“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.”
Spring is upon us, the cherry blossoms in their full bloom are bowing to the shifting skies. The sideways rains pound upon the window panes, the air is filled with a refreshing chill and the sweet scent of promise.
While running in the early morning rain, I have been thinking about this promise that we feel awaken at the first breaths of Spring. What is this promise? In part, it is the promise of fulfillment. It is also the promise of joy. We hope to see our seeds bearing fruit.
As I have been contemplating Joy, I have begun to wonder when does Joy arise. We allow ourselves to feel the full breadth and wonder of joy at the birth of a child, birthday celebrations, engagements, weddings, graduations, promotions, sunsets, smelling a sweet honeysuckle bud and the beginning of relationships. These events seem to lend themselves to a universal experience of joy. But, I wondered, where else do people allow themselves to experience joy?
Where do you allow yourself to experience Joy?
I made a list for all those places I experience Joy: sitting at the ocean, listening to the waves crashing upon, listening to a baby giggle, a bird singing its song, watching a child taking her (his) first steps, laying in the sun, reading a really good book, sharing a meal with friends, getting ready for vacation, being on vacation, and playing the piano.
I recently took up learning and playing the piano for the very first time in my life. I have always appreciated the sound of a piano. Learning to play the piano has brought me the most unexpected joy. I am astonished that I can play it at all. Now, as I work on a Bach piece, after just 6 months of playing I am beyond delighted. It has brought me so much unexpected joy. And I’ve realized how essential it is for us to have these places of simple joy in our lives.
Joy gives us a natural sustenance for dealing with more difficult aspects of our lives. It can give us a place to pause, a place to rest, a place to rejuvenate.
Why, I have wondered, has piano playing brought so much joy into my life? For me, it has been like finding the answer to a puzzle. It has not been the easiest of puzzles, but one I have enjoyed unlocking as I watch my fingers fly over the keys making their music. It has been amazing!
Bringing something new into your life that you en-joy doing adds new colors and flavors to your daily routine. This is certainly a place to start to bring more joy into your life.
Here are more suggestions for bringing more joy in your life:
- SLOW DOWN and truly experience the world around you. As you do, you will experience more of the life around you and more of the joy of life.
- SEEK JOY OUT! Too many people get caught up in the mousetrap of life. They go to work, come home, eat dinner, watch tv, go to bed and repeat. Life becomes very dull. You have to seek out activities, people, events that make you feel filled up and joyful. Make a list of all the things you know bring you joy … and then make sure you do at least 3 of these things weekly.
- JOY AND MEANING are often very closely related. Are you living a life filled with meaning or do you feel like you are just taking up space? If you’re not feeling as if the life you are living is meaningful, then begin to be curious about what would bring more meaning into your life. Make a list of things you know you find meaningful and then begin to stretch from there. Set some goals to bring more meaningful things into your life. For example: if you think giving to children would give you more meaning, look for all the different ways, small and big, that you could begin doing this. Today. Waiting for when you feel ready is merely a trick of the ego. The “right time” is always, Now!
- BE GRATEFUL. Be grateful for all the amazing things you already have in your life. Remember, that you already have more than what most people in the world have. You get to sleep in a nice warm bed, you have running water, you have heat in your home, you have more than enough food everyday, you have the capacity to make money, you have friends who love you and whom you love. And, I’m certain you can keep the list going. Don’t forget to be Grateful for all the things you already have. Filling your body and being with Gratitude makes it easier to attract more of what you want.
- Especially if you don’t feel like smiling, try it, it really does make you feel differently. Be willing to let go of feeling terrible. Smile some more. Send a smile to a stranger … you may never know the magnitude of blessing your smile has given the receiver of your act of kindness.
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