Yes, I’ve been musing on joy – feeling joy, sending wishes of joy, sharing joy with others. I don’t seek joy. I don’t set an intention for it to appear. But I’m happy to say it always finds its way to me.
It’s infectious in only the best of ways. Once shared, the feeling takes a life of its own and spreads person to person in conversation, long beyond the moment that sparked it.
Walking in Joy
Living in New York City, walking is a way of life. We walk to work and school, to the subway and bus, to parks and other public places, or simply to enjoy a blissfully beautiful day. That last one was today’s experience, and, reflecting on it, I realize my heart was filled with joy from start to finish and beyond.
That feeling colored my perceptions. I marveled at the most beautiful blue of the sky, luxuriated in the warmth of the sun after frigid temperatures so recently ended, smiled as I listened to musicians and the people singing along with them, and breathed in the laughter and joy of others, amplifying that which was already in my heart.
My day had been clouded with a touch of malaise. As I walked and embraced every new joy-inducing experience, that immediately lifted and magically disappeared. I fully agree with Carlos Santana that joy has a healing component:
“If you carry joy in your heart, you can heal any moment”.
How much joy is enough to change our world? It turns out that we don’t need much. Neuroscientist Richard Sima published an article in the Washington Post last November, Want to Feel Happier? Try Snacking on Joy. He suggests finding and savoring little “bites” of joy – or “joy” snacks as he calls them. As it turns out, that’s what I had been doing on my walk.
Sima goes on to write,
“Joy is a mind-set and something we can orient toward by being on the lookout for it.”
I hadn’t considered it before, but that is often what I do. I intentionally seek what is unique or beautiful that is around me. And then I have to share it with those closest to me.
Allowing ourselves to revel in the experience and feeling of joy brings a richness to our lives and to the lives of those we touch. Moments that spark joy are literally all around us. Share them widely.
Joy to the world
All the boys and girls, now
Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea
Joy to you and me
“Joy to the World” – Three Dog Night
Sing along if you know it. Doesn’t that feel joyous?!