“Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.” – Joseph Campbell
When we think of joy, our minds often go back to childhood; a child’s squeal of delight when they get something they wanted or a baby’s infectious giggle. Children are open to joy and experience it unabashedly, often despite the circumstances of their lives. Many adults, in contrast, only experience it fleetingly and may even feel guilty when they do. I mean who are we to feel joy when the world is in the state it’s in; global warming, pandemics, cut-throat politics, a life that’s lived from crisis to crisis? Who are we to feel joy? Isn’t it a frivolous, naïve emotion in these serious times?
As an adult, I didn’t think much about joy one way or another. I did experience it, I mean it’s a joy to raise kids; but I really did not think about it until I read Deepok Chopra’s book, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success. In it he suggests that when you meet someone, you might silently send them joy, happiness, and laughter as a gift. That idea stuck with me and I have often gone out in the world silently wishing people this as a kind of game. I have a P.O. Box so I go to the Post Office daily and often send people blessings with my mind. I have frequently seen people stop and relax when I’ve done this. It brings me great satisfaction and often sets the tone for my day.
Joy is not just a reward, it is a choice, a way of life and powerful too. I mean if we can consistently feel happy despite enduring the ‘slings and arrows of outrageous fortune’, we have truly won the game of life; and nobody has to lose. We can all win. Think about that for a moment. My winning doesn’t have to depend on you losing. Nobody has to beat anyone and we can all still win.
Recently, I had a friend who was suffering through a difficult time and I wanted to help. I also worry about my son who suffers greatly worrying about the fate of the world. So, like I do, I researched symbols of joy and happiness and created the mandala as a way to attract and radiate bliss all day. I am hoping to help my friend and my son to reconnect with the good feelings that are inside them and nurture them and help them grow.
I hung a print of this mandala in my dining room and already feel the effects. It’s reminding me to go back to my practice of silently giving people silent gifts and it feels good.