Here’s the thing about “choosing joy”: it’s not about denying anything. It’s not about “sucking it up” and putting on a happy face when we are suffering.
A true joy isn’t about about faking it; it’s about cultivating the space within us for joy to arise on its own with ease.
Read that again. A deep sense of joy isn’t “found” anywhere, it’s not “outside of us.” Joy “comes from a “space within us” that enables the joy within us to arise.
What is such a “space within us”? What is the way to a deeper joy?
Before running after joy, “shoulding” ourselves in to it; before getting mired in our emotions…… we pause.
We notice whatever is present.
We say “Ahhh, I see you, dear one” with tenderness.
We put our hand on our heart.
We allow whatever arises space to be.
Without clinging or pushing away — anything.
And what happens? We soften! We relax. We create spaciousness. Insight arises. We embrace the next right thing to do…which may be taking a break from work and going for a walk, calling someone you care about and telling them, saying “I”m sorry,” buying the healthy food choice for lunch, or going to sleep early tonight.
Ironically, as we accept WHAT IS — without denying anything or forcing ourselves to ‘be joyful’ – joy naturally arises. A deeper joy that sustains us.
So don’t fake the joy. Create the space for it to arise on its own.
On Wednesday, April 8, our Mind-Body Connections community will gather to experience a practice of reclaiming a true joy in our everyday lives.
Register here for Reclaiming Joy.
This post was written by Lisa A. McCrohan, MA, LICSW, RYT, Wellness Workshop Facilitator, Psychotherapist, Compassion Coach and Soulful Writer at Barefoot Barn.