I have to start this post with a quote I absolutely love, from Osho: “Joy arises within, it has nothing to do with the outside. It is not caused by others, it is not caused at all. It is the spontaneous flow of your own energy.”
A few days ago, I had what some people call “river of joy” running through me. I could define it as a day full of laughter, when I feel joyful, creative, and with boundless energy; the mind is clear and objective. Days like this one are rare, but have happened before, and once again it came spontaneously. Nothing really special was done on that day, just the usual stuff. As I now try to remember what I did during that day, only a few things come to mind. Maybe they were enough to cheer me up a bunch, or maybe planets were just beautifully aligned, who knows?! I don’t know. All I know is I can’t get enough of this type of day! And I wish everyone could have at least one day like that in their whole lives, because some people just don’t. I believe this is how we are supposed to live.
I remember knowing on the previous day what I would make for dinner that night, so that was one less thing to worry about (Cooking is not my thing, as you can tell!). I recollect making time to meditate on the previous day, and also on that day. It went pretty well, in terms of little distractions, which had not happened for a while.
I also remember it was a sunny day, not cold, so I took my car for a long time needed oil change and while the job was getting done, I walked my dog nearby. It turned out I found this nice short trail next to a stream. The sun was shining and reflecting in the water; there was a tiny rapid, good enough to make it sound like a small waterfall. The green vegetation grew around it, and even though we had to pass under a bridge full of noisy cars, it still felt like a small piece of heaven, right there in the middle of the city. After seeing this picture, a friend of mine made a comment, “You are so good in finding those types of hideaways!” Fortunately, I think I am drawn to this kind of place. I had no intention of finding it, which I didn’t even know existed. It all started when making the choice of going out for a walk on such a nice day instead of just sitting inside the Jiffy Lube station watching TV while the oil got changed. A couple of minutes walking, and there it was. I felt so thankful! What a nice surprise! These nice spontaneous things that happen, added to deep and sincere appreciation, really fill up my heart.
Some issues that had been stuck for days started to finally move forward that morning, which also added to the positive list. Then, I was able to go to my yoga class, which without failure gets me connected to my soul. There I am always able to forget everything and simply practice my awareness for the duration of class. It is unbelievable; it makes me smile every time, because it happens also automatically, it is not forced at all.
About half an hour later, my kids came home from school, and how much joy they brought! It is like when you have only one child, then you birth (or adopt) a second child, and you ask yourself, “Will I be able to love this second child as much as I love my first one?” Gosh, yes! I already mentioned this, but have to repeat it here: Love is like fire. Because you lit up one candle, it does not mean you can’t light up another one… And so, yes, you give much love also to your second child. The same happened with my joy today. Although I already felt pretty joyful when they came home, even more came through me! Their energy was contagious! We laughed pretty hard with our silly jokes and also when sharing stories from our day.
My younger child asked me to play cards, and we ended up crying for laughing so hard in a funny card game. Later at night, my older child put some good music on in her room and invited me to come and dance with her, and so I did. We had lots of fun together, without needing to worry about what other people would think. Not that I worry about that (to my kids’ despair, ha ha), but if they are caught dancing with their parents, it is somehow embarrassing from what society thinks. I can’t blame particularly this current era because I remember feeling the same thing when I was their age. Today, I don’t care anymore. What matters is if you feel happy, if you allow the “river of joy” to flow through you, not worrying about what others think, obviously as long as it does not bother them. How have we become so serious? I read on a book once that a four year old laughs about three hundred times per day, while an adult, about fifteen times… It also said, “Laughter opens your heart and soothes your soul.” I hope we all can find more things to laugh about in our days!
I have learned that, on days like this, I should not rationalize too much to find out what brings me all that joy, because it just pushes me away from it. I just have to allow it to continue and enjoy it! So, I am sorry if I don’t have a magic formula for you, but one thing I recommend: pay attention to every little good thing that comes your way during your day, and they will start to multiply. Plus, give yourself permission to feel good. Maybe with a good reason, or maybe for no reason. Fill your inside with that good sensation and start to brighten up your day! I could compare it to falling in love. Do you know when you really like someone and you find out that person also likes you? That feeling! Maybe it is you finding out you love yourself and vice-versa! You are full of love; it just needs to be awakened. Dive into this lovely river and bathe in love. And that’s how I ended up riding this joyful river!
Funny enough, after writing this, I opened my notebook on a page I wrote long ago one of Parahamsa Yogananda’s sayings: “I do realize now that I have found God, for whenever the joy of meditation has returned subconsciously during my active hours, I have been subtly directed to adopt the right course in everything, even details.” It is so true; that is the kind of river I mentioned. It is full of joy and flowing with it will take you in the right direction concerning every detail during your day. And he continued, “Human life is beset with sorrow until we know how to tune in with the Divine Will, whose right course is often baffling to the egoistic intelligence.” He hit the nail on the head! It is not about religion; it is about finding the divine source (above all religions), that sustains every form and force and also resides within us; but that is another (long) story.
Take advantage of every minute of joy you come across throughout your days, appreciating it and helping it multiply. May you then come in contact with that river of joy, which runs inside your heart, and trustingly allow it to move you forward!