Have you ever jumped for joy, literally? I have been percolating this blog for a while. I had posted on social media a little PSA about that we must find joy. Still I couldn’t bring myself to sit and write. I had conversations this week about joy with friends and colleagues. I have faced the challenges of reopening my private practice to bodywork clients and the fear along with all responsibility, the regulations, sanitation, and recommendations for offering massage. I have heard so many things that could pull me away from finding joy and yet I still seek it. Last night, I literally jumped with joy upon seeing a rainbow. I wanted to share that joy and called my son and his girlfriend outside to see it. I wanted to capture it on my phone. The photo didn’t do it justice and it couldn’t capture the salient feeling that came with the first sight of it.
Joy is a practice. Joy is a present moment experience and it is deeply personal and individual. Although it can be shared, it is not the same for the people sharing it. This doesn’t diminish the value of sharing joy, just know that people experience things individually. I love the thrill of something taking my breath with joy, like the beauty in nature or the birth of my son. Joyful experiences certainly can be remembered and bring happy thoughts but remembered joy doesn’t give that exhilarating experience. It’s toned down in some way. Joy happens spontaneously. I can’t go out and say, “Today I am going to be joyful.” I mean I could say that, but it wouldn’t be joy by my definition. Salient is a great word…meaning moving by leaps and jumps or standing out as prominent. What are those things that stand out in your experience? Many choose to see the dark side of things and focus on fear. That can be prominent, and I guess it could be salient. But to me the word calls in the leaping of the heart in a good way, like a first kiss kind of experience or the seeing of something beautiful in nature or the birth of a child or seeing an incredible work of art or hearing an amazing piece of music. I say joy is a practice because our current societal norms focus on the dark, the fear, the negative. This feeds more fear, anxiety, worry and breeds more darkness.
I walk most mornings early as the sun is rising. I see many sunrises and they are beautiful. They bring a smile to my face, most day. Has the novelty of their beauty dulled my joy? I would say no. I would say that I look to see something new each day that bring that leap to my heart. The other morning, when I started contemplating joy, the meadow was foggy and wet with rain from the night before. I decided to walk the edge of the meadow and the woods through the grass. As I walked, the grass was glistening with raindrops and dew. Sparkling like diamonds. Then I saw the first one, a spider’s web so delicately woven and accented with water. It was spectacular, and I gasped. Then I saw the next one, and the next one. With each web, my smile got bigger, my breathing danced between holding and releasing and laughter came. I was alone in the field with the Divine and wrapped in joy. It was euphoric. It was simple. It was right in front of me.
What are the things that are right in front of you that could take your breath? Bring that leap, that salient experience? How do you dull your joy? You may have to call on remembered joy to prime the pump. The other day, I was talking with a friend about joy and we reminisced about a trip we took to the beach. We laughed and said that did bring us joy then. She mentioned that she had been trying to attract hummingbirds to her yard. The hummingbird to many is the totem of joy. I have a picture of hummingbirds near my front door. As I was getting ready to go on some errands, I went to close my front door and there at my salvia flowers, was the first hummer of the season in my yard. My heart leapt and I texted my friend to share the experience, to share my joy. I think, no, I know we need to be sharing more joy! Gift the present of joy with those in your life. Share the stories of the things that touch your heart so surprisingly, so deeply that your heart leaps. Practice joy. Practice heart leaping. It’s awesome. It’s Divine! Until next time, I pray you find joyful surprises.
Blessings and Peace,
Blue Jean Oracle