Joy is an emotion that occurs when you are totally at peace and living in in the Now. You are not thinking about the future or the past or what you need to do later in the day. Joy is the sheer pleasure of being present and attentive to the moment at hand, and whatever is arising. Few of you can stay present for very long. You skip all over the place with your thinking and therefore joy is lost. It takes focus, immersement, surrender and acceptance for joy to be present. It is not a doing or an efforting, it is an ease, a relaxation into what is.
The questioning mind keeps you away from joy. The judging mind sends it away further. All these mind activities keep you stuck in the head and away from your heart, which is where joy is felt. So you can’t have lasting joy unless you can rest in your heart. When you can do so, you see beauty and joy everywhere. You see it in nature, in the sunshine, in dogs playing, children laughing. You see it in life and its busyness and you see it in the faces of those who are eating cake or icecream or who are on an endorphin high after exercise. Joy is everywhere when you are in the receptive state to see it, feel it and receive its vibration.
That means your heart needs to be peaceful and for many of us that isn’t the case very often. Many people have hearts full of emotioal pain, yet to be released, full of fear and mistrust, confusion and pain, doubt and loss. There are lots of emotions and painful thoughts or beliefs leading to and perpetuating these low vibration emotions and energies. People’s bodies are filled with these issues creating emotional density or baggage. The heart is weighed down and joy which is very light is not felt.
It can be felt temporarily when you do something that stills you, that takes you to your heart and to enough inner silence that you can hear the heart’s message. This might occur during meditation, a walk in nature, holding a baby or a beloved pet. Whatever it is that takes you inside yourself and quietens your mind, then you can feel joy.
Joy can last and become your predominant experience, once you have cleaned out the emotional density and ceased reacting to the events that occur around you. If someone cuts you off in traffic, you don’t have to get agitated or angry. You can stay calm and peaceful. It’s a choice. A habit to break and a decision to choose differently. Even if someone is in your face saying unkind things, you don’t have to react with fear or with anger back. You can just stay centred, send love to your heart and your inner child, and choose peace. You can send the person love and acknowledge their power, for that is what they are truly seeking, to be seen, heard, acknowledged and accepted. They are hurting inside and lashing out. Don’t deepen their wound by reacting badly/painfully, send them love and help them heal. If you can do this, you can maintain your state of balance, peace and joy, no matter what you encounter.
It is possible, you just have to learn to do so, to be able to step back and witness what occurs and choose your reaction. So monitoring your thoughts, being quiet enough to hear them, is an important skill to learn in order to have peace and joy all the time.
If your body automatically reacts with exaggerated fear responses to situations this is a signal that you have trauma inside that needs to be released. Your body is reacting as if you are in evere danger when you are not actually in danger.
A door may bang, a raised voice might occur, a car backfires and your body goes into freeze, into hypervigilance and defensive reactions. This is a sign that you need to comfort your body, connect inside and release that stress, tension and trauma, so that your body can relax, become more peaceful and able to relate to others, to life in more joyous and open ways. While your body feels there is threat, danger, it won’t relax fully and this makes it hard to have sustained joy as your mind is preoccupied expecting danger and scanning for it.
The scanning for danger distracts you from the moment, the stillness, the joy of being present to what is. It keeps you activated, primed ready to respond to whatever does occur. It can be exhausting even though nothing bad is actually happening.
You can use Tension and Trauma Release Exercises (TRE) and other embodiment activities to help you to clear out the stress, tension and trauma in your body, so it is easier for you to be in the now, to relax and to enjoy life. TRE activates the body’s natural, inbuilt mechanism for releasing stress, tension and trauma. It helps to calm your nervous system, to come out of freeze, fight and flight, back into calm social engagement, where you feel safe, can relax and play with others and enjoy life.
It is well worth learning TRE to help you be calm, playful and joyful as you move through life. It does take some time for your body to reach this state. You have to clear out the old stuck energies so the new lighter energy can enter. Thankfully with TRE you can do it at home, whenever you want, as part of your self-care process. Once you have learned how to self-regulate your TRE you can do it on your own, for free, for the rest of your life. Your body will thank you for it!
Even if you temporarily lose your cool and need to balance back up, you can do so quickly if you don’t berate yourself for it. You can simply notice that you reacted, learn from it, heal whatever button or event it triggered from your past and vow to react differently in future. Love yourself and the situation for the healing it enabled. Thank it and let it go. No need to hold on to it. No need to beat yourself up for slipping or not being perfect.
You are human and you are evolving and growing each day. Each day moves you towards having greater peace and joy in your life. The recipe is clear, less doing more being, less judging more accepting, less resistance more allowance, more fun and creativity, more stillness and going within, more practice and friendships – more sharing and growth. All of this adds up to a life full of joy and happiness, being of service in whatever way feels right to you. Blessed BE. Amen. May joy be in your hearts now and always. So be it.