“Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.” … Henri Nouwen
My friend Karen always says that in order to feel good … in order to get that “just-right” feeling in life we have to watch for the signs and “follow the bread crumbs”. And no she isn’t talking about us all turning into a bunch of Hansel und Gretel’s looking for gingerbread houses and a way out of the proverbial forest. Nor is she talking about us morphing into super sleuths – detectives par excellence – who notice even the slightest clue that might lead us a couple of steps closer to happiness and joy. She simply knows that paying attention to the wonderful synchronicities of life will lead us down the path that is both our birthright and our most desired destination.
I am waking up from my frosty cold and isolating sleep. My journey through surgery, pain and healing, albeit a relatively short one (only 6 weeks so far), led me through an alien landscape filled with darkness, fear, disconnection and sadness. I slept for 20 out of 24 hours each day and when I was awake I no longer remembered who I was. To borrow a phrase from Heinlein: I was truly a “stranger in a strange land.” THAT was scary!
To my great delight and relief I am finally returning … to me … and to life! The other day, as I wondered what I would be able to do out there in the “work world” and where I was supposed to go, Karen told me that I need to “follow my joy”. I just looked at her from my bed in the Dining room. She pointed out how I light up when I am writing and talking to people about inspirational stuff, and how helping that same light to show up in OTHER people’s eyes and faces seems to bring me the greatest happiness. “If you don’t mind me saying so: You need to be writing and teaching.” she said.
Really? How do I do that? I think that the answer to that question lies in the space inside of me that is filling up with the joy of returning life. I think that in order to find and follow my joy I first have to find and acknowledge it. So now, if I am going to be honest with myself, I have to admit that I have indeed found my sources of joy – well at least some of them – and now it is time to walk my talk and enter into the joyful dance of Life with both my healing and contemplative inner self and the Universal Dance Partner who seems to know all of the steps so exceedingly well. I believe that it is now time to choose Joy … and then … to affirm that choice and to choose Joy again … and again … and again.
I don’t know exactly how this new dance will look in the world. I’m a little nervous about not knowing enough of the steps to keep from making a complete fool of myself. However, I have faith – in the Universal Dance Partner, in my sweet and longing soul and in the Joyful vibration that is starting to fill my waking moments. I realize that if I just keep showing up on the dance floor, whether I am completely ready or not, that the Universe will lead me, Joy will spotlight and direct me and the excitement that I find in sharing my journey and joy will overflow from my life into the lives of those with whom I interact. Choosing Joy, time and time again, does indeed bring an increasing cascade of more joyful occurrences and those bring increased opportunities for me to share said joy and me.
This week why not take a risk: why not invite a little bit of Joy into your life. If Joy seems a bit over the top for you then go for Happiness, but be relentless in your earnest intention to move from your current state to a happier one. As with anything in life if you don’t at the very least invite in what you want it cannot and will not arrive. This week why not go for the gusto, jump off the dock, go for the big prize and intend that real Joy become a regular part of who you are and of your life. “Joy does not simply happen to us. … Choose joy and keep choosing it every day!”
Godspeed and Joyful Journeying Everyone