Archive for the ‘happiness’ Tag

More about Joy

Though growing old ain’t for sissies, one of its major benefits is the slow coming to understand mysteries that have plagued us for decades.  A thought that’s been enlarging in my awareness is that life is meant to be a journey towards joy. 

More and more, I order my activities according to what I really want at this moment.  The trick is knowing what you really want.  Opting for actions that seem attractive but are not aligned with your ultimate pleasures will not work.  It requires quite a bit of sophistication; the ‘gimme gimme’ of youth has nothing to do with realizing joy.  You have to have an idea of perfection, a vision of ultimate joy, and your choices must continually refer back to that ideal.

But once solidly aligned with your ideal, you have a sure way of being, one that remains in close contact with your joy at all times.  You see that it’s unnecessary to take any action that’s unrelated to your joy.  You consider, at every juncture, only what will make you really happy.

The conundrum for many is how to find their joy.  Things thought to be happiness-creating end up empty.  There certainly is no prescription that works for everyone; it’s a solitary search for every individual.  I try, in this blog, to make little suggestions, like inverting your spine, or doodling.  The only suggestion that is truly universal, though, is to set the intention.  You have to consciously want to find your joy and believe in the importance of this mission before you’ll get anywhere with the project.

For that matter, I’m beginning to think that studies in approaching joy are all that we ought to be teaching young people in school.  We should be learning from the git-go that our responsibility as humans is to live our joy.  We should be taught methods in using creativity – both personal and group – and we should be bred to understand that all other effort is subordinate to the search for profound happiness. 

Few adults today were taught anything like this; our grooming was more along the lines of fear of judgement and poverty, fierce competition, winners and losers.  We seek ‘success’ much more than happiness.  We’re sadly out of touch with our native creativity. 

So I’ll keep up the patter here, hoping to cajole readers into a search for their personal joy.  For today, I return simply to breathing; inhale deeply, exhale slowly, take a 15 second break to perceive and appreciate the instant purification that oxygen supplies.  This is where the search for joy begins.


In the glorious sunshine of a perfect Easter Sunday yesterday, we raked the dirt and scattered grass seed.  Waiting dormant in its big paper bag, the seed is useless until we broadcast it across the soil.  And this morning, I glance out the window and think of the joyful reunion of those little kernals with their native matrix, and the beautiful productivity that’s likely to result.

As we labored over our yard duties yesterday, it occurred to me that I am actually a happy person.  The thought does not come without a certain measure of guilt.  My intensely Christian heritage gives little value to personal happiness.  But, more hippie than Jesus-freak, I have maneuvered my life towards the things I love.  And now at last I am surrounded by the open country and kind people and can appreciate all the small gifts of daily life. 

The moral of this story?  Creativity is in large part a product of the right conditions.  We will grow like grass seed if we locate the proper soil.  If you manage to live in the kind of environment that’s most natural for you, your creative health and happiness will flourish.  Unlike our forebears, who espoused suffering as a noble lifestyle, I believe we are meant to achieve a constant, quiet bliss in life and all our efforts should be in this direction.