Monday, May 19, 2008
I was surfing and came across this blog with the subtitle "cultivating joy." And that got me thinking ...
Most of us expect Joy to happen: no action or effort required. We wade through life wondering when and where Joy will appear; wondering why she has yet to arrive.
When she doesn’t show we drown ourselves in excess: food, alcohol, shopping, career. We hope to coax her out of her den, to lure her with a new pair of shoes. But Joy is shrewd. She doesn’t buy it. She remains in the darkness her wide yellow eyes aglow, a faint hint of glitter sparkling through sable.
And you are afraid. Can you handle her? She’s wild, carnal. She lurks in the periphery then suddenly pounces. You’re her springboard; she strikes then flits away. Flat on your ass and grasping for something no longer there you wonder what hit you. You wonder if you’ll ever see her again.
And how often does Joy wait around the corner, giggling, and shifting from one foot to the next, eagerly anticipating your arrival? When was the last time she crawled under the table and tickled your toes? How long ago did she pick you up and swing you around the room, your feet off the ground in dizzying ecstasy? It all depends on how well you’ve cultivated Joy.
For, you see, Joy is a living vibrant being: a child, a plant, an animal; Joy comes in many forms. But no matter the form she needs to be cultivated, to be fed and watered. She requires constant attention. She likes flowers.
You may spend days sitting at the entrance to her cave, talking, coaxing yet never seeing her. You have to persist. You must lay down the foundation for a solid relationship. Each day bring her an offering: a clean house, a new plant for the garden, a walk in the park, a hot bubbly bath. Journal and record your efforts.
Soon she'll peak out and take a morsel from your hand. But she’s shy. She’ll retreat. Yet day after day she’ll show herself more. Until, finally, at the sight of you, she’ll bound from her den. Purring and rubbing against you she’ll claim you as her own.
With proper care and feeding Joy will remain. She’ll be there, gently purring alongside you, even when life tries to shoo her away. Your relationship will be such that she may grow quiet, she may be subdued but she will never leave you. You will have cultivated Joy.