Tag Archive | spiritual development

Clean and Clear!

hands of light

 

Everyday encounters leave invisible traces on our energy, like smudges on a glass, they are faint but there and can influence our clarity. People and places either add to or take from our energy and an awareness of this helps to ensure one regularly cleanses their energy field and protects it. We have all met people who drain us causing us to feel exhausted after an encounter but it is those who have developed psychic abilities and misuse them for their own ends that we need to really take care with. When you feel unexplained changes on your energy it really pays to thoroughly cleanse yourself and your environment. Seemingly uneventful meetings can have consequences that are totally unforseen. Regularly cleansing and renewing of personal protection keeps you not only clear but sparkling!

Namaste.

Helping A Spirit Presence Move On To The Light.

Not all spirit presences are the result of tragic circumstances, some have such a strong attachment to a place or a person that they choose to stay around. This is unusual and is not in their best interest as they have much to learn on the other side before their journey can continue. The spirits that remain due to some tragic circumstance likewise sometimes need help. If you feel you have crossed paths with such a spirit and know fully about psychic protection then you can be of help to them If you are attempting to contact any spirit, I stress again make sure you are experienced  in protecting yourself, if not seek out someone who is such as a priest or if Buddhist a monk who can carry out special practices that have been passed down through the ages.  I would recommend staying away from difficult spirits, there are others, on the other side, who will help them when they are ready to accept help. If however the presence is friendly and of someone you know and had  GOOD RELATIONSHIP WITH then you my be able to assist with their journey. In such a case simply saying “Go in peace, light and with blessings to the world of light, your earthly life is done now.  You have you have friends and relatives waiting for you. Go in peace and love to the light..” may be sufficient. Repeat this blessing each time you feel the presence

. If after a period of time you still can feel or see the spirit you may seek support and try a more direct approach. To do this get help. Make sure you have a small bottle of holy water(Blessed water) or mineral water to which three pinches of salt have been added and over which you have prayed for the protection of the deity you worship, your guardian angel and the power of the light to enfold and protect you. Also have a small container/packet of sea salt on hand. As a Christian I always wear a small cross and this gives me added protection in all my dealings with spirit. These and your other psychic practises may be important if you sense a change or any resistance on the part of the spirit to disconnect from you. BEFORE YOU BEGIN Light a candle and  say a prayer asking your God or the power of the light to enfold you in protection. Visualize a  brilliant white light and use it to draw a fully sealed circle of light around you. I also place myself within a bubble of white light. I ask for the blessings of the four archangels and position them at the four of the room. Only then do I attempt contact. It is good to remember not all spirit is as it initially presents itself so taking care even when you “think” you are safe is always a good idea and much less hassle than the consequences should you ever be proven wrong in your judgement. Always approach spirit in a friendly manner, it is actually important to do this as YOU HAVE  NO PWER OVER SPIRIT! Stop at least an arms length away from where you feel or see the presence so that you do not intrude in its space. Smile and greet the spirit in your head or softly but firmly out loud. The presence may turn and move away. NEVER FOLLOW. Usually they stay and you will feel the connection. They may then share with you something of their life or even their reason for being here. Usually though just being acknowledged is enough to bring them peace. Listen to their message and when the encounter fades say “GO IN PEACE AND BLESSINGS TO YOUR WORLD AS I GO BACK TO MINE.” You may experience a chill as they leave, like a cold draft from an opened door. Blow out the candle, thank your protectors and leave the room/space. As you leave splash a little water over your hair (from the special bottle of water you carry), then place some in the palm of your left hand and dip your finger in it, apply it to your brow (third eye ) saying “THE CONNECTION BETWEEN US IS CUT WITH BLESSING.”  Do not take anything from the room with you. The presence usually has no interest in following you but just to be extra careful turn as you leave and sprinkle a little of the water behind you from the small container you carry and drop some salt behind you, saying ” RETURN TO YOUR WORLD AS I RETURN TO MINE! THE CONNECTION IS BROKEN!” If you feel the presence is gone when you next enter the space light white sage and smudge the entire area. If you still feel the presence and it bothers you seek help from a monk or priest who is specially trained. Note that not all priests have this training but they can put you in touch with those who do. Their special training also enables them to know just what they are working with and what procedures they need to follow, If you are Buddhist you will no doubt know of the prayers and practises for helping the dead and dying and keeping these up for the 49 days after a persons passing is the greatest thing you can do to benefit them. A special ceremony purifying the karma of the deceased is also taught. In the Catholic church special masses can be said and it is good to remember that no prayer is ever wasted. It benefits both those being prayed for and those offering the prayer. Life after death is not something to fear it is simply the next stage of our journey. I have witnessed more than one person die with a real look of rapture on their face and great joy in their heart. Such a passing is a special gift to those left behind. Speaking of gifts, one the greatest gift we can give ourselves is to have a strong loving focus on where we want the journey of death to take us.  Being confident of where we are going and that we have prepared for our journey is the greatest gift of all. Blessings on your journey we all share the path, may you support others on theirs and be supported on yours.

CREATING A PERSONAL RETREAT.

chakra pic 1

Are you time poor with too many demands from work, family or other commitments to attend a retreat or do you simply not have the money to pay for one? Whatever the reason, there is a simple solution, CREATE YOUR OWN.

With a little planning and preparation you can honour yourself and take the time to focus on renewing your spirit and getting back in touch with yourself or perhaps even reach out towards the spiritual awareness you desire.

The first thing to remember is that you are worth the effort. If that isn’t a good enough reason to make time then perhaps for some reason you haven’t yet discovered the importance of self love, in that case, for the moment, focus on the benefits a retreat will bring to everyone around you. A calmer, happier, more positive and peaceful you will be able to give them greater support.

PREPARATION.

* FIND A SUITABLE TIME.

What is the best day of the week to do it. Fewer commitments. Easier for those living with you  to support your need for silence.

Children at camp, away visiting, partner away, quieter time at work etc. If none of these are happening organise for them to happen.

*PREPARE YOURSELF.

Look forward to this time. Think what will make it really work for me? If you are addicted to coffee, tea or some other stimulant that will prevent your mind from settling cut back gradually. It will almost impossible to meditate with a screaming headache.

You might like to purchase some small item to enhance the experience for you. (This is not essential but if this is a treat you are giving yourself buying a special candle, some incense, a crystal, religious object, flowers or some special music can mark it as special and make it more significant.)

*TELL EVERYONE YOU ARE UNCONTACTABLE.

If it is difficult for you to do this for any reason, for example if you feel you don’t wish to share what you are doing at work, but need to take time out, then give a good reason, there is no need to lie simply tell the truth. “I am  going to visit a close friend who needs me and I won’t have phone/internet reception until I return.” Remember that no one is so important that they can’t be done without. It will only be for a day. If you were to die right now it may be a nuisance to some but they would quickly find a way to do those jobs. Look at it this way, at least you’ll be back and most if not all the jobs can wait till then.  If any can’t then delegate them for the day.

*DRAW UP A PROGRAMME.

Decide the length and number of your sessions. Four 30 minute sessions may be enough for a start (or six to eight 30 minute sessions).

Decide on the type/types of meditation techniques you will use. Sitting with focus on breath, object, mantra or walking.

*FIND A SUITABLE PLACE TO MEDITATE.

It needs to be quiet, not too warm and airy.

*CHOOSE SUITABLE MUSIC IF YOU ARE USING IT.

*DECIDE WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO DO BETWEEN SESSIONS.

If you plan to read choose suitable texts. Spend time outside if you have a quiet garden. Physical labour is also suitable as is creating a mandala or artwork. Whatever the task focus mindfully on

*PREPARE FOOD BEFOREHAND.

Keep meals simple and frugal. Fruit, salad, bread, nuts, cheese. Drink only water or fruit juice.

*PREPARE YOUR MEDITATION SPACE.

HAVE WATER AT HAND.

HAVE A WAY OF MARKING THE PASSING OF TIME.

Suitable music with timed pieces can be used or have a watch/ clock in sight so you can time your sessions.

HAVE A BLANKET OR RUG AT HAND.

If you are sitting still you may get cold and hunting for one can be distracting.

*ENLIST THE SUPPORT OF ANYONE WHO LIVES WITH YOU.

So that you can keep silent all day. If you have pets and they may distract you take steps to prevent them doing this during your meditation times.

*TURN OFF ALL PHONES AND COMPUTERS.

BEGIN YOUR PERSONAL RETREAT.

ENJOY YOUR JOURNEY!

Who are my family?

Irene

MY AUNT WITH MY HUSBAND BILL.

I have just come back from visiting my elderly aunt, who has lived by herself since her husbands death many years ago. She is fiercely independent, doesn’t want to go into a retirement home and doesn’t want to be a burden on anyone. These days  she is struggling with the day to day tasks of getting about. It takes me two days to drive down to see her, but she won’t come and live with us or move closer. She says she doesn’t want to live in the country but I suspect she doesn’t want to be a burden on my husband and I and try as I do to convince her she would be a gift not a burden she won’t budge. (There is a lesson for all of us here on the importance of not being too independent, for we could all benefit others by accepting our interdependence.)  I respect her greatly so for the time being this means that  I can’t see her as often as I would like but we phone her every night and the love we share is beautiful. I share  this beautiful ladies love with a man I barely know his name is Alex, a hard working Maori man, who  lives in the same block of units. He came to Australia from New Zealand many years ago, his mum, like mine has passed on and he has adopted my aunt. He drops in the daily paper on his way home from work,  fixes the television just about nightly and cooks extra dinner so he can give her some if she needs it. Alex is now family to me, I love him dearly. I really don’t know how I would sleep without knowing he is down there if she needs help. When we can’t contact her on the phone we ring his mobile and he goes and checks she is alright. He is very much the loving son and as she is like a mum to me he has become my brother. My aunt has two daughters, one lives about two hours further north of me the other lives less than an hour away from my aunt, neither visit or regularly ring, they are missing out on so much and I feel sorry that they are but I am so glad that a man from another country has the awareness that it is by giving unconditional love that we are loved and become true family to each other. We are all related but we choose how we relate and I sometimes feel that in Australia we have lost our culture of connectedness. Many are too busy with worldly business stuff and acquiring things that are impermanent and sadly miss out on life’s greatest joy, loving and being loved. Maori culture seems to know more about love and the true meaning of family. My husband today saw a young girl curled up and shivering in a bitterly cold bus shelter. He didn’t simply say poor thing and walk on by. He stopped and was able to help her by buying her a warm coat, a meat pie and making sure she had the bus fare to get her to her sisters. It cost him $50 but as he said to me if it was one of my kids I would want someone to help them. It is the old bible rule “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!” I love my husband and I admire the fact that from a hard life he has learnt compassion. Each day we are given so many opportunities to enrich our lives with true joy, the joy of giving. It may just be a smile , a friendly word, a recognition of the person serving you at the supermarket check out as a real person doing a tiring repetitive job or someone who just looks like they could do with a little help but it is the small things that can connect us a and make us fee valued in a big busy world. Stop being busy for just a moment, break down the barrier and connect! You have nothing to lose, even if the person doesn’t smile back they will notice and perhaps smile at another and you will have lost nothing but you will gain joy, joy in knowing you care and are doing all you can to make this world a more caring, loving place. Joy grows it isn’t fleeting like happiness, happiness is an extreme as is unhappiness there is a lot to be said for contentment and the quiet inner joy that comes from connectedness. It is this that enriches us and allows us to keep on giving. Enjoy the journey and the love fellow travellers share today.

MEETING YOUR GUARDIAN ANGEL.

Angel Brita

All throughout your earthly life you will be guided, supported and protected by your own very special guide, your “Guardian Angel”. Connecting with this angel is a beautiful and enriching experience, one that allows you greater insight and focus on the divine purpose of your life. To be able to make this connection to your guardian angel your soul or spirit energy needs to be attuned to the infinite light and love available to each and every being.

I originally learnt this meditation many years ago from the Reverend Carrie Ann St Clair, a wonderful teacher, international psychic, medium and friend, who has since passed on to the world of spirit. Over the years it has probably changed slightly but its essence remains unchanged. It is wonderful how the love, wisdom and teachings that we share with others lives on continuing to be a positive force in this earthly world long after we have left it. To enable you to take this journey effortlessly, without having the need to think about what happens next you may need to read the visualization below a few times or you may prefer to simply tape it so you can just play it back.

PROTECTION,

Protection is extremely important when ever we are attempting to contact spirit. Even when connecting to a spirit as beautiful as your Guardian Angel, it is vital to put in place psychic protection (a barrier) to keep you safe. Our physical body, as you probably already know, is made up of energy, as is everything and the frequency at which our energy vibrates is much lower than that of Spirit. This means our energy is denser or heavier. If you look at the analogy to the lotus, as the Buddhists do, we are at the lowest level sunk down in the mud and as we grow spiritually we come up through the water into the air and light where we blossom, unfolding to become  the pure, fully actualised  being that we were always  meant to be. Spirits are on a higher, less dense level. As they continue on their journey they also change energetically, their energy becomes increasingly finer, less dense and vibrates at increasingly higher frequencies.  This places us closest in energy to Spirits that are still in the lower energy levels of life beyond this earthly plane. Spirits who are still in the process of working through their own issues. It is important to avoid contact with them for their benefit as well as our own and that is why this meditation begins by putting protection in place.

There are various effective methods of protection that have been taught over the years. It is important to find one that genuinely works for you and your belief system. For some this may involve chanting, lighting incense or performing a set of specific rituals. Whichever practice you decide to use make sure you are well acquainted with it and that it is a well accepted, respected and a tried and proven one.

As a Christian I protect myself by calling on the Archangel Michael to protect me and keep me safe. I ask that he allow only Spirit coming in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ and from the light through to me. I then visualize white light encircling and filling the space I am in. I place myself in a bubble of bright white light and surround this with a fine gold mesh. Next I visualise a series of golden crosses. I place the first of these above the top of my head protecting my crown chakra. The second one I visualise below me, under my feet if I am sitting on a chair or below my base chakra (bottom of spine) if I am sitting on the floor.  I then visualise another gold cross in front of me and then I visualise a gold cross on either side of me and finally a last gold cross behind me.

Having done this I focus on my heart chakra, meditating on it until I am filled with love which I then send out to all sentient (feeling) beings. Finally I ground myself by visualising a deep root like that of a mighty tree growing, from the base of my spine if sitting on the ground or from my feet if sitting on a chair, down into the centre of the earth. Only then does my journey begin.

The Meditative Journey Towards Meeting Our Guardian Angel Begins.

Immersed in a feeling of divine love, released of all earthly tensions, we begin to transcend all physical boundaries and find ourselves bathed in warm, pure, golden light. We feel ourselves being ever so gently drawn upwards into this light. Emerging before us we see a smooth pathway and we step onto it, following it as it gently winds its way towards the top of a small hill. On either side of the path a profusion of flowers in all the colours and hues of the rainbow, gently wave in the soft, warm breeze.

We feel totally, blissfully at peace and on reaching the top of the hill we stop to drink in the beauty of the scene before us. The air is full of birdsong and we can hear the sound of a small babbling stream that is flowing through the valley below us. We wander on down towards the stream, feeling the soft, warm grass beneath our feet and the gentle breeze caressing our face. A short distance away we see a large smooth rock just near the edge of the steam. We go over and sit quietly down, drinking in the beauty that surrounds us.

The rock is warm and as we sit gazing at the amazing colours dancing in the light around us we notice that as the light sparkles and bounces off the water of the stream a fine mist is forming. Coming through this mist we see an angelic being gradually taking form and moving slowly towards us. It crosses effortlessly over the stream and stands before us for a moment before joining us on our rock. We feel strong rays of love and total acceptance enfold us as we commune silently, blessed to be here with  our very own guardian angel. Side by side, in the soft, warm, golden light, we are as one lost in this precious moment, suspended beyond time and place. We become more even more still, more peaceful, as deep in our heart a clear flame arises, grows and illumines our whole consciousness with a qualities of Gods divine peace, strength, courage, heavenly wisdom, joy and love.

After a time, feeling our guardian angel slowly rising, we become aware that this special moment is drawing to an end and that soon we will have to leave this special place. Our guardian angel makes us aware that they have a special gift for us. As we receive it we thank them before slowly rising and turning to head back along the path that led us here. Our feet seem to float above the path as we journey back through the beautiful flowers and birdsong. The light seems even brighter than before and as we travel on we quicken our pace, anxious to return and explore the gift we were so lovingly given by our guardian angel, aware of its potential to give us greater insight into our life’s purpose and the unique role we are playing out during this earthly aspect of our journey.

We feel ourselves being drawn down to sit once more in the safe, protected space which is just as it was when we left. We feel totally refreshed as we look around us and rest peacefully for a time before once more thanking our angel and beginning to slowly bring back our focus and attention to the physical space around us. We remember we have the precious gift and look forward to exploring it and its meaning more deeply in the days ahead. We rise slowly and drink a large glass of water before returning to other tasks.

May this meditation aide you on your journey as it did me. May you and your journey be blessed.

Chakras In Healing and Spiritual Development.

chakra pic 1

The word “chakra” comes from the Sanskrit, meaning “wheel” or “disk”. The origins of the traditional sevenfold chakra system are buried deep within the roots of Hindu culture.The earliest mention of the term “chakra” is said to come from the Vedas, the four holy books of the Hindus but many believe that the term pre-dates this and goes back to the ancient practices of the mystics and yogis who orally passed down practices that balanced the physical, mental,emotional and spiritual layers of energy in order to bring about well being and balance.

Chakras can be best understood if we liken them to valves that open and close to enable us to access aand balance the “electrical current” or “the Universal Life Force” we need to keep functioning. Chakra healing is based on the belief that in order for total well-being to take place we must act as an integrated whole with all the layers or levels of energy that make up the whole being in balance. Blockages that occur in this flow of life giving energy create imbalance and dysfunction and need to be removed because a blockage or dysfunction in one part of the system has an impact on all the other parts.These dysfunctions can happen whenever the energy flowing through the chakras is either excessive or deficient.

The chakra system is traditionally based on their being seven major points of connection between the physical body and the “vibrational” or “energy” body. The chakras line up along the spinal cord and coincide approximately with the positions of the glands in the endocrine system.They are seen as spinning wheels of energy, each of a different colour. The colour associated with them relates to the vibrational level of the colour.

The chakra system, as well as being a system used for healing, is also recognised as  a system for spiritual evolution or enlightenment. When using it for this purpose,the subtle energies of the various chakras are explored through meditation and yoga to help with personal and spiritual development.

In the Indian tradition, the centres are referred to as lotuses,the belief being that like the flower we are rooted in the mud and depths but ultimately we blossom under the light of the sun. The chakras when explored in this way are aligned to our differing levels of intuitive perception. The Base Chakra is aligned with the material level. The Sacral Chakra is aligned with the emotional level. The Solar Plexus is aligned with the emotional level. The Heart Chakra as you would expect is aligned with love, loving awareness and balance. The Throat Chakra governs communication and  in my experience  it is the centre psychics wishing to develop their channelling abilities focus on. The Third Eye Chakra is the level of the higher mind and is associated with psychic vision. The Crown Chakra is the level of alignment with spirituality and alignment to The Source, God, Divinity by the name you use.

When dealing with the chakras in relation to healing there are still more levels of meanings to be explored.

The 1st chakra commonly known as the Root Chakra (Muladhara in Hindi) sits at the base of the spine and is said to connect metaphysically to the Adrenals. These two small triangular glands sit atop of the kidneys and secrete a variety of hormones that regulate among other things the body’s metabolism of fats, proteins and carbohydrates and the ones that control the balance of salt in our body fluids. These functions see it also associated with the bones and skeletal structure of our physical body. These glands also produce adrenalin, the hormone essential for our “fight or flight” response. This is why this chakra has beeen so closely associated with our link to physical surviva land safety. The Root Chakra is associated with the colour red and our sense of smell.

The 2nd chakra commonly known as the Sacral Chakra (Svadhisthana in Hindi) sits about two finger widths below our navel. It connects energetically to the male and female reproductive organs ie the testes and ovaries. The Sacral Chakra govens our relationship with our own sexuality and issues concerning our emotional balance. It is also associated with the health of the bladder, prostrate and womb. It is seen as the colour orange and is linked to our sense of taste.

The 3rd chakra commonly known as the Solar Plexus Chakra (Manipura in Hindi) sits between the navel and the base of the sternum. It connects energetically to the pancreas and looks after the well-being of the digestive system and also our muscles. The colour associated with this chakra is yellow and the associated sense is sight. Interestingly we often use the term “gut instinct”  when describing feeling giving greater insight.

The 4th chakra commonly known as the Heart Chakra (Anahata in Hindi) is located in the centre of the chest. It is metaphysically connected to the Thymus gland and is associated with the heart, chest,lungs and the bodies circulatory system. It also has associations with the sense of touch.

The 5th chakra commonly known as the Throat Chakra (Vishuddha in Hindi) is located centrally at the base of the neck. It is metaphysically connected to the Thyroid and Parathyroid and deals with the mouth, throat and ears. It has associations with the colour blue and with the vibrations for sound and hearing and the development of claireaudience.

The 6th chakra commonly known as the Third Eye Chakra ( Ajna in Hindi) sits just above  and between the eyebrows. It is metaphysically connected to the Pituitary gland and governs only not  the eyes but also gives a window of vision beyond ordinary sight, it enhances clairvoyance, enabling mediums the ability to see the past, present and future. It is associated with the colour of indigo.

The 7th chakra commonly known as the Crown Chakra ( Sahasrara in Hindi) sits at the top of the head. It is metaphysically connected to the Pineal gland and governs the upper skull, cerebal cortex and skin .By  expanding your Crown Chakra you are able to tap into the deepest sources of spiritual wisdom.  It is associated with the colour violet.

There is so much more fascinating information available on Chakras both on the web and in printed literature, if you found this site which is so new, you must be on a wonderful journey. Enjoy! I will dedicate further posts to this subject as I feel it is such an important topic for anyone interested in spiritual development and healing.  I  believe that if we all share our fragments of knowledge they will add to and enrich our  greater wisdom. I hope you are sharing too and look forward to reading more posts from others on a similar journey.

Crystals An Aide For Your Spiritual Journey

mauve blue crystal

The beauty of crystals is breathtaking and uplifting, but crystals can do more for your energy than you may realize. Everything in this world (and the next), is made up of energy. Remember back in high school the teacher drawing three boxes on the blackboard? (showing my age here!). The first box had circles, closely touching, no room to move, this represented solid matter- wood, plastic, pencils, bricks etc. It also represented ice, the frozen state of water. The next box drawn had fewer circles drawn in it; the “particles” were able to move around each other. This was the representation of the liquid state. Water flowed because the particles were further apart and could move. The last box had only a few free floating particles and represented gas. Gas could be invisible and the particles having more energy, floated. It was less dense. The gas in the experiment that followed was air.  You then took an ice cube (solid), added heat energy, turned it to water (liquid), added more heat energy and made air (gas). It was all so simple and remains true.

Everything is made up of energy in various states including ourselves. We appear as a solid to the eye but we all know that like plants and other living things we are surrounded by an energy field that spreads beyond our visible self (our aura). The energy in our aura vibrates at a much higher frequency than that of our visible (solid) body. We are unable to see this high frequency energy (just as we are unable to see electricity) but it is there and we can certainly feel its effects.

We find crystals in a solid state where like us they give off energy which cannot be seen by the naked eye but which can be felt in the environment surrounding them. The energy given off constantly is able to interact with our energy and subtly change us.

One of their most beautiful and treasured features is their colour. When we see their colour what we are actually seeing is the wavelengths of light that are reflected rather than absorbed by the object. Clear crystals such as clear quartz take in and reflect out light without changing it. Other crystals, such as peridot, are nearly always the same colour because they have certain light absorbing particles (atoms) that are essential to their structure. Yet other crystals, such as amethyst, can come in a range of different colours and shades because they can have varying quantities of light-absorbing impurities built into their basic structure.

Science proved long ago that colour can and does affect peoples moods. We may smile but when you think how advertising people use it you realize it has many potentials. Pink walls in restaurants to make you eat more, dull olive green on the new cigarette packs to make them less attractive and turn you off smoking etc) At least we know crystals will not have their own agenda and if we are drawn to the certain wavelength of light being given off by a crystal it will be beneficial to us.

Some crystals are noted for their healing qualities. Amethyst is often recommended as it is associated with inner peace. It is believed that as it opens your connection between your spirit and the divine it helps to change negative energy into positive energy. If you are drawn to a particular crystal it may be that your body is sending a subtle message that it needs that energy, just as it is doing when we crave certain foods.  Other crystals have traditionally been linked with other positive qualities and I have listed some of them at the end of this piece to allow you to explore for yourself the benefits, beyond their beauty, that they may hold for you. Some are traditionally associated with spiritual development, but again I stress what you are drawn to is usually what is best to fulfill your specific needs. We are all different!

Enjoy your journey!