Happy 2017 to you all. I wonder if you have set your intentions for the year ahead? How do they look? Do you feel truly commited to following through on the promises you have made to yourself? Importantly, are your intentions focussed on bringing you pleasure, or are they about increasing your Joy?
Back in December 2016, an incredibly wise lady explained to me that pleasure is merely a temporary feeling that comes about from something that we experience outside of ourselves. A yummy meal, an awesome holiday, great sex, a thrilling ride, a great result on a test, etc. etc. etc. The pleasure could not exist without us directly interacting with the external stimuli that all play their part in the experience. Pleasure is a necessary part of the human existence, but it does not nurture us. It does not bring us inner peace.
Joy, on the other hand, arises from within. It does not happen to us. It is IN us. Joy is a state of being. It is the intangible, the unseen, the unnameable that is supplanted within us from birth, and rises up when we take the time to do the following three things:
When we find time and space to rest and reflect, is becomes easier to find the connection to our higher self. Of course, these look different for each and every one of us. We all have challenges in our lives that can easily rob us of the time to commit to our inner growth. Making the commitment to FIND that time in your day (10 minutes is a good start) is a great place to start your New Years resolution list. Stop, rest and listen to your breath. And the rest will follow. Once you start to incorporate this gift of time for self into each day, your life will start to change beyond recognition.
You may like to try the Smiling Mind app to assist you with slowing down. I highly recommend it!
This gift of time for self unfailingly leads to finding the connection to your higher self. Spending quality time each day with yourself is investing in the best friend you will ever know. Before very long at all, you will start to feel that incredible connection that has always been there. The external chaos of human existence can never fully extinguish this "knowing". Like all things that have been unlearned, it can take time to relearn who you truly are.
Once you have reestablished the connection to your higher self, you will find it increasingly difficult to live against your innermost beliefs. If until now, you have been living 'against your grain', it will gradually start to feel like torture to continue with a lifestyle, a job, a partner or friends who compromise your beliefs, your values, your integrity. You are stepping out of the fog, and the clarity can be blinding and at times, very uncomfortable. Aligning our actions with our innermost beliefs results in authentic living, and this is what truly fills up our Joy tanks.
We all enter this life as newborns with a divine intelligence which is rather quickly covered over by the gatekeepers of our human existence. But one day, we all wake up again. Sometimes, we have to hit rock bottom with a thud before we wake up, which happened to be the way it worked for me. In that moment, Spirit literally put out its hands, picked me up off the floor and told me to "get on with it". Hopefully, yours is more like a gentle "Good morning, time to wake up" than mine was.
Spirit laid the foundations that night for me to rebuild my Joy tank, and Reiki helps me to keep it topped up. It keeps me connected, it makes me reflect, and it forces me to live authentically. In turn, my life is simply a much better place to be. When we live from a place of Joy, we are also sharing the benefits of that Joy with all those we come into contact with. Joy is benevolent and loving and kind. Best of all, when our Joy tanks are solid, pleasure is enhanced. A great wave, a fantastic movie, running a marathon, eating our favourite dessert, hugging our loved ones feels even more amazing. Why? Because we can enJOY the pleasure to its fullest, in that moment, without fearing how we'll cope when its effect fades away. Joy is a big beautiful protective safety net that will always catch us if we fall.
What tops up YOUR Joy tank?