"When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy." ~ Rumi
Do you want to experience more joy in your life? The solution may be easier than you think. To live a more joyful life, simply figure out what things bring you the most joy, and then do those things more often. Everyday, if possible! What brings you joy? That is a question everyone needs to answer for themselves. For some it's skiing or mountain biking, for others painting or poetry. Your source of joy could be gardening, or cooking, or reading, or singing. Joy does not just occur spontaneously- it's something you have to cultivate over time by taking consistent action. There are many things in life that can bring you joy but, to experience joy on a regular basis, you will actually have to do these things regularly.
What all these activities have in common is they give you the opportunity to lose yourself in what you are doing. A chance to enter into the 'zone,' where your mind is quiet and you are fully immersed with the task at hand. When you spend enough time immersed in the flow, you will feel a stirring inside, like a river moving inside your heart. So, what are you waiting for? Go out and find your joy- don't wait around for it to find you. Do the activities that make your inner river flow. By consistently doing the things that bring you joy, your life will naturally become more joyful.
“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”
~ Alan Watts
It’s often said that the only constant in life is change. But, if that’s true, then why are we so frightened of change when it happens to us? The element of change is what makes life exciting. Afterall, if everything in your life stayed the same all the time, you would eventually get bored and listless. Change also brings new challenges that you will have to overcome. This is actually a good thing because overcoming challenge and adversity is the only surefire way to grow and get stronger as a person.
Another way to view change is to think of your life as a piece of music. If your song only had one note, it wouldn’t be very catchy. In order to make a melody, the notes will need to change. When change happens in your life- and it inevitably will- think of it as the notes changing in your life-song. Instead of resisting change, try dancing to the music of life. When you dance, you don’t think about what moves you just did or what moves are coming next. You also don’t get upset when one note ends and another one begins. You simply release into the flow and let yourself move spontaneously, reacting creatively to the music as it unfolds.
“To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don't grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax and float.” ~ Alan Watts
To be successful, you first need to believe in yourself. However, belief will only get you so far. To really succeed, it takes faith. Believing in something means that you really hope it's true or you really hope it will happen. The problem with belief is that it leaves room for doubt- there's still a slim chance of failure. With faith, there is no doubt. Faith is the difference between hoping you will succeed and knowing that success is inevitable. When you hope for something, you might hold your breath in nervous anticipation, unsure of the final outcome. When you have faith, you can breathe easily knowing that there is no need for internal struggle, even during challenging times.
If you slow down and tune into your breath for a moment, you'll notice that breathing is an ongoing cycle of tension and surrender- pressure and release. As you inhale, the lungs fill with air and the pressure builds inside until you eventually release into the exhale, and then the cycle starts all over again. Therefore, at any given moment, you are faced with a choice: either hold on or let go. When you resist, you tense your muscles and hold your breath, becoming agitated and upset. Having faith means surrendering to the flow, knowing that life will have its twists and turns, but everything always works out in the end.
"Ever since I was a child I have had this instinctive urge for expansion and growth. To me, the function and duty of a quality human being is the sincere and honest development of one's potential."~ Bruce Lee
We all have an innate desire to self-actualize during this lifetime- to become the best possible version of ourselves: healthy, wealthy, joyous etc. We also recognize that the process of developing your highest potential does not happen overnight. Real change takes effort and commitment over time. The whole process can seem daunting at first- what exactly are you supposed do in order to win at life?
The truth is, you don't need to master the rest of your life all at once- you only need to master today. When it comes to creating success, what you choose to do today is the only thing that you have any control over- everything else is just wishful thinking. If you can consistently master the day, then pretty soon you will have mastered the week. Keep it up and, the next thing you know, you've mastered the month, and so on. When you commit to doing whatever it takes to have a successful day today, your future success becomes inevitable.
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About The Author
Nick Hughes is a massage therapist, yoga instructor and co-owner of Well Being. Influenced by the ideas of Alan Watts, Eckhart Tolle, Ram Dass, and Deepak Chopra, Nick presents his unique take on human existence with the goal of helping others live a happier life.