Avenues of Joy

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“The basis of your life is Freedom; the purpose of your life is Joy.
You are free to choose to discover new avenues for your Joy. In your Joy, you will grow; and in your growth, you add to the expansion of All-That-Is. (However, you are also free to choose bondage or pain… but everything anyone chooses is only because they believe it will help them feel better.)”


I love this quote. I love this philosophy. To me, it’s all here. Everything I’ve been seeking for the last year (since my mother’s death). I opened my handstand workshop recently by reading this. I explained that, to me, handstands are An Avenue for Joy. I explained that I would share every single thing I know about handstands — every strategy, technique, and tactic without exception. I also asked that they, the students, refrain from attaching any self worth to the achievement of this pose. This is important. If you attach your self worth to the achievement of a pose, then you are robbing the joy from the process. The process is where the fun is, the power is, and yes, so is the joy.
It was pure bliss, my workshop. Every time I checked my class plan, which is timed down to 15 minute intervals, we were spot on. Every major piece of material that I wanted to cover, we hit upon. We sequenced mindfully; we played fearlessly. Laughter was rampant. Breakthroughs were as well. The smiles were deep and heartfelt. Courage was commonplace and so was unending support. Afterwards, when I received emails and notes and texts galore — encouragement, feedback, gratitude — it was delicious. I knew in my heart that it was warranted. I slept well that night.

The next day was Sunday, my one day off. I was helping husband rake the front yard. The baby had Jagger’s little rake and she was “helping” too. It was entertaining to say the least. I was mid-rake-stroke, marveling at the sheer mass of acorns this year and wondering how the hell I was going to pick all the little suckers up when it hit me: I should rename this workshop. For yes, it is a Handstand Festival. But it is also an expression of pure joy for me. It is also a way to share something, handstands, that have meant so much to me for so many years. Something I believe any and every one can someday enjoy if they play with them properly and mindfully and slowly over time. It is an avenue for me to express my joy.  And so it is. I am rebranding Handstand Fest. It is henceforth and forever more known as…  Avenues of Joy — A Handstand Festival.