JOY TO JOY: The Path to Right Action

Choices. Every day we are faced with so many, and we do our best to make decisions that serve us well. But how do we move forward in those times when we feel heavy with self judgement, confusion or fear? How do we know if we are being trusting or impulsive, wise or controlling? How do we act in the highest interest of ourselves and others in our relationships and our careers?

In my work of offering intuited counseling, clients cannot always come to me in person and so we meet by phone or online. The following is an excerpt from the transcript of an msn session with a young woman who enquires about an incident in her life.

J asks…i’m not sure if i was just acting out of fear so im confused… i feel like i dont know how to trust myself anymore and how to distinguish between something nourishing and not nourishing for me… i’m confused…

Cynthia says: It is a great challenge sometimes to sort it all out, which are instincts that I should listen to, which is my fear, how do I open my heart when I feel so sure I may be hurt again..

J says: ya this has been so confusing…. fear …instincts… i dont know what’s what sometimes..

Cynthia says: Something that can be a very helpful guideline is to remember that when you are aware of inner guidance that serves your highest self, you will feel relaxed, you will feel that you are being lifted to a higher place. Conversely when you are reacting in fear, there is a heaviness in the body, fogginess in the mind, pain in the heart. Sometimes the fear is so great that it seems impossible to let clear guidance come through, and then it is wise to spend time with the fear itself, talk to it, listen to it, give it a chance to be felt fully and then released. Don’t make decisions from a fearful place, but let yourself have the complete experience so you can release it when you are done.

Guidance from our highest self is easy, comes freely and beautifully. Control that arises from fear makes us feel irritable, uncomfortable, doubtful and reluctant, and it kills joy, so it is wise to take the time to be with yourself before communicating with another – let yourself rise to the higher place, and then do not hesitate to speak the truth. You cannot go wrong.

In all of these ventures, you are well served by opening your heart. An open heart does not make you more vulnerable to wounding, it actually strengthens you and lets pain flow off you like a water fall. You will feel, yes, and if there is heartache to be expressed it will come, but it will not hurt the same way that fear hurts. It is a much gentler, more nourishing process. Does this feel true for you?

J says: ya it definitely does. This makes perfect sense. So did i respond out of fear in this situation… i feel like i didn’t feel good at first, then i felt good, then i didn’t feel good..

Cynthia says: Yes, this experience has been given so that you can begin to explore standing in your own power with clarity and without doubt. It takes time to develop this skill.. it’s like building a muscle and often when we think we have it, something happens to make us feel we have made a mistake, to question ourselves, but there are no mistakes. You are simply honing your sense of direction and clarity of purpose. And of course, as you become more clear and less afraid in yourself, you will attract a whole different experience with others. You won’t be afraid to speak of what you see. It won’t scare you if you don’t know what others are thinking because you will know what you think.. and that is what counts. Questions?

J says: i’m having a problem deciding what i think and this is affecting every part of my life.  i’m constantly wavering..

Cynthia says: Yes.. you are more afraid of your own confusion than of the confusions of others. You are afraid you will let yourself down.

J says: ya that is true. yes..

Cynthia says: And this of course would be the ultimate betrayal. So the judgement is of the self, but the frustration and anger is directed at others because they put you in this position, of feeling this way. The wonderful thing about this awareness, is that it returns your power to you. There is no one else who is in control of your own faith, clarity and self love. Only you are. 

J says: but im soooo afraid of failing myself… of finding myself in a position again where i feel like i should have known better..

Cynthia says: Yes, of course love. This is a deep source of pain. And this is the feeling to explore. It will lead you to tremendous growth. You are worthy of your own forgiveness, over and over and over, if necessary. You deserve every chance, every encouragement, every permission to try again and to see that you have never failed yourself.. that is the illusion.

J says: but i feel like every time i find myself in that spot… that place… it proves all my worst fears true – how did this happen again? it must have happened because i deserve it? i created it? it’s true..

Cynthia says: There is the illusion, spoken with great clarity. “because I deserve it..” What you deserve is all love, all trust, all joy.  Why would you be different from any other child of god? This is the nature of being, of love, and it is as true for you as for anyone. Picture yourself as a small child, your child, your baby. Hold yourself in your arms and see the purity in you. Know the love that you would give this beautiful, beautiful girl. She is an aspect of god.. she can do no wrong. She lives in trust, and all she asks is that you see this in her, see the truth of her. It is only the ego that challenges this understanding. 

The purity of you knows your worthiness, and your grace. It is as simple as repeatedly calling this into your awareness, as you are feeling doubt. Observe what you are feeling, do not judge it, but see it for what it is. Feel this in your heart. Do not give energy to trying to sort it out with your mind. Once you are less afraid of making a mistake, your sense of Self, your clarity and decisiveness will rise dramatically. You will give yourself permission.

J says: i’ve been confused with what direction in life to go in….so this is definitely applicable. im having a hard time discerning when to be open with my path and when to just step forward with some direction.  I’m confused with how much control im trying to put into my decisions for my future? so again im going back and forth…..i hold myself back because i dont know what direction to take….but then im just living in fear….but then maybe i get too controlling and try to contol my direction and then i freak out and go back to not doing anything.
Cynthia says: For you the most important focus is surrender to joy. It is not about trying, it is about being. What fills you up, makes you feel warm in your belly, lights up your eyes? Follow these feelings and from this place make your decisions. And when challenge and self doubt come again, let yourself know the source of the pain and then consciously open to what fills you up again. It is always a cycle at first, until the moments of surrender to joy get longer and longer. But you need to begin with this, to err on the side of trusting and pleasing the self first. It is never a matter of control, because awareness leads you forward from joy to joy. Doubt becomes easier and easier to recognize. If you are not in joy, you are in illusion.

You are always choosing in perfection. It cannot be otherwise. And the more you let yourself believe this and observe this, the more the truth of it will play out in your life to see. It is not about changing the circumstance, but rather seeing it differently. You are already very capable of this process. It is within your understanding and your grasp. It’s a wonderful, wonderful thing. Makes dreams come true.

J says: ok i do understand. So basically i have to continue working on practices that bring out my own clarity by finding out what brings me joy, etc, and then that clarity will be mirrored back to me in my life..
Cynthia says: Yes. It is through giving yourself permission for joy that you will find the springboard for authentic action. And when it happens it will feel good, and easy. You have lifetimes of shame and denial to undo. Like so many souls.

J says: i keep getting trapped in a cycle of fear where once i feel like i let myself down then i feel ashamed then i feel like this is never going to go away and well it’s all just fear at every turn talking when i’m in that mode..

Cynthia says: Yes. These are the moments to be the observer. Don’t try to deny the fear, or send it away. Just look at it. Look at yourself feeling the fear. Look at her and love her. Be patient, and see if there is anything new the fear has to teach you this time. This observance will in time let a crack of sunshine in, and with that, take a moment to ask yourself about joy.. what would bring it to you? Often moving physically can help. Singing. Music. Fresh air. A bath. Journaling. Crying. But always watching, and watching how as you let yourself think of what brings you joy… it brings you joy.

Doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s a cleansing. Opening the curtains on a sunny day. But we so often underestimate the power of these small joys in our life. We think they don’t count, that we don’t have time for them, that we don’t deserve them. It’s a perfect place for deserving to start. Remember, all patterns are blinding when they are ours. We cannot see when we cannot see. But we can feel, and we can observe our feelings, and this observance will in time grant us the distance to create the awareness of the illusion. And that’s all we really need.

J says: thank you. Our patterns are so imbedded… i find it funny when i see my pattern and still respond to it from within my pattern… then i step out and acknowledge the one that observed all of that and thats where i find my observer, the strong one..

Cynthia says: Yes..  but what you describe is a powerful level of awareness. It’s the key to freedom. These lives of ours are not about escaping pain, but learning to walk in grace, and then we experience pain differently – it does not “hurt” the same way… 

To set up an msn session with Cynthia (Adi Kanda) please write to

FIRST BITE: The Challenge of Relationship

A transmission for a young couple embarking on the deep journey of relationship…

All of us
born as children upon the Earth
spend much of our lives
attempting to return to the place 
of bliss
of innocence
of safety
that we seem to have left behind
This is natural and human
yet our fears hinder our joy
and it is a new discovery of trust
that will lead us toward the peace
that allows our true power
and purpose
to emerge in our lives
One of the most common avenues
of expression of this search
may be found in our intimate relationships
for as we first begin to adore one another
instead of realizing that we open
to our own love
in this way
we think that we have found an answer
to our essential fears
in the presence of the other
which is of course
and so in due time
our safety becomes even more threatened
than before we dreamt of love
and entered its domain
when this unsettling awakening begins between two
each looks to the other
as the cause of their pain
or one may take on guilt
and desire to run
Yet while these times are not easy
they are a great blessing to all
for without such awareness
our personal mistrust
would remain hidden
far from the opportunity for healing
that now is potentially found
Between you two

there is much commonality

and much similarity
You are in some ways like cousins
brother and sister
and you recognize and know 
one another
as kindred souls
This was the pull 
that drew you together
You became two against the world
in common understanding
finding shelter 
under the same umbrella
hiding together
from the same rain
Each looked at the other and thought
here I will not encounter
the foolishness
of the rest of the world
here I will find
what makes me comfortable
makes me feel right
in the face of so much that is unacceptable
all around me
and so I can continue
being what I have always been
but with a partner
to bolster my commitment
to these ways
But slowly
fallibility crept in
human failings could not be hidden
and so when one observes inadequacy in the other
then the inner child fears
to see the same wound in the self
and it is easier
far easier
to distance this discomfort
by feeling alienation
and blame
You and I against the world
you are not what I thought
you are just like the rest of the world
so I am now me alone
and this betrayal
stirs deep fear
that hinders intimacy
and in this way
the walls get higher and higher
until it seems
there is no way up
from the spiral that pulls you both down
While this experience springs from
the same essential wound
it manifests differently in the two of you
each according to quite common
feminine and masculine models of defense
against pain
In the feminine
she retreats into questioning the self
She tries to please
and then is angry at herself for doing so
She feels she has denied herself pleasures
but has not been appreciated for this
and so quiet bitterness builds
and inner anger lies atop of despair
as she feels trapped
inside a world she has helped create
and yet
where she does not belong
In the masculine
he takes a stand of being the one who is right
of closing his heart
into a coolness that implies he is not touched
as much as she
and yet nothing could be further from the truth
He walks in self righteousness
as if he is beyond such things
and yet his inner voices are raised in terror
that his own vulnerability will be discovered
and his fragile comfort
In both
there is a habit of containment
of propriety
of not permitting excess
or anything that would be perceived
as lack of control
In him
because it would be dangerous
in her
because it would be judged
and so it is as if
the two of you are trying to have
a conversation
while both of your mouths are bound shut
trying to make love
while standing in separate rooms
The depth of this distance
may not yet be apparent
as part of the defense
is to believe that everything is fine
so long as it looks fine
to the rest of the world
like a beautiful cloth
placed over a table scarred by heat and rage
The dinner can take place
and no one will ever know
but how can the meal be digested
how can honesty be found
Where is the joy in gathering at such a table
when all is false
no matter how pretty the dishes
how carefully the napkins are arranged?
You are asked
as individuals
quite apart from your work as a couple
in relationship
to begin with a new process of truth seeking
of spending time each of you alone
going within
always within
rather than the old habit of focusing on
what the other is doing wrong
All healing must begin
with individual responsibility
for your own pain and joy
It is never the task of another
to make you happy
and never your job to control the behaviour
of a partner
either for your own benefit
or because you have convinced yourself
that it is for their own good
This cycle of blame and guilt
victimization and recrimination
must be broken
in order for each of you to observe
your own fears
for this is the place that will initiate change
and help you see
that you have been searching in error
from the very beginning
Once you discover your own beauty
and your own weaknesses
you can no longer believe
that hiding in companionship
with someone else’s beauty and weaknesses
will help your fear
And the truth is
you are safe
you are safe
you are safe
Each of you
and both of you
as One
For her
it is not your job to measure up
to anyone else’s desires
not a partner or parents
not your perception of the rules
of your community
or your world
It is not safer to hide
from the judgement of others
for in this
you simply perpetuate
your own feelings of unworthiness
No one can judge you
except you
and as you realize this
you will set yourself free
as never before
For him
Discovering your vulnerability
will be the greatest gift you can ever
give yourself
To admit to feelings of weakness
fears of losing love
feelings of inadequacy
these expressions will shatter lifetimes
of defenses that you now carry
like smashing the case of glass
in which you have hidden
your true heart
You have so much more love
within you
than you have dreamt
and when you perceive love
or perfection lacking
in others around you
it is only your own limitations
that you sense
because you have hidden
your love away
for so very long

It is as if the two of you

sit hungry
before a great feast
and neither can eat
because each one waits
for the other to take the first bite
Even if one has the courage
to lead the way
by opening to the realization
that you cannot hurt one another
and that you only limit yourselves
this awareness will immediately guide you
toward the trust and safety
that each of you have been seeking
from the start
Follow the trail
of your own individual stories
to learn as much as you can
about where your woundings began
Speak these stories to one another
as if you told them for the first time
and without blame
I feel this
I want that
I am afraid of this
I would love that…
Simply listening to one another
without attempting to fix
or provide the answer
will initiate a new kind of communication
that will open your hearts
Viewing one another
simply as fellow soul travelers
not as rescuer
or comforter
may first bring up fears that you are alone
and yet
it is through this truth
that you will discover that in our aloneness
we are all one
there are no more enemies
no more opposites
and no more need to be better than
or separate from
the rest of the world
Put an end to war
by daring to open 
your individual hearts
and you will never look back
Trust that you hold all answers
to your own safety
and you have nothing to fear
and with whomever you walk
Love begins and ends
in the Self
that is one
with All
© Cynthia Long

Couple Mandala by Jacques Bergeron

For Mothers and Children of Mothers

If I were a woodsman
I’d build you a house
carved out of the miracle tree
I’d raise it to stand
at the foot of the hill
where the forest lies whispering to me
If I were the king of a fairytale land
with the power to grant all I see
I’d wrap you in robes
of the finest silk and
we would dance ‘neath the miracle tree
If I were a dragon
I’d give you my fire
If I were a creature of light
I’d warm you and fly you
to your heart’s desire
in the silence
sweet silence
of night
For what is a mother
but all of these things
a builder, a king
and a friend
and where does she walk
but in the love of all things
through the child
that she holds in her arms…

from “Ana’s Song” by Cynthia Long