11 Sep 3 Simple Ways to Cultivate Joy Every Day
via Mindful by Kelly Barron
The other day I spoke with a friend I hadn’t connected with since the pandemic began. When I asked how she was, she unexpectedly said she had just tasted the best cherry in her life.
Her delight was refreshing, and it didn’t alter the underlying fact that she felt heavy-hearted and off-kilter because of the state of the world. She nonetheless found momentary joy in a bowl of cherries.
Often, we have to coax these small moments of joy into our awareness. We have to let our guard down and allow them rub up against us like a purring cat.
Joy can be like that—small, unassuming, disarming. It’s hiding in a cherry, a song note, or a pair of comfortable shoes. Often, we have to coax these small moments of joy into our awareness. We have to let our guard down and allow them rub up against us like a purring cat.
Of course, our attention is often otherwise occupied—tugged toward irritation when we hear the grating whir of a leaf blower, or when we feel sadness after learning a friend is ill, or anxiety when someone we love has lost their job. And there are the larger forces that pull our attention—oppression, climate devastation, deep uncertainty about the future. Much of mindfulness practice is about learning to relate to these sharp-elbowed moments with equanimity.
How to Find Joy in the Mundane
But along with all of those dark and stormy moments is also the sunshine of joy. Just like irritation or sadness, subtler moments of gladness arise throughout our day. Bringing awareness to the many small good moments we experience isn’t a denial of everything else that might be wrong. Instead, it’s an honest appraisal of what might be arising in the moment.
For my friend, momentary joy arose in the taste of cherry. Right now, for me, it’s the dancing of my fingers on the keyboard. For you, it might be reading this story (I hope so) or sipping a refreshing glass of water. Connecting with modest moments like these not only feels good; it tempers our hard-wired tendency toward negativity…
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