Monday, October 5th, 2015
After a lousy week and too much lousy world news, I had lost my joy.
I know I’ve lost it when I get locked into sarcasm (usually funny but still sarcasm) and gallows humor. My optimism takes on a jaded touch of trying too hard.
I needed to find my joy again. So I dedicated half a day to doing only what gave me joy. Harder than it sounds. Luckily I had time alone. First you have to remember what your joy feels like and then do what you have to do to stay with it.
Joy to me is like carbonated satisfaction. It’s not raucous like happiness, nor indulgent like pleasure. Joy lightens and refreshes and reorients to a kind of positive innocence.
Here’s where my joy took me today:
—I had an invalid morning. Coffee and reading in bed. I only read what grabbed me and changed when I lost the joy in it. I looked at a book with paintings and commentary of Picasso’s work. Then I switched to a novel. I never got to the point of boredom because I stayed with joy and changed when i realized I was “doing my duty” in some way.
—I had two phone calls that were going to head into unpleasant tasks. I told both callers that I was having a ‘joy’ day and I’d deal with tasks on Monday.
Bewildered but acquiescent, they agreed. Triumph. I turned off the phone.
—I sat on the porch in the sun and enjoyed the details of window boxes that soon I will destroy. Just stared and enjoyed.
—I gave some time to being sad about sad things–just sat with it until it evaporated and joy re-appeared.
—I held still a lot.
—I kept the discipline of shifting actions as my joy did. If it diminished, I waited til the next joy pull came.
—I did some odd task that gave me joy–like clearing a book shelf of 20 books
—I pulled in my antennae that are so sensitive to other people and kept close to myself–attuned to me.
I wish I could explain it better. It is such a good practice to do a reset for joy.
Joy just is, but sometimes needs attention and amplification. On another day, I might have a different list of joy givers. The practice is to stalk and consciously grow your joy.