The Art of Living Joyfully
"When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy." -Rumi
What is Joy? When we think of living joyfully images of laughing with friends, playing with children, dancing in the aisles when the spirit moves you, may come to mind. Or for some, sitting on a favorite beach, walking in a redwood forest, or making a favorite meal.
A Life Made by Hand. Here we find the key to living authentically we we make choices based on what we feel is true for us, what Speaks to our Soul. It is said that during the middle ages artisans would create personal masterpieces made with stained glass, taking an entire lifetime to create! Each piece of glass added was chosen carefully for color, texture, and design, and not until it was clear that it truly fit into the pieces already in place would it be carefully added on a permanent basis. Over time, a unique and beautiful expression of personal truth would emerge, appreciated by many for years to come.
Modern life really doesn't need to be different in terms of making choices based on personal preferences. For some, a walk in the park at dusk is a joy filled experience while for others, love of family and community offers deep satisfaction. The key here is to enhance the possibilities!
Living in Joy at Home
Common Areas: Creating a positive environment for joy when at home can include eliminating distractions. Take a look at your living room; Is it free from clutter and chaos? Are there old magazines you meant to read sitting around? Things that used to be meaningful but are now taking up space? It might only take an hour to make changes that help to set the stage for a more peaceful and loving feeling at home. For readers, a comfy chair and side table might do the trick while for sports enthusiasts the big screen television with plenty of chair and leg room for visiting friends might offer more comfort for Sunday afternoon get togethers. Feng Shui expert Erica Sofrina counsels to keep the energy moving and clear, free from obstructions that dampen the natural flow of Chi or energy. Sometimes it takes only a few adjustments and the resulting positives can be quite amazing!
In the Bedroom : Ah, the personal sanctuary. Joy in the bedroom can mean different things to different people ranging from deep intimacy to a personal oasis where the world is just outside the door. Is your bedroom filled with objects of meaning for you? Photographs, special gifts that you treasure, favorite books to name a few. Again the key here is to make choices based on what is personally uplifting for you rather than leaving a pile of dirty clothes in the corner!
In the Garden: Not everyone has a garden, of course, but bringing natural elements into your home can embue it with positive energy. Whether it is freshly cut flowers placed throughout the house or a bonsai to tend, the addition of nature into the home can not only help ground you, but also invigorate your life. And, if you are fortunate to have an outdoors living area, then spending time for not only relaxation but also with others can be a way to experience more joy. Another idea is to plant your favorite flowers that you can enjoy! Roses, tulips, Irises, the choices are many. Adding a small seating area where you can read your favorite novel or watch the butterflies can be not only restful but satisfying.
Where to Begin
When you think of it, it's a good idea to start putting ideas to paper so you can use your list as a reference point.
* Make a list of your very favorite things to do and add them to your calendar
* Set a date with a friend for a "play date" that has little or nothing to do with work
* Choose an afternoon when you will be undisturbed and go room to room in your house, noting where you might clear the energy and move things around.
* Remember what your most favorite childhood activity was and do it!
So just for today, fill your life with Joy. You won't regret it!
upcoming article: Living Authentically and the Voice of Fear
"Old Friends" Photo by Victoria Marina-Tompkins