My inspiration comes from helping others cultivate joy in their lives. This may sound like a simple process but for most individuals whom I have had the privilege of engaging in conversation with, the concept of Joy is an idea that most have not given much thought.
So many whom I encounter in therapy sessions feel stuck in their own expectations of themselves and in the expectations of others. The need to criticize, to compare, to compete, to have an opinion of and to judge, as an experience of life of ourselves and others, takeaway from the moments of profound and complete Joy.
“What if we can cultivate a conscious habit of seeking out Joy?”
We do not capture and embrace these moments as we are caught up in the mundane patterns of habits that we play out continually in our daily lives. Habits in our thoughts, feelings and behaviors, habits that make us feet momentarity comfortable, safe and secure in ourselves. What if we can cultivate a conscious habit of seeking out Joy?
I say seeking “OUT” joy because as human beings, we need to first seek out the experience and recognition of Joy in others and then in turn miraculously experience the inner Joy in ourselves. This is an imperative counteractive to the automatic critical eye that many of us cast on those we meet and experience in everyday life.
Seeking out joy is the experience of finding the glee and gladness in others’ happiness and good fortune, celebrating and acknowledging the successes and virtues of others and seeking the goodness in others. I am referring to a deep and deliberate Inquiry into the virtues of others, the joy of others, the greatness of others. Asking the question, can we genuinely be happy for the joys and successes we see in others, because it is only when we are able to acknowledge this in others, will we be able to recognize and appreciate our unique qualities, our unique successes and our unique purpose in this world.
At this critical time in our lives where we are all needing to embrace change, to become more adaptable, trying out new approaches and attitudes to almost all aspects of our lives, most are still feeling trapped in the rut of our mundane patterns of our thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Rather than welcoming each day with the unconscious expectation of sameness, what If we consciously embrace each new day as a day of opportunity and observe the day as if we are observing it and experiencing it for the very first time. in this attempt, perhaps we can seek and see joy in others. So many of us are so blind to our own virtues and goodness, we do not feel deserving or eligible to the simple pleasures that life offers us each day in passing moments.
Let us “seek out” joy in our lives by deliberately developing the capacity to participate in another person’s joy or finest moment, in the most spontaneous and sincere manner. Let us coach our minds to notice virtues over flaws, let us become alert and aware of the kindness in and good intentions of others, let us serve others in having good thoughts of them, acknowledging the smile in another, the greeting in another, the simplicity of a kind act or word, the bravery in others who seek out their meaning and purpose in life, the vulnerability and courage In others to take risks and show up with inner strength and resilience.
These are what I call “peak experiences” which can equate to an experience and emotion of “awe,” if we can just take a moment to pause from our automatic mode of response, and shift to seek and find the experience of empathetic joy.
We attract that which we give attention to, In our thoughts, feelings and behaviour. Old habits are not easy to shed, but we must be patient and gentle with ourselves, make it happen in moments of your day. Let us move from the stagnation of our critical and Judgemental minds, towards deliberately finding happiness In seeing, acknowledging the joys and successes of others, so that we can experience the same that exist in ourselves. If only we can just dare to acknowledge and appreciate the uniqueness and purpose that each one of us has to offer, perhaps there will be less separation and division, and a greater sense of community and togetherness.
There is beauty and healing in these peak experiences of discovery.