Many of us run around stressed most of our days – struggling to get from one commitment to the next, in the allotted time. Little attention paid to the beautiful sky, the smell of the sweet roses, or the worry of a child.
We seem to be habituated to the stress of every day life, with cell phones that can get you at anytime of the day and email that can get through to you while you are on the phone. Multitasking is the routine not the oddity, and single tasking is seen as something that is less than optimal behavior.
Sometimes the most difficult word is no and the most beneficial task accomplished is to stay still and not rush on.
Joy expands our time, our actual experience of life. In a moment of bliss we experience eternity and the expanse of the galaxy, in that moment we can experience a oneness with the universe.
Being stressed and focusing on the minutia of things keeps us locked into time as a task master and we can feel stagnated or cramped. It interferes with our opportunities to see moments of bliss.
Focusing on gratefulness for the simple sustaining aspects of life – dear friends, and family, health, interest in our work, beauty in our garden – can get us into the right perceptual state to experience joy.
That’s how using mindfulness and meditation can help us open up space to breathe and to transition into Joy.
By Joy I mean reveling in the mundane gratitude of a beautiful sunset or a child’s excitement at learning new things, a set of friends and family so wonderful they all want to see you now. These are the kinds of mundane things or problems I think make life living – being grateful for these are transitions to joy.
One year I had volunteer pumpkins grow in my garden. A wild weed of green that looked like something I might like, so I let it grow. Sometimes what we think is a weed may actually be something that enriches our gardens. Weeds are the plants we don’t plan on, but I like to think of them as volunteers. Some may be bothersome, but others, like obstacles, may bring special gifts we need to unravel and revel in.
Growing up in the Southwest I had to discover a special kind of beauty in the plants around me filled with shades of grey, purple and sage. They are unlike what we draw in our gardens as children but they have special properties. That are imbued with a different hue of beauty, subtle and forgiving; many are quite healing actually.
Choosing to see the joy around me, to be grateful for that which I may take for granted but is great, is my best way to maintain a connection to that inner place of peace.
Mindfulness is a way of being in the world that fosters joyousness.
Using mindfulness as a guide, notice the weeds and mundane elements of life that make your life more positively full. You may find that in breathing and focusing on the positive elements of these you find some transitions into Joy.
See you tomorrow.