“I played this weekend, Lisa,” A client told me as her face lit up, her shoulders expanded and relaxed, and she fully exhaled. A psychotherapy client of mine had just gone on a vacation with her girlfriends, something she hadn’t done in a very long time. I notice how the tension melted from her brow and her eyes even twinkled. “I was reminded of who I am and how this sense of play and joy is within me. ” Yes – she had just experienced JOY. And it had been a very long time coming.
How is it that we can get so bogged down in our daily life and take such a serious, stern and harsh approach to “going through life”? We live in a culture that values always being “on the go”, accomplishing more, doing more, and rising to the top. Such life-nourishing experiences – like joy, play, and true connection – can go by the wayside on the way to higher heights. We trade “lingering” for “hurrying”. We trade “joy” for “I must do….”
Joy and delight are far from fanciful afterthoughts in life. They are necessities for living with vitality, going about our day with vivacious focus, and living according to our Deepest Self.
Learning to cultivate and practice joy and delight in our everyday lives is a radical posture to take in a culture like ours! Learning to cultivate joy and delight calls our attention back into our sacred inner landscape. It doesn’t deny the suffering that is present, but rather tenderly holds it and even reverences it. That isn’t just poetic, it’s a truth we begin to embody as we practice cultivating joy and delight.
On Wednesday, May 4, I’ll be leading us through practices for cultivating joy and delight in our everyday lives with our Mind-Body Community. It’s our last session for this academic year. I hope you will join us. You can register here. If all the tickets are taken, please email me and we can get you on the waitlist. Blessings to you, Lisa
This post was written by Lisa McCrohan, MA, LCSW-C, RYT, Wellness Workshop Facilitator, Psychotherapist, and Compassion Coach. You can find Lisa here.