Joy is our natural state of being… it is what we experience once we let go of judgements, fears, and doubts, regardless of our situation. We are each on our own pathway of joy. However sometimes the view of our joy is obscured by barriers we have created, blocking our experience of the joy that is there for us… it’s right there… really! My mission is to help you identify and clear the view, and find your way back to that joy-filled experience in life.
So let’s begin breaking down those barriers, and restoring your joy!
[Disclaimer: If you are clinically depressed, or suffer with other psychiatric conditions, I am not suggesting that anything presented here will cure your condition. However, you might find the words here to be supportive or encouraging in some way.]
Start on the Inside
Joyful is the natural state of our soul. Find a point… even a tiny pinpoint… of joy in your soul, and let it build.
How?? Try this little meditative exercise. You can do it in just a few minutes, or allow yourself to bask in the joy for a while:
Find a comfortable place to sit or lay down. Close your eyes. Relax your body, with special focus on your torso and abdomen.
Take some deep breaths, in through your nose, and out through your mouth.
As you breathe in, let the breath surround your heart, and as you breathe out, allow yourself to relax further.
With each breath in, feel that sphere of heart-energy grow larger. Continue breathing in this way until the heart-sphere is no longer contained within your body, and now encompasses your whole body.
Now, ask your heart, “What am I grateful for, in this moment?” Wait for your heart to answer. It may be something very simple and humble, like something you had to eat today, a smile from a child, an old happy memory that has resurfaced, or simply knowing that you are safe.
See that point of gratitude as a brilliant spark of joy, in the middle of your heart-sphere. As you focus on the spark, see it light up your entire heart-sphere, like the brightest of stars. Feel its warmth, beauty, and support.
Now this whole sphere that is encompassing you with heart energy, is also filled with the light of your joy. You are encased in your joy. You ARE joy!
Lock in that feeling of the joy that bathes and supports you. That loves you. Feel it in every cell of your being.
When you’re ready, slowly wiggle your fingers and toes. Open your eyes and rub your hands together to ground yourself. Notice how you feel.
After you complete this meditation, you might want to make a few notes on the gratitude and joy you experienced.
You can do this as a daily practice, and after a while you will find that you won't need it anymore. You will feel your inner joy when you just think about doing the meditation… joy will become instant for you. Kind of like a Pavlovian joy-reflex!
Enlist Support of a Friend
You know those times when you have that friend who keeps **tching about how terrible things are for them? How everything is going wrong? You know how you wish you could just say to them “snap out of it”, but you don’t want to come across as insensitive?
Well, you can be compassionate and sensitive, AND at the same time help your friend to “snap out of it”, if they ask you to. So, your friends can also help you to snap out of your current funk, woe, or state of despair, especially if you ask for their help!
Here are a few Ground Rules first:
1. You are responsible for your own feelings.
Sorry, but you won’t find any self-help book worth its cover price that contradicts this truth. But this is really good news, because that means it’s completely within your power to “feel better”.
Where we get hung up is that some people mistake this truth as a need to deny or suppress their feelings. Denying your feelings only makes them worse, and can actually lead to physical ailments. What is better is to “release” the feelings. But how?? To release the “bad” feelings, they must be “processed”, like sending them through a grist mill to separate the valuable part of the feeling from the waste. I'll explain more later...
Ok, have you accepted Ground Rule #1? Let’s move on…
2. You are normal.
Everyone experiences ups and downs. Just for some people, most of their time is “up” and for others it’s mostly “down”. The goal is to cut the lines on some of the sand bags that are keeping you down, so that you can spend more time soaring!
3. If you ask for help, do your best to accept the help.
Find that good friend who cares about you. The one who will be honest without being “judgy”. The one who will still be your friend, no matter what.
Now remember, this is not necessarily going to be fun for your friend. If your friend is willing to hear you out, return the favor and listen to their feedback. That does not mean you have to do what they suggest, after all, we have Rule #1… ultimately, it’s up to you. But a friend can give you a perspective that’s difficult to find or accept on your own.
If you don’t currently have a friend like that, be your own friend. Yes, this means you might be talking to yourself through this activity; that’s ok. But do your best to step out of your ego to answer your own questions honestly. And if you find you’re being too easy on yourself, well then go back to Ground Rule #1, again.
We have our ground rules in place. Now what?
Find some time with that friend. Make it “chem free”… you do not want your mind and body to be under the influence of substances, nor do you want your friend to be.
Decide on one topic. You might want to start with something not too overwhelming. But make it something that does not “feel good” to you in your life right now. Maybe it’s friction with a parent or coworker, a habit that you would like to break, or a loss of some sort.
Explain the concern or situation to your friend. And then here’s the key… don’t ask them how to fix it. Instead, ask them “What do you think I am meant to learn from this experience?”
Then dive into a discussion about it. Don’t reject each other’s thoughts on this. Instead, build on each other’s ideas. Lean into your intuition a bit on this, and even allow it to get a little uncomfortable. Together with your friend, be that grist mill, capturing the valuable potential lessons, and letting the "waste" (the hurtful feelings) go.
Make some notes on what your lesson might be. You don’t need to come up with a final conclusion together (again, remember Ground Rule #1 - this is your stuff).
Then sleep on it. Look at your notes the next day. Consider the possible lessons, and decide which lessons resonate with you the most. Decide whether there is anything you want or need to do differently based on that lesson. You’ll probably find that this action is easier than expected, and that you’ll drop a couple of sand bags in the process!
These are just a few thoughts on beginning to clear the fog that is covering your pathway of joy. Of course, I would be delighted to help you with this, through an energy healing session, an empowering reading, or one of the joy-based workshops I offer!
What other ideas do you have on finding your way back to joy? What has helped you to find a greater level of happiness in your life? I welcome you to sign in and share your comments.