Joy is our birthright. I believe this. As cells in the body of God, we get to be healthy and whole, whatever that means in our particular case. We are precious, every one of us.
Joy generally includes some feeling of happiness or contentment; in its highest expression, it is Grace, that sense of all-is-right-with-the-world, imperfect and broken as it is and we are. It can be activated by physical sensation: opening to the warmth of the sun on your face, when you’re cold, when it’s been dark for too long; hearing the voice you’ve been longing to hear in your ear, when you’re lost and a loved one finds you: There You Are!; tasting the nourishment of a hearty meal after working hard in your body. It can also come from our emotional state: feeling the deepening of a relationship as you share stories of love and pain; the spreading of compassion as we do lovingkindness practice; the hopefulness that we feel as we see brave souls confronting injustices.
But Joy does not always show up as happiness. Sometimes it’s much more subtle. It’s more a sense of rightness, perhaps, of being exactly where we need to be, whatever the circumstances. An arduous journey can be full of Grace, if it leads to what we truly want.
As I’ve said before in other venues: the world requires your service, yes. And also, the world requires your Joy. It is crucial to the fulfillment of all beings that you find your delight and pursue it. This is how we know what to do, after all. This is our guiding light, our treasure map. We move toward what brings us that sense of rightness and in that moving, we find the adventures we are meant to participate in. We find the people we are supposed to help and be helped by. We find the information we need, the power we need, the opportunities for growth and change.
As magickal creatures, we get to wake up to the power we have, and break habits that don’t support our chosen direction. I want to go toward greater Joy, and I believe that this is what my Mothers want for me, too: when we are happier, we have greater capacity to achieve our goals in service to ourselves and others. We spend less time either opening the refrigerator door to see if anything new has spontaneously appeared in the last 30 minutes, or clicking ‘reload’ on Facebook repeatedly to see if anyone’s responded to our response to their response.
We are worth more to the world when we are taking care of our own Joy. Do the Work of Joy. Think of it as part of your Service.
Here are some practices to help you to connect to your Joy:
- Bless those who have the things you want
- Speak out loud at least one hard truth each day
- Take time each morning and evening (at least) to close your eyes and breathe in clarity
- Act beyond your fears
- Recognize when things feel right or not-right
- Do one thing you love every day
Blessed be our Joy!
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