Practice Day 20: I Will Seek out JOY.

Updated: Mar 23

Theme/Mantra: “I will seek out Joy”


Reading:

Happiness by Raymond Carver

So early it’s still almost dark out.

I’m near the window with the coffee,

and the usual early morning stuff

that passes for thought.

When I see the boy and his friend

walking up the road

to deliver the newspaper.

They wear caps and sweaters,

and one boy has a bag over his shoulder.

They are so happy

they aren’t saying anything, these boys.

I think if they could, they would take

each other’s arm.

It’s early in the morning,

and they are doing this thing together.

They come on, slowly.

The sky is taking on light,

though the moon still hangs pale over the water.

Such beauty that for a minute

death and ambition, even love,

doesn’t enter into this.

Happiness. It comes on

unexpectedly. And goes beyond, really,

any early morning talk about it.


Meditation:

Sit comfortably, in a position conducive to listening (for you).

Exhale and inhale deeply a few times.

Focus on the questions-

1.What will bring Joy to your life?

Wait for an image or idea to arise.

Be still with that vision or thought.

Breathe.

2.What is holding you back?

Wait for an image or idea to arise.

Be still with that vision or thought.

Breathe.



Physical Movement:

Reclining Spinal Twist

Lie on your back. Bring both knees up and near your chest, keeping your knees together as much as possible.

Extend your arms out to your sides so you they are in a T position (perpendicular to your spine).

Roll your legs and hips to the left, touching the floor if you are able.

Your right foot can be on your left foot and your right knee on your left knee.

As much as possible, keep both shoulders flat on the ground.

If you find your back arching, try moving your knees closer to your ribs.

Turn your head to the right (away from your knees).

Allow your back to relax as you hold for 1-2 minutes.

Slowly roll back to center, and repeat on the other side.

You can think on the words, “I am centered. I am relaxed. I am at peace.”


Reflection:

Joy seems to be so hard to find in a world filled with heaviness and pain. And yet- I think it is the only thing that can keep us balanced to the point that we are able to deal with that heaviness and pain.

Listening to George Winston’s “Joy” conjures so many positive thoughts and feelings in me. I encourage you, as you listen to it- to be in a meditative state, and allow the joy to fill you completely.

To find joy around us is sometimes a gift. And if it is a gift you do not have, I encourage you to have at least one person/friend in your life who helps you to do this. Me? I find joy pretty easily. But joy alone won’t keep us balanced. I am quick to laugh with others- who make me laugh. But I have trouble getting there on my own. I find people around me whom I love- who help me to get there- to laugh more. To hold life a little more lightly. To not be so intense.

The natural world is one of the places I automatically go to find this joy. The singing songbirds this time of spring. The bulbs peeking out of the recently frozen earth. The warming days and life-giving sunshine. What can you find to stir the joy in your soul? And bring it to life?



Song: Joy by George Winston

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROX5gUWS7mo

Lyrics: (instrumental)

Until Tomorrow- Peace

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