So, unfortunately, the Tuesday (yesterday) and Thursday (tomorrow) posts are going to be a day late. I do not have an army of posts written and ready to deploy on any given day. Most of what you read here is nearly a stream of conscious thought, as I sit and write these just a few moments before I post them. That explains some of the spelling and grammar mistakes I make, as well as the chunky way that some of this reads. My edit process is very small. Therefore, I run off into tangents such as this one. ::setting the post back on the tracks:: This afternoon, I will have a needle put into my right eye to inject medication to help with diabetic issues I have with my eyes. I had this done last week (to the day) for my left eye. Its not a pleasant thing, especially since last week was the first time I ever had it done. I do not expect today to be any more pleasant. My eye sight; however, will be blurry for about a half day or more. Thus, the reason for Thursday’s delayed post. Tuesday’s delayed post, which I am writing now, is due to my own laziness. So forgive me that with today’s post. 🙂
My topic for this post is seeking joy in your life. Yeah, I understand that you are already considering the idea of skipping this post. When someone starts talking about seeking joy in life, the perspective tends to not be to the liking of a lot of folks. So, I understand if that is where you are heading. But thanks for reading this far, at least. I do appreciate that. I will be back to a bit more “Pagan-y” topic for the Thursday (actually Friday), and Sunday posts.
Those of you continuing on with me…thanks.
Seeking joy. Most likely you have heard this concept in some context or another. A few Pagan folks I have talked with about this have associated this with the “Sugar Pagans” or the “Love and Light” folks, if you prefer that label. Cool. I completely grok the extension. A few other folks have mentioned the self-help world as well. Well, I grok that too, but I tend to avoid that too. No, seeking joy is about finding the little things that make the world better for you each and every moment. That can be very different from person to person.
As an example, I will use a fictional example – The Hound from Game of Thrones.
Sansa Stark: Does it give you joy to scare people?
Sandor Clegane: No, it gives me joy to kill people.
Not everyone is going to have the same definition of joy. This is certainly an extreme example, but the Hound is not going to find joy in a sunlit field with butterflies floating about. So, as I start writing a bit more about joy, remember that I am writing from my own perspective. Yours may be decidedly different. And to be honest, that is really awesome.
Where to Look and How Hard
First, let’s make sure I say this out loud whenever and where everyone hears/reads it. Everyone has their down moments. For some folks, these moments are hard to shake. That depressive state can be a medical condition that will need assistance from health specialists. Please do not confuse what I am saying with saying that depression can be easily shaken off by changing one’s mental state. Far from it. So please do not get the impression that I am blowing off mental illness as something easily changed, I’m not.
So where can one find joy? ::shrug:: Everywhere. In anything. A small gesture, like holding someone’s hand, can be the spark of joy that lasts a few moments or even a full day. Being out in the wide open – where no other human being can be readily seen – is enough to find joy. To know that the wide open world is there, and you are only a single, small part of it. And despite that small size, you can impact the world around you. There is a joy in that thought for me. The slight touch of your lover’s lips against your skin. The feel of a cool breeze on a super-warm Summer’s day. The extremely sharp silence after a snow-fall, punctuated by the crunch of the snow under your feet as you walk through the forest. Joy is where you find it.
Now, the harder part. How focused should you be in the search of your joy? In my experience, you do not need to go on a massive hunt for what you are looking for. The beauty of a moment will find you, usually in the most unexpected way. Nearly every morning, I post on Facebook and write “Seek joy y’all. That shit is so worth it.” Because it is. However, I am not talking about pulling on your camo, pulling a bow and a quiver of arrows out of the closet, and literally tracking every movement of joy that you can find. Rather, open your mind, your sense, your heart and your soul to the idea of finding that element of beauty and joy.
What to Do With It
So what do you do when you find that joy? Well, first off experience it for yourself. Pull it towards you, let it fill you up. Let that shit get deep inside you. Open up and let those feelings overwhelm you. Unless you’re driving or operating heavy machinery – then pull over or stop before doing so. Safety first. At a Pantheacon, Kristoffer Hughes did a form of grounding that had everyone reaching deep into the California soil (three floors below us, so you have some concrete to get through), then reaching out into the Pacific ocean waters, then finding our way through the air to reach those elements. Once we had reached all of that, he had us spread that feeling throughout, releasing it into the world around us. I believe he referred to this as a DTI or a “Druid Transmitted Infection.” So when you start to feel that joy welling up inside you, what do you do with it? Share it with someone else. And yes, there can be joy in performing a grounding ritual.
Joy is where we find it. Sharing it, helping others to find their own joy, I consider that to be a daily duty for me. Not everyone wants to feel all of that. They will shove you away. They will be angry with you. Understand that not everyone can reach for joy in every moment in their life. Not even yourself. There are always dark moments. There are always dark times. Nine Hells, we are living in some of the darkest times I can remember since the threat of nuclear annihilation. But even during those very dark times of the mid- to late-1980s, there was joy to find. And joy to share. Just don’t share the Hound’s joy. #JustSayin’
Seek joy. That shit really is worth it.