The Sensation of Joy – Day 18

The idea of Joy keeps coming to me – first through my meditations, then through books, and then just in my everyday consciousness.

I’m beginning to fully understand that the real task is not so much the pursuit of Joy as it is the sensation of Joy.

What’s the difference, you ask?

The first – the Joy we pursue – by definition resides outside of ourselves. It is found in things, activities, people, conversations.

The sensation of Joy, on the other hand, resides within us. It is found in the simplest of fashions: by feeling the feeling of Joy.

One is about bringing Joy to us, the other is about enlivening Joy inside of us.

I go back to this thing that I call the Falling Asleep game (named as such because it’s easy to remember to do when you’re lying down to sleep). It involves nothing other than filling yourself with the sensation of Joy. Just feel it, from your toes to your head.

(If you want to give it a try, and find that you have trouble eliciting the sensation of Joy, try this: imagine you have a giant watering can filled with liquid Joy, and your body is an empty vessel. Start filling, and as you do, visualize this liquid Joy filling you up from your feet to your legs, and so on.

And please, don’t knock it ‘til you try it.

The other piece of Joy that’s been coming to me lately is the understanding that it is really nothing more than a choice we make countless times each day. Doing my daily activities, do I choose to hold a sense of Drudgery or Joy? At work, do I choose to view each interaction as a Power-play or an Open Opportunity to relate to another human being? Making dinner…I’m typically exhausted by that point in the day, but it doesn’t mean I can’t summon an internal sense of Joy – for no reason at all other than that it feels good.

I’ll be the first to admit that it takes vigilance. We have some re-patterning to do before it gets easy. This moment and the next – today, tomorrow, and onward – we must choose Joy as often as we can remember to do so.  Each moment, we must move through our lives holding Joy in the forefront of our experience.

For those of us who are looking to make a shift, to enter our beings into something warmer, wiser, and more fulfilling, it’s more than worth the effort. For it’s both the task and the path – both the challenge and the reward itself.


~ by Julianna on January 25, 2009.

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