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On the hunt for joy

"Do anything, but let it produce joy" – Walt Whitman



Joy was a seed planted in my very first Reiki session. It was a clear message from the spirit world and connected me to ancestors in a way I hadn't expected; in a way that was overwhelming and inspiring in equal measure. 


Being the problem-solver I am, I couldn't help but wonder what it meant, what joy looked like and how to 'find it'.


I knew it felt right - that something had shifted and that joy was a key to unlocking something. So I just sat with that seed for a while (luckily I was at a retreat and had plenty of time in the days that followed, and even the next few weeks as that experience integrated through my life).


Now with constant reminders in the more than eight years since that day, I’m coming to understand the concept of JOY better.


It's standing on top of a mountain looking at the horizon.


It's feeling the sun on my skin or the earth beneath my feet.


It's watching my niblings as they learn and smile and grow into themselves.


It's belly laughs.


It's seeing one of my pot plants sprout a new leaf or produce a flower.


It's not being able to stop reading a book because I'm so absorbed in the story.


It's sinking into bed at the end of a long day.


It's standing back and admiring a clean kitchen or bathroom.


It's a really good whisky.


It's the perfect peach or raspberry.


It's the feeling after a good cry or a good stretch or a good workout.


As I've reflected on joy over the years, I've come to see and appreciate that it's often found in tiny, fleeting moments.


The list above are just some of mine! If we can recognise and acknowledge them, we can intentionally create more of those moments. We can savour them. We can even prioritise them.

For me, as you can see, it's not necessarily those hedonistic, external, happy-happy-joy-joy moments of pleasure and fun that might immediately come to mind when we think of joy (as lovely and important as all that is!).


And by 'tiny' and 'fleeting', I don't mean insignificant. Because I think there's something deeper going on in those moments. A connection to my values (which I've come to define as Wonder, Stillness and Movement). A connection to something bigger than myself. A reminder of who I am.


There's a grace in those moments of joy. 


When you claim them, there's authenticity.


And when you make them part of you life, there's a resilience that will hold you strong when things around you get difficult.


So I wonder ...


>> What are your moments of joy? (give yourself a few minutes now to write some down, and I promise it will give you a little boost! Maybe pop that list where you can see it and be reminded of your joys. Hit reply and let me know what you uncover!)


>> And what do your moments of joy reveal about who you truly are, underneath all the shoulds and external expectations? 


If you're out of practice, this might all feel a bit awkward. Moments of joy might be hard to find at first, or you might not be able to put the puzzle pieces of meaning together. But give yourself time ... it's worth the investment.


This is where the stillness and internal focus of Reiki, meditation or yoga can be so helpful, and in fact is central to what the intention of these practices are. 


Whether it's your own practice or you seek the help from a teacher or practitioner, turning inwards and appreciating your values, strengths and purpose; finding grace, authenticity and resilience; and discovering joy in both the journey and destination has been the gift of a lifetime for me, and it's why I care so much about sharing it with you. 




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