Finding Joy in the journey

How often do we catch ourselves saying, I’ll be happy when… I’ll be happy when I get the new car, when I move into my dream home, when I get my promotion, when I lose twenty pounds— when, when, when…always something newer, better, bigger. Sure, enough, when we achieve these goals we are happy, but our joy is short-lived for by then we have set our joy on higher sights, and so it goes. We wish our life away! Never once enjoying what we thought we desperately desired.

What if we learn to be happy with ourselves instead of expecting external things to bring us satisfaction? What if we start finding joy in each present moment? A novel idea isn’t. Imagine how it would feel to enjoy what we are experiencing when we are experiencing it. We would then master our happiness for joy lives within us.

“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.” ―Rumi

“Joy is the infallible sign of the presence of God.”― Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
When we align our soul with our personal goals, we cannot help but be happy. Joy is living from our essence. It has more to do with finding our connection with Source, God, All-That-Is than with material possessions. Once we remember we are part of the Whole, a serenity replaces the anxiousness to which we have grown accustomed.

Can you conceive our connection—that we are part of a greater Whole, that what makes you happy also brings me joy?

When love and empathy are at the core of all we do, we return to wholeness for we connect with our soul, our essence. We align with the Divine, which is in all of us. It is then that we radiate love and can only attract love in return. When we live and give from this space, everything is ours.

The point of life is the expansion of happiness.” Emily Fletcher

As soon as we realize that joy is not dependent on any person, pla- ce, or thing, our lives transform. We become who we are meant to be. We live full, rich lives for we begin to live from our hearts. We appreciate ourselves as we are, as well as everyone around us. We liberate ourselves from our ego. We expand our happiness.
If we do not like where our life is heading, we can make different choices. Dissatisfaction usually signals it is time to evaluate the daily flow of our life. What issues are keeping us constricted? What vestiges of old patterns are trying to maintain a stronghold? By stopping and listening to our being, our soul, before making any decisions, we obtain the needed love and support. We can then build new reference points. When we make new choices, we step into our sovereignty and empowerment.

“Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.” ― Rumi

“A work is empty save where there is love. And when you work with love you bind yourself to yourself, and to one another, and to God.”
― Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

As we redefine our lives, the following six aspects of love will play a significant role:

  • REFLECTION: becoming aware of our authentic, divine self
  • PARTNERSHIP is about growing spiritually in every relationship in our lives. Not surprisingly, relationships are examples of what we believe about ourselves.
  • INTEGRATION is the inner harmony amongst our body, mind, and spirit. It is integrating our inner feminine and masculine energies. It is having the confidence in ourselves and our abilities to act by our real feelings.
  • ALIGNMENT is being true: to ourselves first; our Divinely-inspired life purpose; with ourselves & Source. Helps us to understand our true nature. It means accepting our voice and natural patterns.
  • REJUVENATION is participating with the cycles of our lives for personal renewal.
  • NOURISHMENT: choosing foods, experiences, etc., that nourish our spirit.

Living in the present is the only way to expand and grow for we are open to what is. When we allow, we trust that all is as it should be. Trying to control the future or reliving the past keeps us stagnant. By learning the lessons our struggles demonstrate, we do not have to go through the same experiences again. We cannot escape that for the Universe will present us with circumstances that grow in intensity over time until we assimilate the teachings. Once we do, we evolve spiritually.

A joyful life is about experiencing everything in the present moment. It is about taking time for ourselves, being grateful for who we are, just as we are, and pursuing joy and love in all we do.

“If your mind is expansive and unfettered, you will find yourself in a more accommodating world, a place that’s endlessly interesting and alive. That quality isn’t inherent in the place but in your state of mind.” — Pema Chödrön

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