I smiled when I read this quote by Anne Lamott, how true it is. Have you ever seen anything more beautiful than a person experiencing pure joy.
I see it most often in kids. That incredible giggle, that smile when their favourite person walks into the room, the joy and excitement of seeing an animal or an insect or a flower. Of going to the beach. Of playing in the mud. Of jumping in a puddle.
When did we as adults, when did I, stop feeling the joy in the simplicities of life. Brene Brown talks about joy being one of the most challenging feelings for us to be able to feel and hold. Our brain quickly starts thinking things like ‘it won’t last’, ‘if it’s too good to be true it probably is’, ‘don’t get use to this’. We often try to protect ourselves from feeling disappointment by not allowing ourselves to fully feel our joy. But what if we can simply allow both? Allow ourselves to feel our disappointment, hurt and sadness when it arises AND fully allow our joy, excitement and happiness when it arises. Be mindful of the stories our mind tells us when good things happen in our life. Stop ripping ourselves off!
Even better what if we cultivate joy?! Spend time with people who make us smile and laugh. Watch a funny movie or comedian and allow yourself to have a full belly laugh.
The practice of gratitude definitely cultivates joy too. Looking for, noticing, acknowledging and expressing gratitude and appreciation for the things, people, places and experiences that bring us joy – small and big.
May we all cultivate and allow a little more joy to arise in our lives this week.
With great warmth.