ARE YOU LOOKING FOR MORE JOY IN YOUR LIFE?
I have truly enjoyed my passionate study of JOY. It seems so illusive to many and yet I can feel it even when I see the word, when I get quiet or when I see a baby, my own baby or a puppy. In a flash these experiences illicit the automatic JOY filled emotional responses. Would you agree? What are the experiences, moments and memories that bring forward the same emotion of JOY for you?
In our ReFRESH workshops we talk about what brings you JOY? We spend 30 days documenting and journaling our joy filled activities. We are in pursuit of JOY. What are we pursuing? We are in pursuit of the innate feeling that resides inside, it is an available 24/7 emotion that we all have. We are hardwired for JOY! Yes, life happens, and ego can come into play and still we can tap into our JOY place. With some practice and belief that it is present, we can have it!
I recently read this passage from Dr. Robert Holden; “Joy is the soul of happiness. Like pleasure, it can express itself through the body, but it is not of the body. Like satisfaction, it can be felt emotionally and appreciated mentally, but it is so much more than just an emotion or a state of mind.” Joy is bigger than your ego and not dependent on circumstances. Isn’t that reassuring that it is available. So how do we get it, you might ask? You don’t GET IT, you have it!
Helen Keller described joy as “the holy fire that keeps our purpose warm and our intelligence aglow.” Mother Teresa wrote, “Joy is prayer. Joy is strength. Joy is love. Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.” And C. S. Lewis referred to joy as “the serious business of Heaven. “
So, I would like to encourage you to consider relaxing the search. I would suggest that we tune into and align with JOY and just allow yourself to feel it and when you feel it, make note of the moment, the circumstance that you were able to tap into the well of JOY and bring it into your awareness. Most of us can think of one unforgettable JOY FILLED moment in our life. The more you FEEL that feeling; the more you become a vessel for Joyful expression.
I claim the identification of JOY EXPERT – why because I want to be certain that I am attracting that to me and to my life. I am declaring it as so, while I let Spirit unravel the details. I AM A JOY EXPERT! My statement is one of declaration and certainty and not one of searching or in pursuit of. I am open and willing to be open hearted and receptive to all the JOY inside me and all the joy that is to out picture in my world. In just saying those words I feel such overwhelming JOY. I hope you will continue to this journey during our ReFRESH workshops, meet ups, podcasts, blog posts and with Spirit.
Let JOY find you while in prayer, meditation, art, dance, singing, music, witnessing, silence, reflection, journaling, photos and scrapbooks, poetry, nature, cooking, all activities you love. What seems to emerge from these creative expressions is pure JOY!
Qualities of JOY!
When people tune in to the feeling of joy, what often emerges is an awareness that this joy is somehow always with us. Joy is quietly, invisibly ever-present. It is not “out there,” and it is not “in here”; rather, it is simply everywhere we are. Joy feels somehow beyond space and time. Joy does not come and go; what comes and goes is our awareness of joy. Ironically, we often feel the presence of joy the most when we stop chasing pleasure and we stop trying to satisfy our ego.
Upon discovering this joy, many people experience a greater sense of creativity that rushes through them. Your ego may get the byline, but really joy is the author. Joy is the doer. Joy is the thinker. Joy is the creative principle. In one of my favorite Upanishads, classic sacred texts of Indian literature, it is written: “From joy springs all creation, / By joy it is sustained. / Towards joy it proceeds, / and to joy it returns. No wonder so many artists take the course.
I like to describe joy as “unreasonable happiness” because it doesn’t seem to need a reason. It is a happiness that is based on nothing. In other words, it doesn’t need a cause or an effect to exist. Certainly, good things, favorable circumstances, and a happy state of mind can make you more receptive to joy; but joy still exists even when you are not receptive to it. Joy needs no reason. And therefore, we can be surprised by joy even in the most ordinary moments.
Unlike pleasure and satisfaction, joy does not have an opposite. It does not swing up and down, as our moods do. And it does not wrestle with positives and negatives, as our mind does. Joy does, however, have a twin. If pleasure’s twin is pain, and satisfaction’s twin is dissatisfaction, then joy’s twin is love. When people describe joy to me they always mention love—even the lawyers, the politicians, and the psychologists.
Like love, joy is fearless and untroubled by the world. It is as if nothing in the world can tarnish or diminish the essence of joy. As such, it is free.
Many people describe a sense of emptiness and a “fall from grace” that follows an encounter with great pleasure and satisfaction. This is not the case with joy, however. One of the most beautiful qualities of joy is the abiding sense of “enoughness.” Unlike the ephemeral states of pleasure and satisfaction, joy does not induce a craving for more, because joy is enough. If ever we feel joy is missing, it is because we are absent-minded-caught up, probably, in some grief over a passing pleasure or preoccupied with a new object of desire. “Joy is the organic state of your soul. It is not something you achieve; it is something you accept.”
From Dr. Robert Holden
I am excited about the possibility of having JOY available at my desire. How about you? Are YOU ready to align and feel your JOY? No need to be in SEARCH of JOY. It is available to you and to us all. May you continue to feel JOY, be available to JOY and witness unconditional, 100% available JOY!
Until next time!
Helen Mitchell, MA, CMP
ReFRESH – Deeper than a Retreat