Giving To Others Creates Joy In My LifeOctober 9, 2020
We’re Inviting You to Join UsNovember 16, 2020
Joyely seeks to bring more joy to the world – not just a feel, but an experience.
In the midst of some of the craziest times any of us have known, joy often seems a far cry.
Many people believe that joy is this big, overwhelming idea for everyone and everything. But joy and living joyely is not so complicated as that. It is much easier to come by.
Joy can be found in the everyday. But to do that you have to take action.
But it’s not a difficult or complicated action. What it boils down to is recognizing the little joys in life, and then giving them more of your focus and attention.
The world deserves more joy. But more importantly than that, YOU deserve more joy.
Sing it with me!
I don’t know about you, but the lyrics for “Joy to the World” evokes the famous song by Three Dog Night.
If you are unfamiliar with the number one hit song of 1971, let me share with you the opening lyrics for joy to the world and chorus:
Jeremiah was a bullfrog
Was a good friend of mine
I never understood a single word he said
But I helped him a-drink his wine
And he always had some mighty fine wine
Joy to the world
All the boys and girls now
Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea
Joy to you and me
There has been a lot of analysis of the meaning behind this song. But that sort of exploration will ALWAYS turn up something deep (for example, the biblical connection between the prophet Jeremiah and the bullfrog representing the voice of God. I fail to see this connection myself – for numerous reasons).
But if you simply take the song – the chorus in particular – straight for its meaning and read nothing into it – the message is clear.
Joy to the world. EVERYONE and EVERYTHING. Joy to you and me.
A profoundly simple message. And that, to me, is the whole point.
Joy is Profoundly Simple
We have a MADNESS for complicating the universe. We look in-depth for hidden meanings, subtext, and all kinds of other layers that may or may not exist.
One of the best examinations of this can be found in Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist. His protagonist, the boy Santiago, learns that he finds the most joy in his life when he works towards his goals.
When Santiago meets an Englishman studying alchemy, he gets to look at all the man’s books. These are filled with symbols and tracts of analysis and deep, massively over-engineered studies of the alchemical process.
When he meets the Alchemist himself, Santiago learns that the original how and why of alchemy was written on the surface of a single emerald. Yet while the Emerald Tablet is still in existence and known, these volumes of in-depth analysis often supplant it.
This whole thing is an incredible metaphor for how most people live today. We reject the simple because we believe that the complicated – because it is complex – is better.
Why do we believe that? And how come joy has been lumped into that?
Devaluing the simplicity of childhood
Joy comes easily to children.
Little, simple things clearly bring children joy. Running, playing, coloring, singing, babbling incessantly after they learn to talk. They do all of this with reckless abandon and pure, unadulterated joy.
Why is this important? Because this simple joy gets devalued over time. Children are taught to consider their actions, to compare themselves to others, to try to be better than – or not as foolish as – others around them.
Just for clarity’s sake, this statement is not anti-merit. There is a tremendous amount of value in striving to be good, skilled, and to achieve. Some people are better at certain things than others. What I am talking about here is more about self-consciousness.
As we get older, we consider how things we do will make us look to others. Simply joys get rejected because we think they make us look weak, foolish, childish, uneducated, or what-have-you.
Again, this is not to say that sometimes things do become foolish, childish, or whatnot. But the things that bring us joy shouldn’t be rejected because they are simple and perhaps even silly.
This is part of the problem we face. Over time, if we believe in ideas like “simple minds, simple pleasures,” joy gets lumped into that. And then we move along and ignore joyful things that ultimately empower us.
This is the downside to social interactions and education in many ways. We reject inherent knowledge and instinct for research, analysis, and complex ideas.
The one need not replace the other. They can coexist side-by-side. Yet somehow, along the way, the older people get the more they neglect and reject the simple joys of the everyday.
Joy to the World doesn’t neglect the reality
We live in interesting times. Currently, that is easily viewed as the Chinese curse (may you live in interesting times).
Some awful things are happening out there. People trying to control the minds and bodies of other people. Politicians fighting for nobody but themselves and their enlargement. Business leaders taking and giving nothing back. Kindness and empathy being disregarded.
This is not something to be ignored. If you are unaware of why the current election is important, Black Lives Matter and the rights of LGBTQA+ and immigrants are in peril – you are unable to take action to do anything about it.
When it comes to the big picture you are limited. It is very little we can do, with the exceptions of speaking up, taking part in rallies and protests, calling/emailing elected officials, and VOTING.
But at home, individually, you can do more. You can be mindful of your thoughts, feelings, actions, and intentions. That mindfulness, in turn, can help you find, see, and spread joy.
Joy and the collective consciousness
Individually, we each hold a unique perspective on the world. Life, the Universe, and everything is perceived by you and me in our own, individual way. As Albert Einstein, genius physicist famously said,
“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
The reality of which he speaks is the collective consciousness.
The collective consciousness is the accepted reality that we all partake in and agree to. That’s why we accept that the sun is the center of the galaxy, the sky is blue, the grass is green, a red light means stop, and so forth.
The collective consciousness, such as it is, is the amalgam of individual consciousness. My perception of reality, your perception of reality, and that of the random strangers passing you by on the highway.
This is why the collective consciousness is changeable. For example, it wasn’t so long ago that people believed the Earth was flat (and I am going to disregard anyone still holding onto this belief). The collective consciousness, following much scientific evidence and proof, accepts that the Earth is, in fact, round.
This changed over time. Likewise, some five-hundred years ago the collective consciousness thought the Earth was the center of the galaxy (the Universe, in fact). Then, Copernicus proved otherwise – and we accept collectively that the sun is the center of the galaxy.
The point is, collectively, we can shift our focus from all the negativity to positivity and joy. But it starts small. It starts with you and me.
Joy to you and me
There is infinite possibility in you. Almost anything you desire to have, be, or do can be yours. But it requires you to take control of your mindset/headspace/psyche and alter your beliefs, habits, and subconscious thoughts to do that.
It’s easy to forget this because a lot of forces out there want you disempowered. Why? Because that’s how they believe they can control you.
But the truth is that you are in control. And if you feel that you are not – you CAN be.
One way to do this is by practicing mindfulness.
Mindfulness makes you aware, in the here-and-now, of your consciousness. Specifically, your thoughts, feelings, actions, and intentions.
When you practice mindfulness, you become aware of your conscious mind. That opens you to be more capable of choosing things for yourself.
Ultimately, mindfulness is how you empower yourself.
When you are aware of what you are thinking, how you are feeling, what you are feeling, and what you are doing – plus intent behind it all – you gain control over it.
What’s that got to do with joy? Joy, and experiencing life joyely, is a choice. You can decide to find, create, and experience joy for yourself. And that is extremely empowering – particularly in the face of a world often hell-bent on disempowering you.
Joy to the World starts with joy to yourself
You can find and create joy all the time. This is because, when all is said and done, joy comes in little doses from small, seemingly insignificant things, all the time.
For example, joy can be found daily in:
- Waking up every morning
- The wind on your face
- Sunlight and its warmth
- The smells of fresh-baked bread and fresh-brewed coffee
- The smiles of children
- Warm clothes fresh out of the dryer
- Taking a deep breath, letting it go, and releasing tension
- Petting a dog or cat
- Savoring your favorite food
- Hugging someone
- Finishing a project
You experience many of these things daily and probably don’t even realize that they are the very essence of joy. When you recognize them as such, you can choose to make use of them to alter how you think and feel. That, in turn, changes how you approach life from day today.
To be fair, you are going to have terrible, no good, awful days – and the sound of the bullfrog might annoy the crap out of you. But it will pass – and you can use joy to alter your focus.
When you find and create more joy in the world you contribute that and give it to the world at large. This can go a long way towards changing the collective consciousness for the better.
With more practices recognizing joy, we can spread the movement for greater joyely experiences. It’s not simply a feeling like joyful – joyely is a whole experience for approaching the world and doing your part to improve upon it.
That starts with you and me.
To quote Three Dog Night again:
Joy to the world
All the boys and girls
Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea
Joy to you and me