I’m playing with the concepts behind the cards in my Self-Discovery Deck. Today’s focus is the Joy card.
Ahhhhh, Joy. This seems like it might be a card that doesn’t need explaining and that might be right. On the other hand, I want to spend a little time writing about my practice around Joy. Folk seem to think that Joy is something that happens to them. It’s the result of ‘good things.’ And that’s all well and good, but it’s also the result of a perspective. I actively look for Joy in unexpected places. Specifically where I don’t expect to find it. That practice alone has shifted many, many things in my life.
I can use this practice to make sad days a little brighter and I can also use this practice to make lovely days even lovelier. For example, when I took this photo I had no idea there would be rainbows on the flower. I still have no idea how those got there. So, for me, those are delightful surprises, and when I go through life looking for unexpected delightful surprises, I am rewarded with them. But it takes practice, time, attention and focus. Each time I receive a delightful surprise, I celebrate! The celebration brings me more joy, so it’s a win-win.
Does this sound like Pollyanna, pie-in-the-sky sort of thinking? It’s not meant to. I’m not telling you to stuff your feelings. If you’re feeling angry, express that anger, cleanly, clearly, purposefully. If you’re scared, notice that and wiggle your body until you feel the fear lose its grip. If you’re sad, allow that wave of sadness to move on through, and then be on the look out for what appears brighter, more lit up than before you were flowing with feelings. I’ve found that the world looks brighter when I’m willing to feel my feelings all the way through and I invite you to do the same.
It is possible to be feeling joy and sadness at the same time; the next time you’re feeling sad, see if you can detect a flicker of joy out there somewhere, just out of sight. A little like a fairy might flit just above you. If you look for it, you will eventually see it. Are you willing to try? I’d love to hear about your experiments with this.