“Once I do this, then I can do that, which will let these things happen, and THEN I will be happy.”
Ever found yourself thinking this way? “Once I push through this burden or complete this task, then, obviously, happiness is guaranteed.” Truly the thoughts of an optimistic dreamer. And many times we do find joy in our thoughts, daydreams or maybe even a good book or movie.
But how do we experience true JOY?
Joy is not something you can put off or push to the side and then expect to pick right back up once you have finished doing _______, whatever it may be. Joy is a thing to be experienced fully in the moment. So one must be in the moment to experience the joy of life.
If you are cleaning your house on a beautiful sunny day but would rather be at the beach, then you are not enjoying the day. You are projecting upon yourself what would make you happy. It is dangerous to our emotional and mental state to project that any one thing will do any specific thing to us to make us feel joy.
Joy is not a thing we can force to stay or even a thing we can create whenever we want. Joy is being fully conscious of the life you are currently living and being grateful for it. Joy is exciting, but not over-stimulating. Joy is satisfaction, not boredom or gluttony. Joy is something you have within yourself–no other person or thing can give you joy that is everlasting. Joy is living your dream, following your intuition, accepting your place at this moment and the next and the next. Joy sustains us when it is true and drives us mad when it is false and fleeting.
Want joy? Love yourself. Listen to yourself. Take care of yourself. Laugh at yourself. Cry when you need. Beware of thinking what makes others happy will do the same for you. It won’t.
Can’t find joy? Ask yourself the last time you felt joy. What were you doing differently? The same? Was it true joy (life) or instant gratification (one day at the beach)? Sometimes true joy may be leaving the housecleaning for another day to enjoy the beach today, or it may have you happily clean, happily drive through rush hour on the way to the beach, and joyfully watch the sunset with a friend.
Whatever your joy is, only you truly know. The place to look is within your own heart.
Author: Geoff Lamden is a naturopath, teacher, foodie and home remedy maker. Geoff helps those he works with create a deeper connection to themselves, their community, and their natural surroundings for lasting health. Geoff practices naturopathy at Continuum Healing and grows food, kombucha and community at home and in his family’s garden. He believes that when a person becomes well, a chain reaction of health is started within and around them. It is his honor to offer the gift of wholeness to those he works with.