Our Source knows that we are by nature Joy. Wellbeing and Bliss are our natural state. Yet so often we keep ourselves far from this. Often, we live lives of ‘shoulds’ and ‘musts’ and ‘I would buts’.
This morning, on my way home from dropping my son at school, I heard a guy talking on the radio in his ‘pump you up for Monday’ voice. He said, “I’m gonna get you through the week’ and he gave a kind of overwhelmed grunt in support of all those people in the hated place of Monday. And I thought, what is this? What is this disgruntledness about life that we have adopted as ‘normal’? We seem to have this collective idea that life needs to be hard and that when we work our butts off and do more things that we dislike, that this makes us ‘worthy’. I know this is in many of us, because I see it in many people and I see it in me. This is probably one of the greatest things that I push against, if I can be truthful.
I have always believed in my heart that we can do what we love and be abundant in the doing of it. I could always feel that our natural state is Joy and this is what we as humans deserve, but I was confused about why we weren’t living that truth. I have looked around and seen so many unhappy people, especially wth their ‘work’ and wondered, what is going on, is this really how it is ‘supposed’ to be?
So now, here I am, creating my dream and spending my days as I choose and celebrating myself for creating this amazing life, but I still find myself waking up with a cloud hanging over me, the feeling of not good enough and something not being right. So, with no more distractions in my life (after moving to the farm on this little island in the pacific there are not many distractions left to keep one from looking deep into oneself and one’s motives), I asked myself, what is this cloud? Is it depression? Is it anxiety? Why, when I have created my dream and I have the daily life that I dreamed of having and I have a horse and 2 goats in my front yard and I’m doing the work that I love and is meaningful to me and I have a family and relationships of love, why am I still waking up with this cloud?
I then realized that the cloud was just my thoughts about what I am doing, my leftover belief systems about this or that and whether it is good or bad, etc. Judgment, worry, unsettledness, ungroundedness were all of the emotions and feelings that were sitting there when I dove into the stream of consciousness and the thoughts going on... So, with the realization that I needed to let go of old belief systems that were keeping me stuck in old thinking and old patterns of ‘not good enough’, I decided to go on a joy hunting expedition daily. Of course, my mind told me this was something I didn’t have time for and that I had all of these things to do that were ‘more important than my own Joy’, but I quickly realized this was not true.
I actually found myself having a conversation with my husband about us as humans and that we don’t value the emotional work and spiritual work that we do nearly as much as we value ‘actual’ work that we get paid for. I harped on him about this and drove this home that ‘I believe that the emotional, intuitive, mental, and spiritual work ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT work that we are doing here on Earth and the rest is just filler’ and I got mad and judgemental about his lack of belief of this and his belief that we have to turn ourselves inside-out working our butts off to get anywhere and to be successful. And then, in the middle of the heated conversation, I realized that I, too, had these exact beliefs, but that it was so much easier to externalize this whole belief system of society that I was also buying into on him and make him the bad guy. So much easier.
So when I accepted all of this within me and made Joy my priority daily, everything changed. Now, I go for walks and call them my ‘Joy Hunting’ walks. I tell the Universe that I am going to go walking in nature and I WILL NOT STOP or return to my house until I have been hit in the chest by my Joy. Sometimes it feels just like that. I’ll spend the first few minutes or longer of my walk, fuming and festering about this situation and that one and worry worry, stress stress....and then, I’ll feel like just standing by a tree or staring up into the sky and I feel it. It hits me right in the chest....Joy. Sometimes it feels big and expansive and sometimes it feels like awe and sometimes it feels like quiet appreciation of the beauty of nature. All of these things are my joy. So I ride the wave. I ride the wave of appreciation throughout my walk and it just feels so good. Then I go back home or to town or get into whatever activity it is that is mine for the day and it just works better than if I hadn’t joy hunted at the beginning of my day.
This is one of my biggest secrets to mental health.
Accept that Joy is my natural state and that I deserve wellbeing, health, wealth and Joy (this step can be one that needs much focus)
Find that joy daily.
If this joy-hunting seems hard or too big, start with appreciation. Write lists of things you appreciate.
Cultivate self-awareness. Mindful awareness. What is my mind doing? How about now? And now? Where are my thoughts now?
Make Joy a priority.
That’s it. But there is one more thing. As humans, when we think about the things that bring us Joy, we are usually looking at the world around us. We are looking at...is my life good, do I have the things I want, is this or that right with my life... but that is conditional Joy and we are talking about unconditional Joy.
Unconditional Joy is when we feel joy just because We Are. I feel Joy just because I am alive. I feel joy because I look out of these human eyes and see so many things that are amazing. I feel Joy because I feel awe. I feel Joy because I can feel. I feel joy because of the awe inspiring experience of being alive. Watch children. They know this. They know Joy for Joy’s sake. They know giggling for no reason and loving magic because magic rocks. They know that farts are funny and seriousness isn’t. They know. Watch them. Watch animals. They know about calmness, peacefulness, and ease. This is joy. Dogs know the wiggly, happy-to-see-you-after-you-were-gone-for-5-minutes-joy. All animals seem to know lay-in-the-sun-and-soak-it-up joy.
Joy doesn’t always have to be loud and rambunctious. It can be quiet contentedness.
No matter what form it takes, Joy is our natural way. Joy is our natural state.