Joy: Does this Holiday mood elude you?
A client told me yesterday, “I’ve been busy socializing and going to a lot of parties lately. It’s fun, but I actually feel less Joy than when things were quieter, when I had time to meditate. I miss that and want it back.”
She was actually identifying the very nature of Joy. The pleasure we feel when stimulated by a thing can “spike” us into an experience of Joy, which is a very specific state of consciousness. It is wonderful but fleeting event that we naturally seek to sustain, yet may find to be transient and elusive.
That’s because true Joy “arises from within each moment of existence rather than from any outer source.”* Many things that come to us can give us a taste of it, but then they go. How to find a reliable source?
Start with Compassion. It opens the heart and leads to unconditional love. Love, free from fragile sources, teaches us that it is possible to separate how we are treated by people, and life, from how we feel about them. Read these lines a few times. It’s a tall order, but quite achievable.
Our physical world will never be without pain, but long ago it was discovered that we can live full of Love and Joy amidst the very muddy muck in this world. But just as my Joy-less client said, that requires something more than the “stuff” of life. We must go deeper into its essence. That requires getting quiet and still to look beneath acquisitions and actions; to listen below the noise of the mind. Call it contemplation, meditation, prayer, or devotion, it is a key to true Joy.
There’s pressure to be ‘out there” this time of year, but the season more naturally calls us inward to the Self. So light a simple candle and sit. Go in and find the Love and Joy that are inherent in your existence; available for you always. No one can buy it. And once found, nothing can take it away. You need not seek, nor give up, but allow it space to arise. In this way, practice bringing Comfort & Joy into your world.