Open To The Moment, Open To Joy

Is the tune you sing a happy one? Are your days spent enjoying the silver linings? Does the sun shine on you, even if the sun doesn’t shine today?

We all know someone who is always cheerful, always ready with a positive comment or a smile, always looking on the bright side.

Sometimes its hard to relate to these happy-go-lucky types, isn’t it?

All we want to do is brood over whatever troubles are on our mind, and here comes Ms. Cheerful with that big grin.

“What’s she so happy for?!” you snark to yourself, “Doesn’t’ she know I’m in my brooding mood today?”

We want to fight for our misery – to hold on tight and not let go, no matter who showers us with happy rays. But why?

Is there some satisfaction in being down and out?

Do we just not know any better?

Whatever the reason, it’s easier than we think it is, to let go of this cloudy disposition.

And if there’s one thing we all want, it’s happiness.

Joy waits in the present moment, for our discovery. It lives here.

In meditation, we touch this familiar lightness, the contentment that comes from just being.

We find that when we are unswayed by our thoughts, even finding the insanity funny at times, there is peace.

Joy. Clarity. Wisdom.

Only when we’re taken from the moment, lost in the conditioned space of past hurts and future expectation (where we tend to dwell all too often), does happiness prove elusive.

With practice, you can break the clouds of the foulest mood, any time you want to.

You can redirect your attention to something simple that brings you joy.

Your smiling child. The fragrance of a cool summer morning.

Then you can breathe this feeling of joy throughout your body, letting a smile come to your face, and heart, and all over.

The more we practice getting out of our heads and into our heart, the more accessible this joy of the present moment becomes.

Then it becomes a normal part of the day. A constant reminder of the goodness that is all around.

And it really is good, isn’t it?

Stress Release Tip

Not only does the practice of touching joy make us happier (obviously), it also turns off the stress response. It’s hard to find things to be happy about when we’re stressed, but it only takes a small step to get started. Once you have that smile, just go with it. Feel the tension melt away, and peace come over you. Stress-be-gone.

Mindful Homework

Just as smiles are contagious, so is joy! This week, notice how when you are happy, the world feels and looks happier too. Then notice how you can scatter this joy to those you come in contact with. Even when fleeting, a smile to a friendly passerby is golden. And even notice how you can turn around a “grumpypants” day with a refusal to sit and wallow. Find something to be happy about – there are so many things! – and watch the shadows run.

Quote From Adam

“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.”
– The Buddha

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