting chocolate? Or maybe a juicy peach – amber-colored liquid coating forearms and chin? Running through a sprinkler, tickled by water? Ok. You know mine.

What is your joy?
What does it feel like in your body?

Is it Ricky Ricardo playing conga drums inside your chest? An electric rainforest shower bathing you head to toe? Purple fireworks lighting up the space behind your eyes? Tingly-fuzzy-vibrating?

What do you need to do to jump into that experience? That joy? That feeling?

Not certain? Try jiggling. Julie Henderson’s “Embodying Well-Being: How to Feel as Good as You Can in Spite of Everything,” touts the many benefits of jiggling. Among them: it helps move your body’s fluids and lubricates your joints. It gives you energy. It feels good. And it’s hard not to smile when you are doing it.

Besides…Jaron most definitely jiggles. Consider it a jumping off point.

Wishing you joy, and the causes of joy.

Lesley

P.S. Please note the change of my email address - lesley@bodysherpa.net

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