At this time of the year we are drawn to celebration, carol singing, gathering with family and friends, attending religious ceremonies, exchanging gifts … partying, and more … these are happy, celebratory times.
But I wonder what the word ‘joy’ may mean to us?
Joy is more than ‘happy’ … somehow, joy is something rare to capture …
Joyfulness is associated with Christmas but perhaps it would be interesting to look a little further into some ways that joy may enter our other times … and our everyday response to life …
Let’s begin our pondering here: there is nothing like the experience of true joy – and magical moments – when seen through the faces of the young. Christmas morning brings wonder, imagination, hope and immense joy to the children we love so dearly. After weeks of waiting, now with excitement and surprise they discover their special gifts, magically delivered through their dreams by Santa Claus.
At the other end of the life cycle, the joyful response of the very old and frail comes just by knowing others care … by receiving small surprises or having simple needs met. This joy is expressed in gratefulness, through gentleness – and because of need, through deep appreciation. Here too, the power of love is present within a kind of child-like innocence and simplicity – a profound expression of joy.
A sense of spirituality contains joy. This intangible feeling seems to create something of a deeper belonging within life. And in that joyfulness there is also deep peace sometimes overwhelmingly so and even to the point of tears. I once heard it said that ‘tears are God’s forgotten language’. I think that is a beautiful and joyful concept upon which to rest our cares … which is perhaps why those of us who honour the religious expression of Christmas experience joyfulness within the hope and promise of that spiritually oriented celebration.
On a humorous note, there is joy in quirky expressions, art, poetry, theatre and conversation and intimate fun and laughter between close friends.
Joyful laughter is truly the best ‘medicine’!
And these are the times that raise our awareness of acceptance and the strength that friendships offer … times where our problems can be eased, where negative and troubled emotions fade back, and spirits are lightened by loving companionship.
Our consultancy work is dedicated to assisting the cause of mental health. The ‘stillness’ meditation we teach enables ease of mind and ease within our whole self. Being at ease brings relief of stress, anxiety, anger, depression and more.
And when we’re more at ease we’re more likely to experience a sense of joyfulness … with those we love, within the beauty of nature, within the surprises that come our way … and the inner strengths we discover.
We wish everyone the joy of the Christmas Season. We wish you peace of mind. We wish you deep love. We wish you good health and happiness and all the joy you can experience within the coming year.