When I first read this quote from Eckhart Tolle’s book, “A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose,” I had to re-read it multiple times. The statement, “Joy does not come from what you do, it flows into what you do and thus into this world from deep within you,” reframed my understanding of joy, especially in the materialistic, consumeristic world we live in.
We have lost sight of Joy’s true essence and origin, and I believe that is why we are looking for it in all the wrong places, thus, experiencing higher levels of undesirable life situations and dangerous health conditions. Joy is an internal experience, not an external experience. Joy is being present and enjoying what you have, what you do, and all that is. The world does not provide Joy to us, we provide Joy to the world.
Joy is in everyone; it’s international!
There are studies conducted such as the “World Happiness Report” and “Happy Planet Index” which both measure happiness across the world based on the Gallup World Poll, which is the most comprehensive and farthest-reaching survey of the world, tracking human development worldwide. The World Happiness Report gathers its research based on six main factors, including levels of GDP, life expectancy, generosity, social support, freedom, and corruption. The Happy Planet Index gathers its research based on wellbeing, life expectancy, inequality of outcomes, and ecological footprint. Observing the data from all categories, the Nordic countries typically rank in the top ten out of all countries in the world, according to the 2020 World Happiness Report.
These reports focus mostly on external circumstances and conditions of living which equate to certain levels of happiness. This caught my attention! If I move to Copenhagen, Denmark will I be happier, more joyful? If my goal to move to Copenhagen was to experience a happier life, moving would be a means to an end. Going where happiness is said to be will not make me more joyful. Why? Because Joy is an internal experience and happiness is an external experience.
You don’t have to move to the Nordic countries to experience joy. You can travel anywhere in the world and bring your joy with you, because you have the power to allow joy to flow into all that you do, be it in luxurious travel, buying a new car, a beautiful home, designer clothing, or any material goods. Joy flows in the present moment, in true enjoyment of all that is.
Joy is not something to be found or achieved, but something to be realized and chosen.
This is a movement, as people become aware of their own power to cultivate this inner joyous state of being that exists within themselves. This is going on all around the world as more and more people begin to truly realize and distinguish Joy from Happiness. We are remembering, collectively, together, that Joy is our choice and no one can take that away from us.
Happiness does not cause joy, but happiness is an effect of being in a joyous state.
Internationally acclaimed psychologist, author, and survivor of the Holocaust, Edith Eger, said, “Today, I have a joy that is within me that I cherish so much because I don’t have to wait for anything to come from the outside.”
You are the origin of Joy. Know it, believe it, feel it, allow it.