A Spark of Joy
By now, almost everyone is familiar with the T.V. show featuring Marie Kondo; where she goes into peoples homes and helps them to tidy up and let go of all their unwanted stuff. What she asks people to do when deciding to let something go - say a piece of clothing that they haven't worn in years yet keep holding onto - is to ask the simple question, "Does this item spark joy in me?" If it does, then the person keeps it, and if it doesn't, they give to the local Goodwill for someone else to use. Imagine if you used this simple question, not only for deciding what clothes to let go of, but for every single choice you make in your life.
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. Take a moment before choosing, 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 that may not spark joy, but you HAVE to do them regardless.
Yet, what if these obligations are just the minds way of convincing us that we must continue doing things that bring nothing but unhappiness, worry, and a sense of despair to our life? If we open to the possibility that EVERY moment of our Life 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. 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 offers the opportunity to experience a life of joy and delight, if that's what you choose to have.