Many different flavors of joy

Today’s post centers on a quotation I received this morning via email from Tricycle magazine’s Daily Dharma subscription service. I subscribe to several of these — The Universe, Tricycle Daily Dharma, and Ocean of Dharma are the main ones, and I’m currently testing one for my Enneagram type that I’ll write about later.

I enjoy opening my inbox in the morning and finding words of wisdom.

This is what I found this morning:

Joy has many different flavors. It might overflow from us in song or dance, or it might gently arise as a smile or a sense of inner fullness. Joy is not something we have to manufacture. It is already in us when we come into the world, as we can see in the natural delight and exuberance of a healthy baby. We need only release the layers of contraction and fear that keep us from it.

The author is James Baraz in Lighten Up! 

Joy. I seem to be in a groove in my life in which I often experience joy. It’s delightful and welcome.

Here are some ways joy has shown up for me recently:

  • Singing along with remastered Beatles songs in my car brings me joy.
  • Responding to an invitation to improvise my movements to music (aka dancing ecstatically); to seek a groove, release it, and find  another groove; continually discover the balances between ease and stamina, attention inward and attention outward, and staying in one place and circulating through the space; of connecting with others and choosing how much to engage; lying in a circle on the floor afterward in silent community.
  • Laughing with a certain friend whose laughter is loud, full, wild, and raucous. Her laugh makes me laugh.
  • Taking two road trips with dear friends recently. Road trips engender good conversation while barreling down the highway and exploring the destination.
  • Making chicken soup for my visiting grandchild who had a fever and sore throat and being comfortably together sharing our lives while it cooked.
  • Attending a house blessing for my friend who is bringing her aged parents to live with her until they pass or need more assistance, and literally filling the house with didgeridoo and rainstick and human sounds, filling every room, closet, and space with our presence and love and joy, decorating altars, and inviting our parents and grandparents, living or dead, and others with similar caretaking responsibilities to benefit from our work together.
  • Massaging people, experiencing the difference between before and after, and knowing I made a difference.
  • Waking to the sound of rain on the roof of my trailer.
  • Having Mango curl up on my chest and purr and put his “hand” on my face when I visit, knowing that my friends who gave him a home love us both. Yeah, kitty reiki!
  • Experiencing a long close embrace with someone special, breathing joy.

Being present and allowing life to unfold as it will inevitably brings moments of joy in some way, shape, or form. Letting joy go when it’s over instead of trying to hold onto it invites it back.

May your day hold many moments of joy, and may you savor each one fully, and let it go.

Hot buttons, EFT, and self-compassion

Ever get a whiff of your own craziness, the things you do or say that are less than kind? I did today. I caught it myself — I see myself writing that like I caught some kind of fish. Yeah, a stinky fish.

In an attempt to be thoughtful, I actually was thoughtless. When I perceived that, I felt so remorseful my heart ached.

Then I found this quote from Tricycle Daily Dharma in my inbox. I’d saved it for several weeks, not knowing why.

We all have personal sensitivities—“hot buttons”—that are evoked in close relationships. Mindfulness practice helps us to identify them and disengage from our habitual reactions, so that we can reconnect with our partners. We can mindfully address recurring problems with a simple four-step technique: (1) Feel the emotional pain of disconnection, (2) Accept that the pain is a natural and healthy sign of disconnection, and the need to make a change, (3) Compassionately explore the personal issues or beliefs being evoked within yourself, (4) Trust that a skillful response will arise at the right moment. – Christopher Germer, “Getting Along”

I want to add step 2.5 to the above. If you are feeling the pain, and you know there’s a need to make a change but the feeling is so sticky, you can’t detach enough to explore your issues, you can do the Emotional Freedom Technique (several times if needed) to reduce the pain enough to get to step 3. It helps us feeling types move on.

In step 3, I discovered that I projected something onto another that was really about me. I’m looking at a big owie in my life head on.

I’m not to step 4 yet but it feels good to just know it’s there waiting, whatever the outcome. All I can do is trust.