5 Simple Spiritual Lessons On Becoming More Joyful
Here’s what I think about becoming more joyful: when you truly embrace what you perceive as a limitation by standing in the middle of it and looking outward past it, into the abyss of possibilities and realms of new consciousness, you find the harmonious joy of balancing universal love and what is. Perhaps you are standing in the middle of a marriage that has more fights than fondness, or you suddenly find yourself the middle of a wasteland of broken career dreams.
Remember this, it is scientifically proven that the greatest radius, range, or field of possibilities comes from the center of the circle. Stand in it. Embrace it for what it is and love it, and from there you can shine your unique gleam of radiance outward from the center of who you are. Radiance and joy are a normal part of life, a part of the basic and vital anatomy of the light of your soul. Becoming more joyful is a process of being filled with positive and blissful emotion by loosening certain thought processes and a grip on being unrighteous (or on being right). You can sulk, mope, and despair about what’s not right in your life, or you can look at what you do have and find something to value and appreciate.
Being in blissful joy is finding the harmony of your own musical score, the right combination of notes and melodies all in perfect design. If you play with it and listen, you can ask it to show you how far you can actually go. Where joy leads you may just be the moon, the stars, and the sunshine of life mending us into cosmic perfection of inner light and soul radiance.
In my personal dark night of the soul and trials through loss, I found allowing more joy in life was like strolling along a wide-open path of tumbleweeds, a mutual releasing of constructed boundaries and limits with the sense of personal freedom and limitless beginnings. The truth of the lessons Earth provides is this; you can still fly and be free in this dense reality of matter, time and space, and living in the duality of both can actually increase your sense of joy.
SEE ALSO: Buddha’s 6 Rules Of Love
1) Know that boundaries provide the backbone to freedom
On this planet, mountains, seas, deserts, and even human skin are examples of physical boundaries. We need the mountain to learn about resilience in the face of adversity in climbing to its highest peak. We need the open sea in order to set sail and stay the course on discovering distant lands not yet explored. We need the sun-kissed desert to grow tough skins and produce survival skills, like the willingness to burrow deep for water. Joy results from physical boundaries because the soul uses it as leverage to bring about great freedom.
2) Use your body as a vessel for joy
One of the greatest things we get to experience as a human being is actually BEING in our bodies. The energy of the soul nestles into the nooks and crannies of your fleshy body and finds delight in experiencing life. The soul needs the body in order to feel and experience touch. It needs the body in order to see and experience the light. It needs the body in order to know that all relationships have an ending and a beginning, including the relationship you have with yourself and how you view yourself in the world. Your body is alive so…. kiss the rain, smile at a friend, eat peanut butter and jelly sandwich with your kids and be joyful in the small stuff.
3) Cultivate activities that feel good
Perhaps one of your favorite activities from childhood, the one your inner child still craves, is dancing. Throw on a little Michael Jackson and turn Thiller into your own moonwalking dance party! You don’t have to be a professional dancer to dance, you have a body, you are alive now and deserve to celebrate. Don’t wait! Put on a power anthem from Seal or Meat Loaf, whatever fancies your palate, and inspires celebrating yourself. The physical-emotional warmth of moving to a power anthem that inspires celebrating yourself activates a hormone called dopamine. Dopamine is the brain’s “motivation molecule” and is an integral part of the pleasure-reward system. Use it. It is a natural and free “feel good”.
4) Move from UGHs to HUGs
In a world of worry, there is much to make grunting ‘ugh’ noises about, the disappointment of what you feel in life or not being happy with how things worked out. As a nurse and health advocate, I know the power of human embrace. The hug is the perfect kryptonite to our superhuman ability to feel worry. A good hug results in oxytocin, also known as the “love drug”, a hormone that calms the nervous system and boosts positive emotions. A good hug also lowers blood pressure and lowers cortisol levels (the stress hormone), enabling decreased anxiety and a calmer state of being that changes those grunting ‘ughs’ into a sigh of joy.
5) Stop comparing yourself to others
Why struggle with who you are? Why not, as the Buddha instructs, view every challenging event and person you encounter as your perfect teacher to make you even better, even stronger? Besides, you were made with the DNA specific to you, as it intended. Perfect and unique in design. Adopting this attitude worked for me. I stopped judging myself so harshly for being a single woman at 42 who had “failed” at having a family of her own. Instead, I asked, “How else can I cultivate my joy?”
Joy is one of the fruits of our soulful human experience. If we were all the same, say a bowl full of lemons, there would be too much sour puss acid in the world. If we were all apples, living in the same barrel…well, you know what they say about that one rotten apple. We would quickly oxidize, age with brown spots and be influenced to engage in similar negative or bad behavior. Add a little lemon to those apples and the brown spots disappear. It goes to show that we can make magic from the perfect admixture of juicy variety and find heartfelt soulful healing and soul-centered relationships.
The emotion of joy is evoked in you, by you, one moment at a time, through the well-being, success, and good fortune you encounter as you simply awaken to the radiance of who you are. Stand in the middle of your unique circle in the here and now and look past your limitations. Love life, and love what is, and the more it will love you. If you love yourself and love your life, the more joy can be felt from within your center.
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