“We should all do what, in the long run,
gives us joy, even if it is only picking
grapes or sorting the laundry."
— E. B. White
“Joy has no cost."
— Marianne Williamson
[Classic post from 3-18-11]
I used to define joy is in jumping up and down, or thrilled with excitement, and such. I have come to know joy so differently now. In allowing myself to experience it, I find so many different levels of joy.
I love what E. B. White says about sorting the laundry. It reminds me of a neighbor we used to have who absolutely loved to iron clothes. It was something that gave her joy. I don't understand it, since ironing clothes to me is work with no real fun and little enjoyment. Isn't it interesting how we all love to do things that perhaps most of the world hates doing? I think it's fascinating.
So, we can find joy in doing something we enjoy. That's always a great way to get into joy. Yet, I have found an even simpler way and as Marianne Williamson says, it has no cost, and I add that it also requires no effort. Instead of effort, it is quite the opposite–it is in letting go, relaxing, being unconcerned.
I've learned to practice it in a lot of small ways in various circumstances. For example, I just took a long connecting airline flight and I used it a number of times on the airplane, in the airport, and any time that I began to feel a little tense. I would just close my eyes for a few moments and relax all my muscles and just pretend that I was holding on to something and now I am letting go of it. It is amazing how well that works and it costs nothing and takes no effort.
I find myself smiling inside. It may be happening on the outside as well, and it certainly feels like it. I am certain that that state of being has a positive and calming effect on those who happen to be near me. How fun and interesting this practice is.
Practice Relaxing In Between. It's A Respite.
Spread Some Joy Today–take a few 30-second respites today. It doesn't take much.