Finding Joy


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Often when things are going well it is easy to find joy in life, but what about in the tough times.

There is a Buddhist saying that there are 10,000 sorrows and 10,000 joys in life, unfortunately they are often intermingled.

So how can we find joy in tough times?

This will be different for everyone, but the universal thing will be “being in the moment”

This means seeing what is right here, right now. Right now the only moment for you is the one that you are reading this post. If we can find a few moments in a day just for us, whether it be to breathe, to stretch, to have a cuppa and look at a garden or walk along the shore of the ocean or a river or through a lovely forest.

I hear you saying, “you don’t understand, I just don’t have time”

I do understand as I have said the same thing, take heart, you can do it, just in s lot smaller ways.

Most of us have a phone that can be used as a camera, if you do, wherever you are sitting right now, turn on the camera and look around you, look at the details that are on your desk, take a photo of a pattern, it might be the back of the computer tower, the side of a hard disk, the logo on a mouse, as you start to look for patterns and textures you will begin to see them, spend a few minutes taking photos of any you find.

Did you notice that for the moment you were looking for patterns and taking quick photos that you weren’t thinking about anything else?

This is where you will find joy. You never need to show the photos to anyone or even keep them, the camera is just a tool to put us in the moment. If you are outside, see what bugs you can find or photograph colors, flowers, tires, it can be anything. Take time each day to do this and you will notice your stress levels begin to reduce.

Spending time in nature is great therapy so if you can get outside to do the exercise that is great, but even indoors it helps. These are a few of the photos I took while sitting on the beach the other day.

Brown Pacific Gull

I’m watching you

pacific Gull looking up

Pacific Gull, whats up there

 

Where can I find Joy?


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I went to post Christmas cards and get scripts and the Chemist lady asked if I was okay as I was so befuddled, I said, “no, not really” …I told her what was happening in our lives, about the house burning down and my husband being diagnosed with terminal cancer, she was so good, she just came and gave me a hug and said oh, you poor thing, she had tears in her eyes, she was with me in that moment, not trying to fix me or jolly me up or tell me it’ll be okay, she just stayed with me in that moment.

I had a cry, wandered around the shops in a daze and then I saw a little one about to climb on a gopher, his Mum said, “Oh no ” as she raced to stop him and he just looked at her in bewilderment and said, “ride”. To him it was a ride, something to play on, it brought a smile to my face and the next instant I could hear that voice in my head saying, “how can you smile, Colin is going through so much and you are smiling?”

I went to walk away feeling miserable again and then I remembered that to increase joy or good feelings you need to really feel them, allow yourself to really feel them, relive the moment a few times so it is imbedded in your neural circuits so I turned back and smiled at the child and let that moment of joy wash over me. I took a few moments to really take it in and then I continued on my way.

No it didn’t change the situation, but it did make me more able to cope with it. So often we worry about what other people may think if they catch us in that moment of joy, like she’s fine, look at her. But we need to let go of our perception of what others think, that is their thoughts and their lives, all we can do is live our life and deal with our thoughts.

Today I read a devotion in which Jesus said, “I am your joy” this floored me. I was looking for God, other people, things, to give me joy, but I didn’t need to get it from someone or something, as I already have it within me, each and every one of us does.

God lives within me and you and we are one with him, so the joy is already within us. Instead of looking out for joy we need to look in, not to ourselves, but to him who lives within each if us.

What a lightbulb moment.

Sometimes the external needs to be stripped away before we truly appreciate what is within and what cannot be taken away. Most people who know me know I am not religious and don’t subscribe to any religion, however, I have always had a strong faith and belief in God, Jesus is the one who has carried me through so much of the road I have travelled and he is my best friend. Without his friendship and love this life would have been unbearable.

When I talk about God within us, I am not talking about the God of religion, but about a God who is love and has compassion and mercy. I know many people would disagree with me on this and that is fine, that is their journey, but for me God has shown himself time and time again as someone who is there for me, who loves me and accepts me just as I am. He doesn’t just love me, he is Love.

queen-of-sheeba-Southern-copy

This flower that was created to open only for a few days and yet is so beautifully and intricately made was put here to remind us of the beauty that is within each of us, the joy is already within me.

So if you see me or someone else who is going through hard times or grieving and you see them smiling or happy, don’t judge them, instead realize you are seeing the joy that lives within everyone of us and we can tap into that at any time. Sometimes our view is obscured by worry or tears, but the joy is still there deep within us.

i read a beautiful saying, it says, “May you have enough clouds in your life to make a beautiful sunset” I can tell you my sunset is going to be spectacular!!!

I will add a link here to a great little skit on empathy, if you have ever wondered what to say, or do, when someone is going through a hard time, then have a quick look at this. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1Evwgu369Jw