« Joy is not in things, it is in us » Richard Wagner.
« Joy is untouched by circumstance. » Unknown
Summer tiiiiiiiiiime, and the livin’ is eaaaaaaasyyyyyyyyy. Especially with a glass of bubbles, fabulous company and a bit of witty banter to switch the neurons off lazy lounge lizard mode.
Ahhh – happiness. Or is that Joy? Or is it both? Oh GoD! What a casse-tête – so out come some more bubbles and the conversation flows freely around our personal definitions of Happiness, Joy, and the art of being fundamentally, achingly alive.
Joy – helping women to immerse themselves in it, feel it, taste it and live by it – is my life’s work. This is what I’ve learnt so far about Joy, happiness, and the intricate relationship that binds them together and sets them apart.
Just in case you were wonderin’ about this yourself.
Happiness is great stuff! But it’s a bit fickle.
Fleeting, it waits for the ideal set of circumstances and conditions before showing up. It needs the right mood, or the fabulous dress/holidays/set of steak knives/house/new thingamabobthatyou’vealwayswanted etc to rock on in. Happiness has the uncanny ability to hijack your senses for the melting moment it takes to savour a sweet sip of champagne with your lover, or pulse through your cells for the entire week of your well-deserved holiday on that deserted beach.
Happiness doesn’t like getting its hands dirty, its feet wet, or sitting in the same room with those ‘negative’* emotions like anger, sadness, hurt, and frustration. It shrivels up and wilts when a grumpy thunder cloud passes over and tears rain down on your parade. Happiness is a fragile plant that depends on optimal external conditions to thrive. Looking at it that way – you could say it’s a bit high maintenance.
Then there’s Joy… Oh Joy !
Joy is what .you .are! It’s your foundation – the very essence of your soul. Joy is the light, curious, expansive foundation of your True Nature from which you can never be separate. Ever! Joy pays no heed to circumstances. It’s a bit of a rebel that way. Joy arises when you are fully present with whatever is going on around you – even extreme discomfort and loss.
That means that you can be overcome with grief, or have your entire world crumble at your feet and still be held by Joy. Happiness may have deserted the disaster area, but Joy will always be under the wreckage, waiting for you to feel its soft, warm light. You can lose your job, your mariage or your treasured 80s smurf collection, and still feel the brilliant, hopeful, radiance of Joy.
JOY IS THE PURE VITALITY OF LIFE.
Your connection to joy is as deep and eternal as your Spirit.
During the most heart-breaking passages of my life —financial hardship, house fires, car accidents, unfulfilling relationships with difficult break-ups and shattered dreams— times that your average dictionary would clearly not define as ‘happy’ (E.g. – One dictionary definition of happiness is “a state of well-being, a pleasurable or satisfying experience.”) Times I wondered how I would pull through. Joy was the stable undercurrent.
The Joy of feeling intensely alive, present, breathing. The pure joy of existence.
Happiness is fabulous while it lasts. Take it. Drink it in. Make the most of it. Cultivate it. Appreciate it. Love it!
Joy is your awareness of your intimate connection to life. An inherent sense that life is loving, brilliant and unbounded.
Joy is freedom.
Joy is the path.