February 28

Today's quotation:

Joy is what we are, not what we must get.
Joy is the realization that all we want or need in life has been etched into our souls.
Joy helps us see not what we are "going through," but what we are "growing to"--a greater sense of understanding, accomplishment, and enlightenment.
Joy reveals to us the calm at the end of the storm, the peace that surpasses the momentary happiness of pleasure.
If we keep our minds centered on joy, joy becomes a state of mind.

Iyanla Vanzant

Today's Meditation:

We've been led to believe that joy is a form of exhilaration, a type of high that we reach only occasionally, when things truly go our way and make us feel elated.  If that's the way that we see joy, then it's time for us to redefine joy.  Can joy be that quiet sense of satisfaction that we feel when we're relaxing at home after a hard day's work?  Could joy be that amazing feeling that we get when we look into the eyes of a child?  Could it be the feeling that we have when we're listening to one of those songs that just hit us the right way and that we can listen to over and over again?

I say yes to each of these questions.  And joy can be so much more.  As Iyanla says, "Joy is what we are."  But should we add, "and joy is what we repress because we're afraid it can't last and/or we're afraid of how we'll feel when it goes away"?

There are tons of things in life that can give us joy--but we have to keep our eyes and hearts open to see them clearly.  We have to acknowledge the effects they have on us, and we have to allow ourselves to have those beautiful feelings.  We can cherish the joy that we feel, and that strengthens it immeasurably.

So let's "move forward and create new joy."  With the wonderful resources of our minds and spirits, we can also create joy for others in our lives--for family, friends, and even complete strangers.  After all, when the ends of our lives come around one day, will we want to remember that we created joy and reveled in it, or that we allowed fear to keep us from feeling the joy that was inside us all along?

Questions to consider:

What are some of the most joyful incidents in your life?

How do you define joy?

How might you create more joy in your life and in the lives of others?

For further thought:

We are all capable of living lives characterized by great joy.  Within each of us is an amazing human spirit that is strong enough to overcome pain and disappointment.  And no matter what our current situation happens to be, or what beliefs we may currently harbor about ourselves, we can tap into that inner strength and wisdom and move forward to create more joy.

Salle Merrill Redfield

more thoughts and ideas on joy



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