Following Joy

What does it mean to follow your joy? For many years, I’ve been advised to try it. But, for one reason or another, I generally end up following my needs instead. My need for security, my need for accomplishment, my need for purpose.

Astrologically speaking, for all you mystics like me, Saturn and Jupiter sit squarely on each other in my career house. They face off, the one daring the other to take the lead in my professional life. Saturn wants to work hard, strive, succeed. Jupiter wants to radiate light to the whole entire world. Saturn believes the path is suffering. Jupiter believes the path is joy.

Until a week ago, I did not know how to let Jupiter lead me. Until a week ago, I was convinced that my purpose would be found through my blood sweat and tears. And then, I met a girl and a horse and my whole life turned upside down.

In moments, the sleeping girl in me, the girl who used to speak with horses in whispers of love and power and compassion, she woke up. She saw a girl and a horse who needed help and she rose up, bringing in her wake a surge of joy like none other.

The warm summer breezes, cooling my sweat as I breathed the smells of manure and Horseman’s One Step at the end of a training session. That sensation of my body, guiding one of God’s most elegant creations through an intricate pattern of jumps and turns in the arena. The freedom of racing up a hillside together, just me and my horse. These memories came flooding back.

I am not that girl anymore. And yet, she is in me. My dream of rehabilitating horses, saving them from meat-packing companies, has shifted in the last 25 years into new dreams.

And yet, the spark is the same. The need to use my heart, my spirit, and my power to help others is what drives me now. And for the first time, I see how following my own joy can take me there. A path is starting to open before me.

Today, I will once again lift my arms, find my balance, merge with the beating heart of a horse beneath me, and jump. I do it because I know that it will lead me into a more true and beautiful life.

Published by Gita Matlock

Gita is a writer, speaker, and nonprofit professional. She earned a bachelors degree in international studies from Pepperdine University and a masters degree in nonprofit administration from the University of San Francisco. She has traveled extensively and held leadership positions with national and international nonprofit organizations. She was born, raised, and now resides with her husband and two children at Ananda Village, the first of eight cooperative Kriya Yoga communities founded by Swami Kriyananda, a direct disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda.

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