If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know I am a believer in joy being an inside job. The external world can bring us temporary happiness through the many distractions that it offers, but the truth is that to be happy all the time, to feel joy on a daily basis, it has to start inside you.
As children, it was natural for us to find reasons to smile and laugh. Why we even found reasons to dance with joy! Now, as adults, many of us only have those rare moments when something happens to cause us to want to “Snoopy dance”. My questions is – Why is that?
It would seem that we should blame growing up and becoming adults. The carefree, lack of responsibility of childhood is gone. As adults, we have responsibilities and isn’t it those responsibilities that make our lives so dreary and miserable? Or is it?
Even as children, we still had the responsibility of going to school and, some of us, had the responsibility of doing chores or watching over our younger siblings….and, yet, we found reasons to smile and fun to be had. Life was still made for “dancing”. (Yes, I do realize there are children who have a very rough existence. Have you seen pictures of them? They still find reasons to smile and ways to have fun, in many cases.) Children just seem to find the good in life and smile.
Perhaps therein lies the problem for us adults. Somewhere along the way, we changed our focus from what is good about each day to all that is bad about our lives. We find no reason to smile and certainly no reason to dance. Since energy flows where attention goes, is it no wonder we are angry, depressed, miserable, and more.? Is it no wonder we yearn for something better, more joyful and yet never realize we are the creator of our lives and hold the key to change and joy…always…right inside of us?
We literally had the natural joy programmed out of us. We had our attention diverted to all our responsibilities and what a heavy burden they are. We were trained how we have to work hard – “nose-to-the-grindstone” hard – if we are to have the things in life that we should want – a spouse, a home, a good job or career, and children. So, work! work! work! Why did that training not include ways to find joy in everything we do or how even the worst days have good things to appreciate?
One of the things I’ve come to realize is that people can’t teach what they don’t know. We seem to have become a society that has been passing down doom and gloom to its children for generations now. With the new energies of this new era – the Aquarian Age – the time has come for change and, although we are not responsible for nor can we do anything about changing anyone else, we can begin by making changes within ourselves. “And what might those be?”, you may well ask. How about beginning with looking for reasons to smile each day? How about committing yourself to moments of being silly? Most importantly, how about looking for something good even in the worst of moments?
I find myself looking out the window next to my computer, where I spend so much time, and seeing a blue jay or cardinal in the pine tree and smiling. Yesterday, a gray squirrel went tearing across one of the branches on his way to somewhere and I laughed. Then there are the evenings, when I finally get away from the computer, and I may be watching a little TV with my husband. A commercial comes on and I find a need to go to the kitchen for a glass of water. Do I just get up and walk out of the room? Of course not! I make my exit dancing and he smiles, telling me I’m silly. Of course I am! And I smile.
I have my bad moments too. There are days when things don’t go right or I get up feeling less than friendly with the world. Things break down, illnesses occur, interruptions to my day happen, but I’ve taught myself to look for the good in each event. When I get depressed or in a bad mood, I remember to be grateful for the lavender oil that sits in various places in the house for me to use in just such circumstances. When something breaks down, I remind myself that it could have been worse, because it always could have been. I’ve also discovered that music helps to lift me out of these moments so I can think more clearly and thus focus on solutions rather than the problems.
In other words, I’ve been learning to “dance” again and find the joy that belongs in my life. For many of us, it’s not just that we’ve stopped dancing – we’ve lost our ability to even hear the music. To hear that music, you have to learn to silence the voice of disdain and pessimism in your head and…listen. It’s still there. It never left. We’ve just drowned it out with all the busyness of what is supposed to be “normal” adult life.
Normal? There’s nothing normal about all this. Normal was what we knew as children – that there is wonder and awe, joy and happiness in every day to be had, if we but open ourselves to it. Time to get on up and dance to the music…the music of Life! May I have this dance?