Monday, April 22, 2013

Three Essential Ingredients for Joy

The natural state of being for our heart and soul is Joy. When we experience Joy our truest nature is revealed to us -our creativity and consciousness expands naturally and as they grow we know more Joy. Joy unfolds within us in our hearts- when we recognize our magnificence and self worth, as well as the magnificence and worth of others- and know how to express gratitude for all of it.

There are well known steps to increase Joy: meditating, practicing gratitude, loving oneself, loving others, helping others etc.  For some it may be easy to adopt these practices for others it may be difficult to even think a happy thought. If you are in the midst of a painful crisis -- Joy and Happiness can feel impossible. At these times it may be more authentic for you to step back and allow yourself to take the time that you need to just be with whatever is going on for you.

When extra care is needed during challenging times the ingredients for Joy can help you take into account what is happening inside you and around you.  At the same time the three essential ingredients for Joy are also what brings more Joy to us.

Remembering, Recognition & Gratitude.

Remembering who you are in the fullness of your being: What causes your heart to expand?  What makes you happy? Think about your life and what made you happy.  When you remember your heart expanding and being happy let your awareness drift back to that moment. How did you feel? Breathe deeply and relax into those sensations. Find the center of your awareness and deep inside that center say Yes! I want more of this. You will feel a warmth and relaxation- a lightness of being. Keep breathing and allow yourself to fully feel and remember these beautiful feelings again.

Recognize what you are doing and what is going on around you. Stay in relationship with yourself. Ask yourself what you need to do to take good care of yourself and learn to be kind to yourself. Take care of your relationships with others. What do you contribute and what do you receive? Become responsible for how you feel without making others wrong.  Finding beauty each day and acknowledging it keeps us relaxed and brings happiness. Recognizing that we are all part of the interconnected web of life can inspire us to act with enthusiasm and purpose- which brings a great sense of fulfillment and joy. 

Express Gratitude to those around you and to yourself .Look inside and figure out what you appreciate. Expressing thanks and thinking about whom and what you appreciate around you rebalances your relationship to yourself and others.  Becoming aware of what you enjoy and how it comes to you can be developed into a permanent habit  of choosing to be grateful and that shift brings more joy not only to us but to those we express gratitude to.

Joy is already there in your heart and mine because Joy is in every heart just waiting to be known and shared.  Use these three essential ingredients of Joy to amplify it’s presence in your awareness and see how your life changes.

Sometimes your JOY is the source of your smile,
but sometimes your smile can be the source of your JOY.
                                                                                                                                     Thich Nhat Hanh

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