Joy is an essence state. When you experience joy, you feel electrically alive and interconnected with all of life. This aliveness is within and around you, and can also feel fleeting, leaving you with a sense that you might have missed it.
When you are “in” joy you can almost touch this unseen feeling. This feels so good that the common response is to try to grab on lest it slip away. It’s like feeling the light and warmth of the sun while hoping the clouds don’t reappear. Because you don’t want to lose joy, you brace against even receiving it. It is a bind; we want it, but we don’t want to lose it.
What can you do to create the receptivity and experience of joy? First become aware of the things you do enjoy, even simple everyday things. Sometimes you wait for things to be perfect to begin enjoying yourself. The “waiting to start living” syndrome is a familiar misconception fueled by our distracted state of living. It doesn’t have to be this way.
Use this mindful checklist and open yourself to joy.
Incline your mind and intention to be on the look-out for joy
Engage in daily practice that brings you to the present; meditation, conscious breathing, feeling the weight of your body
Fuel a grateful heart, express appreciation to those around you and experience gratitude; feel gratefulness in your body, heart and mind
Cultivate resilience know that this moment might be challenging but it is only one moment, not your whole life
Strengthen relationships, make eye contact, touch, express feelings and allow vulnerability
Recognize you are an integral part of a community; your life matters
Set a daily intention of how you want to “be” today
Open to see and hear expressions of joy
Practice silence and stillness
“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy”
― Thich Nhat Hanh
If you enjoy these weekly mindful checklists share with friends.