The Oxford dictionary uses words such as ‘delight’ and ‘gladness’ to define ‘joy’. These words conjure up images of small children playing together and discovering with a sense of delight, new friends, new sensations and new toys in their environment. They are masters at play and creativity. I once marveled as I watched a three year old play with her hair in the swimming pool. She was mesmerized as she watched drops of water falling from her wet hair and making wondrous patterns on the surface of the water as she moved her head in different directions. She was captivated and totally immersed in this play she had created. Where is the wonder and fascination in your life? What captivates you to the point of losing yourself and living fully in the present moment? What kind of play have you lost yourself in? If you don’t know the answers to these questions or don’t like the answers, you may want to consider a different path.
Sadly, the problems of life and the difficulties we encounter over the years, often result in us losing this spontaneous and happy response to our environment. We become somewhat jaded and lose the trust that we once had. We make decisions about ourselves and life in general that keep us stuck. We fail to notice the gifts that Mother Nature, as well as friends and family, bring us on a daily basis. We frequently become trapped by our own worries and perceived limitations. We lose our zest for life! If we are lucky, we may finally realize we have created a play that we don’t like very much and wonder how this has happened. We can then begin to do something about it. The ‘Journey to Joy’ involves recapturing these child-like qualities of wonder, delight and trust and requires that we begin to live more consciously and in an ‘Inner Way’. When we decide to take this step, we push our boat off from the moorings of the lake with no idea where we are going. We take responsibility for ourselves and become the helmsman of our craft – no more blaming others for an unfulfilled life. We begin to realize that we cannot find joy outside of ourselves because all too often it can be taken away in an instant. The tragedy of September 11th is a perfect example of this. We have to learn to create a solid center inside of us that never falters. To do this, we must find a way to journey to this center and overcome all the obstacles that we find in our way. It is a hero’s journey and is not to be taken lightly. It involves stripping away everything that comes between us and this central connection to the Divine, for it is in this connection that we begin to rediscover the joy.