“Find the place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.” Joseph Campbell
How do you create joy in your life? Do you feel it because something good happens to you or does it well up inside because of something you do?
External events Create Joy
For years, I experienced joy as a mysterious feeling that burst forth from within me because of an event in the outer world. When I was in a play in college, I was given a role where I was the center of attention for a few minutes delivering a very funny monologue. I was ecstatic when I discovered I could make an audience laugh. Generally, I wasn’t a very funny person in my real life.
When I was chosen to dance with a modern dance company, I was filled with joy. My dream had come true. It’s true that my hard work took me to the place where I was good enough to be accepted, but it was someone else’s decision that stimulated my feeling of joy.
What if we could feel joy whenever we wanted to? What would that feel like?
It’s wonderful that we can feel joy about the good things that happen in life. But there is a deeper practice and a deeper joy to be found within. There are some days when I have no idea why I feel joy. I just do. Some mornings it just wells up from within the moment I rise to consciousness. I don’t remember having a particularly good dream, and I don’t have any exciting plans for the day. In fact, it may happen on days when I have to clean house and that isn’t a task I particularly enjoy.
Following Our Passion Creates Inner Joy
So, what causes the joy to appear? I think there are two answers. For some time now, I have been following my passion for writing. When we are doing what we love to do on a regular basis, it raises our vibration and energy level. We have something to look forward to. We are doing something that is satisfying at the soul level and it connects our deeper self with our outer life. We feel whole, we feel complete. We feel confident we are on the right path. Even ego feels peaceful.
If, despite the fact that we are following our passion, we are consumed with worry about whether we will succeed at this venture or doubt whether we deserve such good fortune, we need to understand that our negative thoughts will, no doubt, sabotage our success. They will lower our energetic vibration.
Creating Temporary Joy
We can temporarily lift our vibration by doing things that make us feel better. A little dark chocolate will usually give me a lift or going outside and listening to the birds sing. Reading some inspirational quotes may help or reading from Oneness by Rasha. Sometimes cooking a nice meal will do it because I’ve reached the point where eating healthy is an expression of self love. But when we become mired in these negative feelings despite the good that is present in our lives, there is something missing at our core that we need to repair.
Creating Joy At Our Core
There is a deeper joy we can experience. The joy that seems to well up from nowhere or for no reason comes from our connection with Spirit. Only in the last few years have I come to understand this. There were many steps on my journey to this place of comfort and wholeness. First, I learned to release my psychological fears. Through learning to meditate, I started to learn about mindfulness. After I learned that our thoughts create our emotions, I learned I could decide what I wanted to feel about my experiences.
The Joy of Acceptance
But the greatest lesson was learning acceptance—to accept what is, to accept not knowing the answer, to accept that Spirit will guide me to my highest good. I had to learn to surrender to Spirit what I could not solve, knowing that I would be guided to what was best. And out of releasing my need to control everything, joy emerged. It often wasn’t the joy of exuberance I felt at twenty-five or even at fifty-five. But it was a soft, sweet, calm joy and it felt like love, and I realized that, in surrendering, I was stepping into a level of trust with Spirit and my deepest self that I had never known before. This time, the joy I felt originated within me. I could choose to feel joy regardless of the external events of my life.
It is this deeper joy that can heal all pain and create security when we feel uncertain. It is part of the core of our spiritual selves. May you find the path that will lead you to this place of joy. It is within you.
What is the source of your joy today?
© 2013 Georganne Spruce