Maybe it’s the fresh cocoa.

We did get all blissed out on theobroma cacao — cocoa beans freshly picked from the pods, at the chocolate restaurant we dined at one day last week during the Joyful Genius Unleashed retreat in St. Lucia.

But I think it’s more than that. The message, wafting on the breeze through the mango trees, seems obvious:

R E L A X.

But beneath the relaxation lies a profound paradox:

In the emptiness lies the fullness, and in the fullness, the emptiness.

Our current society is set up so that most of us think that in order to achieve the “fullness” of life — the happiness, security, satisfaction, fulfillment, prosperity, freedom, and love — we need to be more full.

We fill our calendars to overflowing.

We fill our bellies to excess.

We fill our minds with non-stop information and stimuli.

We fill every moment of white space with busy-busy-busy-ness, unconsciously chasing the elusive fullness of life, and yet remaining disconcertingly empty.

And yet, this quest to “do enough” creates a stenosis of the soul — a narrowing, pinching off, constricting of the channel through which life energy flows into you and through you in to the world.

The beauty of being on retreat in a place like St. Lucia, is that it invites a s l o w i n g d o w n , stepping out of the usual frenetic pace of existence to go off the grid and simply BE.

To listen to the birds, watch the rain fall, and experience the lush abundance of tropical fruits in the jungle paradise.

And to discover anew the spaciousness and quietude within, through which life can flow freely, fluidly, and boldly.

It’s LIFE that wants to create more life, through you.

It’s EVOLUTION that wants to evolve you and us into more aliveness, connection, collaboration, and beauty.

It’s not your job to “do more” or micromanage the process or figure out the “how.”

Your job is to get out of the way.

Your job is to create space within your very being, to let life LIVE YOU.

paradise- a state of mind

Your job is to see yourself, your life experiences, your circumstances, and your challenges as the miracles that they are, and bow down in surrender and gratitude for the astonishing beauty of your very being.

And when you have relaxed and surrendered enough, life will pick you up and play its music through you, as the cosmic musician would play a flute.

Some days you’re the musician. Some days you’re the flute. Some days you’re the conductor. Some days you’re the music itself.

How can you experience your existence through the lens of multiple perspectives, more frequently? We practiced this in a Quantum Play(TM) exercise in St. Lucia last week, but you don’t need to fly to the Caribbean or even be on retreat to practice.

Begin with gratitude.

View your existence as if today’s the very last day you have on earth.

Really take in the miracle of your existence, right now.

Imagine that you’re the cosmos, having molded and shaped the putty of reality into the physical being called You.

Let yourself experience the awe of all that you are and all that you’ve lived.

And when you are sufficiently flabbergasted by the exquisite nature of your very beingness, imagine that you are a red blood cell racing through your veins, taking the grand tour of your body. Whee!

Then imagine that you are a Desire in your heart. You have a color, a shape, and a direction. You want to move… how? Where do you feel free to move? Where do you feel stopped? How do you, as Desire, feel when you stop? And how do you, as Desire, want to dance when you feel free?

The miracle of YOU wants to create more miracles in all that you experience.

The question is, will you allow it?

Or are you so busy chasing the fullness that you forget the rich, teeming, fullness that you already are?

Everything you desire, exists in the very substrate of your Beingness.

Ignore your Beingness, and the external results you seek will forever elude you.

Slow down. Join us in the shade of the mango tree (pictured below) and honor the being of You.

Just for this moment.

Breathe.

(This is a photo of our laughter meditation beneath the mango tree, next to a pond filled with water lilies, near a garden filled with coconuts and bananas and star fruit and breadfruit and exotic flowers and hummingbirds and songbirds.)

“What you seek, is seeking you.” ~ Rumi

“Ever since happiness heard your name, it has been running through the streets trying to find you.” ~ Hafiz

Slow down. Let life inhabit your beingness.

It’s not all up to you.

There’s something bigger at work, and you can trust it.

Let yourself become empty, so the fullness can live you.

Love.

That is all.

Much love and mango trees.