A Life of Joy
There has never been a better time than right Now to live with a sense of joy and enthusiasm. Despite what is happening in the outer world, where fear and uncertainty are arising more palpably everyday, we actually have the power within us to choose to live every moment of our lives with a spirit of joy and openness. In fact, there is not a moment to waste. An attitude of celebrating every moment that you are given as if it is the greatest gift you could possibly receive, will bring an even greater avalanche of gifts to be grateful for - and it all begins by a simple choice to do only what brings you joy.
For instance, when someone asks you to do something for them, or you're asked to attend an event, you simply go inside and ask, 'will this bring me joy?', and base your decision on how you feel. Or perhaps you have a friendship that has been weighing you down with negativity; you can look inside and see whether that relationship is actually bringing you joy, and if it's not, you can let it go. Actually, there isn't anything you can't apply this question too - it can be a litmus test for every choice that you might need to make. Simply take a moment before making a choice and ask yourself, 'Will this bring me joy.' Of course the mind (the voice in your head) will insist that this is impractical, and that there are many 'obligations' that you HAVE to do, regardless of whether they bring you joy. Yet, what if these obligations are just the minds way of convincing us that we must continue doing things that bring nothing but unhappiness, anxiety, and a sense of despair to our life?
If we open to the possibility that EVERY moment can bring joy and delight, then it stands to reason that the choices we make, and what we do, have a powerful impact on just how much joy we will actually experience. Of course, this is determined more by our inner-attitude towards something, than by the actual thing itself. Often, it's really not what happens 'out there' that determines our satisfaction or fulfillment in life, but the attitude that we bring to it. Try it this week; when faced with any choice - what movie to watch, where to have dinner, or whether to sit still for meditation; ask yourself, 'Will this bring me joy', and go from there. You just might be surprised to find that, every choice that presents itself offers the opportunity to either live in a state of unhappiness, or to live a life of joy and delight. All you have to do is have the courage to choose it. And as the great Zen question asks us, "If not Now, when?"