Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Ubiquitous Joy

We’ve been working at this life with vigor. If we ignore our own needs, an internal resistance will take hold, fighting against further progress. Finding joy is crucial in counteracting this resistance from within. We need to create or find space and time where joy can flourish in our daily lives. Joy is vital. It is something we deserve, and it’s within our capacity to experience in every day.

Maybe, we don’t know what joy even is anymore. Joy is a state of mind characterized by an openness and exuberance to conditions and situations. It is both through awareness and interaction that we experience joy. It has a dynamic, fluid quality to it that affects the atmosphere of wherever we are. Joy even can make our minds and our bodies work more effectively and efficiently. It is both a fuel and a medicine.

We can see someone that is experiencing joy, and be affected by it without any words being exchanged. We must be open to it for this transference to take place. If we are not open, our reaction could be one of neutrality. Often, however, our reaction would be denigration or persecution. When we’re closed off to experiencing joy, seeing others experience it can be extremely painful, showing us what we lack and need. This is why discussions about joy can inspire resistance.

We may be resistant to this idea of finding joy in every day because we can easily ignore the mundane as it is ubiquitous. Joy is simple, but it requires openness and engagement. Therefore, our mind is the arbiter of joy. It is up to us.

Our daily life may be routine, as we wake up, go to work, eat a meal, return home then fall asleep. We may consider all of that joyless. We must change this perspective. By ignoring joy in our daily activities, we’re missing countless opportunities to alleviate our pain and suffering. It is easy to find joy in something new as our mind thrives on exploration. Unless we’re a true explorer of the external world, opportunities for new external exploration can be limited.

This is when we return the focus to the confines of this life. There are three things we do nearly every day: eating, sleeping and defecation; the three jewels of daily joy. Not only are these critical to maintenance of our physical bodies, each can offer amazing insight into our state of being: what we eat fuels our body; sleeping helps maintain our body and mind; without defecation our body would expand until it explodes. Considering we do these three activities nearly every day, these can also become sources of joy; we need only be open and engaged with each to garner the benefits.

Perhaps, we have serious situations to grapple with in a day. We can even experience joy through being open and engaging with any difficulty. By being open, we expand our awareness and broaden our perspective. We may do so without joy, but imagine if we encountered difficulty with a joyous spirit. Our mind would be more free to see opportunity and less likely to see obstacles and restrictions.

We must be open and engaged to experience joy. It can refuel us and it can help us to recover. We can find joy in attacking difficulties, and we can find it throughout our mundane existence. Joy is ubiquitous. It is a choice in how we engage our life. A joyous life, or a joyless life, the choice is ours. 

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