November 30      

Today's quotation:

Success or failure, the truth of a life really has little to do with its quality.  The quality of life is in proportion, always, to the capacity for delight.  The capacity for delight is the gift of paying attention.

Julia Cameron

Today's Meditation:

It's somehow odd that we don't focus more on our capacity for delight, our ability to find joy in our day-to-day lives.  When I read Julia's words, I think of a kid coming away from an amusement park saying that he or she didn't have any fun.  When asked why, the child says, "Because I was worried about how I'd feel when the fun was over."

Do we do this?  I know that I do.  I've been in some absolutely delightful situations that I haven't enjoyed nearly as much as I could have because I've been thinking about something else, worrying about something that I had no control over, or simply haven't immersed myself in the activity or situation.  But is the quality of my life really in proportion to my capacity for delight?  My instinct tells me that it is, that Julia makes a lot of sense here.  My capacity for delight helps me to appreciate things, helps me to feel more deeply, helps me to share my joy with others.

Paying attention to the world around us is a gift, and if we can feel delight in a sunset, a rainbow, a baby's smile, a young kid's artwork, time spent with a good friend, then we've got a lot of life taken care of.  If we can feel delight, then we're guaranteeing that we will appreciate and pay attention to this beautiful world of ours.  It guarantees that we won't bore ourselves or take things for granted, and it ensures us that we will receive the gifts that are offered us.  Everyone is offered the gifts of this world, after all, but it's relatively few who receive them with open arms and hearts and delight to have them in their lives.

Questions to consider:

In what have you taken delight today?

Why is it hard for some people to feel a sense of delight in the things that they do, see, and feel?

What can you do to help yourself to feel a stronger sense of delight?

For further thought:

A person will be called to account on judgment day for every permissible thing that he or she might have enjoyed but did not.

The Talmud

more thoughts and ideas on joy



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