Stepping into the path of embracing more joy in our life begins with one simple step: Naming and claiming the things that already give us joy…..and doing them!
Accepting joy into our life is really not as daunting a task as we might think it to be. As mentioned yesterday the natural outpouring of joy takes place as we make the Divine (of our understanding) the center of our life. However, this does not mean that we need to go sit in a cave in the lotus position in silent meditation in order to experience this outpouring of joy. Sometimes, embracing joy is as simple as recognizing the things in our lives that already give us joy and giving ourselves permission to engage in these activities. In a nutshell…..you are invited to NAME AND CLAIM your joy…..and DO IT!
So, if your brain has already shut down in a state of panic over the idea of naming and claiming your joy….and GOD FORBID……doing it…..then I offer this simple example as how easy naming and claiming our joy really can be. I will use myself as an example and share with you here my own exercise in naming and claiming my joy. Here is what currently gives me joy:
- A freshly brewed cup of gourmet dark-roast coffee (yes, I am a coffee snob!)
- A glass of Chardonnay or Cabernet in the evening (and here, I’m NOT a snob….FishEye or Two Buck Chuck is just fine with me!)
- Reading a work of fiction by one of my favorite fiction writers: Anne Rice, Kris Radish, Marion Zimmer Bradley
- GOOD, Classic, Gothic Horror (again, here I’m a snob – so far…only Anne Rice, Edgar Allen Poe, Mary Shelley and Bram Stoker fit the bill for me in this category)
- Anything Shakespeare!
- Reading Fairytales and Fantasy, especially Celtic Fantasy!
- Calvin and Hobbes – BRILLIANT!
- My children
- My children….yep, they get to be listed twice because they are so darn cool! Except when they are beating the crap out of each other….they are a joy to be around and I love watching them become their own selves!
- My friends – here I have been profoundly and deeply blessed with amazing wonderful deeply intimate friendships….a somewhat newly discovered joy.
- Walking in the woods, sitting in the woods, a cabin in the woods….ok….anything in the woods. (Lumby, by the way means, “Man or woman of the woods – so it is in my bones, my blood, my heritage and my name.)
- Dancing and singing (mostly by myself these days, but I do still have dreams of being a rockstar when I grow up!)
- Cooking fresh, healthy, colorful meals and sharing them with those who enjoy them.
- Cleaning ( I know this is a weird one….but I am filled with joy when I can sit back and enjoy a clean house!)
- Fall leaves Fall leaves Fall leaves….and fall bonfires YUM!!!! MY FAVORITE SMELLS!
- Romantic movies
- Foreign films (only the good ones…..like Amelie and Babette’s Feast!)
- Playing with clay…..and wanting to learn how to work with polymer clay!!!! (Dana, are you listening???)
- Halloween….halloween….halloween, pumpkins, broomsticks, pointy black hats, cauldrons. I LOVE HALLOWEEN!
- Bewitched, Addams Family, The Munsters and Wonder Woman
- Les Miserable and Jesus Christ Superstar….. play, movie, soundtrack. I can listen and watch these OVER AND OVER AND OVER!
- Gothic churches…..the architecture, art….and most importantly…the smells….candle residue, incense and mildew….the perfect combination for mystery and magic!
- The moldy oldy latin hymns from the Catholic Mass. I know, I’m a total geek!
- Anything Bach, Beethoven or Chopin. Ecstasy!
- Playing my piano
Whew!!! Ok…that is a pretty good start. So now…..I dare you to make your own list. WHAT GIVES YOU JOY???? Then the challenging part…..how many of these are you actually doing on a regular basis? As I look over my list, I have to honestly admit that there are only a few things on the list that I am giving myself permission to engage in on a regular basis…..so…..the invitation for me is the same for you….GET OFF MY BUTT AND DO IT! What are we waiting for? Our original nature is joy……why don’t we allow ourselves to experience it more freely? So this is the invitation for today:
Name and Claim our Joy
Do something about it!
Authentic Freedom Ministries/Your Spiritual Truth
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