May today be a day of love and joy
One day years ago, in some Buddhist magazine, I read in bold print: Today will be a day of love and joy. I clipped it out and saved it for my inspiration journal. These journals are years old explorations on living a better and fuller life, and most importantly a joyful life. I have kept at it, sometimes leaving it for months at a time; but always going back to the idea of every page being filled with pictures and wisdom that make me smile.
As you can see , this journal is not a work of art. These journals were not really intended for anyone else, but recently I have shared them, and have been surprised by how strongly people have connected to my books.
I am always drawn to quotes about overcoming grief and loss; yet somehow rebounding with joy. And so this idea, today will be a day of love and joy, began to inform my life. Every morning, when I wake up I repeat it over and over, until I believe it, (or almost believe it, because some days are harder than others). I will admit that I have changed it to a softer, May today be a day of love and joy, seems less pushy; more polite....civility also feels important to me these days.
What I have discovered is that joy is a choice. It is a spiritual attitude. It is choosing laughter and light when the world is determined to give you other options. It is far different than happiness, which I have come to see as dependent upon external emotions and events. It is possible to experience joy during times of utter sorrow, when happiness is not an option. But joy, I think is a private haven. I see it frequently in the very young, but more rarely in those going through the daily grind. My great niece Emilia is a fountain of joy, it bubbles over much of the time. Watch this video and see if you can stop your smile (she is wearing the yellow dress). I think Emi is one of the blessed; tapped into a natural river of joy.
My nature is not that sunny, but I find myself more and more joyful, even as my life has had greater and greater grief. I start each day hoping for joy, and I spend the day uncovering it. And what I have found, is that joy appears to be infinite, the more I look, the more I see and feel. Whether it’s a beautiful kindergartener in a yellow dress, or my dog grinning in the woods, Joy is all around me.
I just have to look for it.