Joy, Inspiration and Gratitude

Joy is our birthright and usually the only thing standing in the way of our feeling it, is us. We are off in the past or the future somewhere doing drama instead of being present. I didn’t get it for a long time how being in the NOW moment leads to total joy because a lot of my NOW moments are not that exciting, walking the dog on the same path, washing the dishes, stuck in traffic, etc.

Even as I sit at the computer writing this in this NOW moment I smile to myself, bringing myself completely present with my fingers on the keys, looking at the screen, feeling totally blessed by technology that can take down my thoughts so easily and send them out to anyone who cares to read them. It fills me with gratitude – and there is inspiration in there somewhere as well.

I didn’t do well with philosophy. It felt like so many words rattling around trying to explain something you can only feel. I’d rather wash the dishes and feel the bubbles melting away the grease under my fingers than read or listen to all that stuff. So to feel joy, when I’m not, I just get back in my body, move around, or roll on the floor letting my body lead my dance in any way it wants to.

If you are in a body that has pain or limitation you can still feel joy if you believe you can. Some of the people who rate themselves as very high on the happiness scale have massive limitations.

I just listened to a podcast and someone was saying that flow and bliss are powerful states but they are the third stage in a process. In the last stage our bodies release all kinds of beneficial chemicals in our brain, endorphins, dopamine, seratonin and others. It’s like a chemical dump in the brain. And after that it takes a certain amount of time for the brain to make all that stuff again. So you go back to the first stage which is struggle. In other words, whenever there is an up it will be followed by a down – bliss is not sustainable.

I didn’t really like to hear that. I’ve always longed for the plateau where I can bask in bliss for a long period of time. But, looking back I can see that it has been true for me. However, I don’t think joy and bliss are quite the same thing. For me, my moments of bliss have been literally times when I have said to Source, “Ok, you can take me now, it doesn’t get any better than this!” Whereas joy, can be quite ordinary and peaceful and I can expect more tomorrow when I tune into NOW.

Gratitude is a great way to bring yourself to joy in the NOW moment. We all have so much to be grateful for. Just being on this beautiful planet now in a time of amazing changes is such a blessing. Who knows what we did to deserve that! If you are in such stress that you can’t think of a thing to be grateful for just start with your breath. In fact all the elements, Earth, Fire, Water, Air and Spirit are available to most of us. Water is getting more scarce, in California we are in the middle of the worst drought for 100 years, but I’m pretty sure that anyone reading this has access to good water.

Inspiration is an easy fix. Put ‘best TED talks’into the search engine and pick whatever floats your boat. There are some amazing and wonderful talks by people making a difference in the world and they are all twenty minutes long.┬áSome will make you laugh, some will make you cry, but most will inspire you with the inventiveness, creativity, love and kindness there is in such huge measure in the world.

There are also TEDx talks if you ever run out of the TEDs. They are the ones that were passed over for TED but are still worth listening to if they hit your area of interest.On both TED and TEDx notice how many speakers are older people.

We can all inspire others without even knowing it if we spend as much time as we can in joy and gratitude. It spreads out from us like a beacon of light and draws to us the people who need to learn something from us, even if it is just a smile for the harassed mom in the checkout line.

Share your Joy,