Elephant Poo, Expectations + Joy

giving an elephant a mud bath in chiang mai, thailand
There I was, on a family vacation in Chiang Mai, Thailand. We decided to go to the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary (no riding! rescued elephants who are treated amazing!). We were told you get to feed + play with the elephants, give them a mud bath + then wash the mud off in the river. Sounded AMAZING! What they left out, though, was that the mud bath part was most definitely filled with lots of elephant poo.

And, that's kind of like life, right? Yay! I'm going to do this ridiculously amazing thing + it's going to be such a great experience + my expectations are SO high. Boom! Something happens you didn't see coming + you're then faced with two options.

  1. Be bummed + sulk + complain + whine.
  2. Embrace what is + not what you expected + find joy.

It really is as simple as that.

I'm a firm believer there is joy hidden throughout all of life's situations. Even the tragic ones can bring people to a deeper understanding of love + compassion for another human. Death brings about celebrations. Lost jobs lead to rediscovering passions. Illness leads to a greater appreciation for life. All of those situations indirectly lead to greater joy + love.

It didn't take me more than 2 seconds to just say F it and jump right on into that mud. I'm in freakin' Thailand! Rubbing mud on elephants! The elephants were clearly loving life, so I should be, too! When will I ever be able to say I was smearing mud/poo on elephants (and my friends + family!) without sounding like a crazy person?

And I'm SO thrilled I did jump right into the poo with both feet and a wide ole smile on my face. Because there, I found joy. Was it a bit uncomfortable at first? Heck yes. Did I survive and forget what I was standing in? Heck yes. Did I get my arms deep into that mud and slather it all over those elephants? Heck yes! Did I find joy standing knee deep in elephant poo mud despite the fact I was standing in elephant poo mud? HECK YES!

playing in the mud at the elephant jungle sanctuary in thailand

What situations are you currently dealing with where joy might be hidden? Is there something that's a bit uncomfortable you've been putting off that you feel might lead you to some happiness? Take it from me, please. The joy is there. The love is there. The meaningful life filled with purpose is there. Waiting for YOU. It is. I promise. Just don't get too attached to unrealistic expectations + prepare to be amazed at what all this life has to offer.

Josh Solar

Leave a comment

Continue shopping
Your Order

You have no items in your cart