Last Spring my friend Amy and I went to visit a mutual friend Swamiji (Swami Sadashiva Tirtha) as he performed music and spoke at a local Health food store in our area. We were sitting around talking and my friend Amy asked Swamiji WHY he wore orange every day. His smiling answer was, “Because it is such a simple thing to do that brings me joy. It is so important to find your joy and live it”. Then he turned to us and asked, “what brings YOU joy?” I immediately knew my answer was “dance” but the truth was I had not been dancing regularly in a few years – THIS was what made me change that and realize YES, we NEED to live our joy. Living our joy connects us with that deepest part within us, our soul and ease. Living our joy builds our self confidence and happiness. Living our joy confirms to our soul – YES I hear you, You ARE important and I am HAPPY to be celebrating you. So, what brings YOU joy? Are you doing it? It can be something you will bring to your life daily, weekly or WHENEVER that will fill your heart. I would like to tell you ways to tap into your joy and share how I make sure I am LIVING my joy every day.
I would like to ask you to close your eyes for a minute (not now – you gotta finish reading the instructions!) I would like you to think back on 3 times that you were smiling so wide and felt so happy that it almost seemed surreal – times when there was a real sense of peace. Times when there is no other way to describe it – you felt deep JOY. Maybe, like me; you were dancing, maybe you were laughing with friends, maybe you put your hair a new way or wore a specific color, maybe you were creating – whether it be doodling, writing, scrap-booking, taking photographs or WHATEVER that might be, maybe you were singing a favorite song top of your lungs in the car….. THAT EASE that you experienced was a connection to your soul and of REAL JOY.
List those things after taking a minute to think about them and ask yourself if you are doing them as much as you would like. Ask yourself HOW you could implement these more into your life. It need not TAKE over your life and be the focus even introducing joyous moments into your life a little more can drastically change your state of mind and being. I use Swamiji’s question a LOT in looking at my own life. It has in fact CHANGED the way I look at life, at planning my week and has GREATLY increased the joy in my life.
In living your joy you are celebrating your experience here and now and are consciously telling yourself you are important enough to be happy and to FEEL JOY! Wow what a POWERFUL message that sends to our inner self! WHAT a sense of connectivity and love that brings. It is a way of affirming the GOOD in our lives and not even contemplating the “bad” while we are in that space. Life is about JOY, the more I consciously do things that bring joy – the better everything is around me and the more I am “in the flow” of life in ALL areas of my life. My friend Swamiji has a radio show on Blog Talk Radio where he frequently talks about living our joy.
I KNEW a lot of my joys when Swamiji asked that question. Spending time with family. Writing. Pursuing learning about healing modalities. The stuff I was already making time for. But something instinctively told me the answer was deeper than the conscious things I was doing to live my joy. What brought me joy throughout my life that I could do more of but was neglecting? The first answer to come through was “dance”. Since I was 6 years old I had taken dance lessons and had a love of it. I quit in high school since I was in NYC and “clubbing” and dance parties seemed MUCH more fun to me than organized dance at the time. It has been in and out of my life ever since and I had let it go when I was told yoga dance was actually making my health conditions WORSE (one of the only JOYS I DID have when I was ill) and had not started back up again. After that meeting with Swamiji I re-started yoga dance and signed up for belly dance lessons. I cannot even explain the JOY bringing these two forms of dance into my life has brought me. I am a member of a belly dance troupe and have my second performance this weekend – something I NEVER even dreamed of doing at 40! I have lost 10lb and feel more comfortable in my own body than I have felt in a VERY long time.
It was easy for me to see how re-introducing dance into my life brought me joy – BIG TIME!!!! Now the question was what else brought me joy and how could I do more of it. Well… I knew this was a question I would have to re-visit and keep asking myself to make sure I was in that flow and celebrating the inner me in MANY different areas of my life. I asked myself what socially brings me joy. My answer – spending time with my girlfriends, meeting new people and a sense of community. Since then I have made several new close friends and jump started a Wellness/Healer Practitioner meeting every month. I have also begun working on opening a Wellness Center in my community with other healers and integrating my husband’s TaeKwon-Do Studio that also has many other classes including you guessed it – belly dancing AND yoga dance. This center embodies MANY of my joys together – working close to Ray; my husband and best friend , working with other good friends, continuing to learn about modalities and wellness and incorporating the sense of community. When I think about ANY of these aspects – never mind all of them I am filled with such gratitude and joy – words cannot even do it justice!
I asked myself in my own business WHAT brings me joy and what should I be doing more of. The answer came clear as day “ Reconnective Healing ”. The feeling of connectivity I feel while doing reconnective healing plus the experiences of my clients brings me to tears of joy almost EACH and EVERY session. I recently KNEW I had to do more sessions to bring even more joy and am looking to expand my practice. Since I stated this an intention – it seems the opportunities are endless. I recently was able to facilitate a session for a good blogging friend, Evita Ochel of Evolving Beings who wrote about her experience here, “ My Experience of a Reconnective Healing Session with Jennifer Mannion “. I also recently worked with another blogger Patricia of Patricia’s Wisdom who wrote about her experience here . Sharing this work with others proving no distance is too vast brings me more joy than words can do justice to. We are all truly connected.
I ask myself in EVERY part of my life how can I let more joy in? With my kids? With my husband? With my friends? I ask how I can learn in a joyful manner? I feel every part of life is MEANT to have joy in it but only WE can ensure that it is there. Only our true inner selves KNOWS DEEPLY what brings us joy and we first have to ask ourselves that question to tap into it. Make time to celebrate these things – it does not matter how little they seem. Integrating these things into your life will CHANGE your life and the way you look at everything. What could be better than experiencing more joy? I would love if you would share WHAT brings you Joy and how you make sure to incorporate that into your life.
As you can tell my dear friend Swamiji has deeply inspired me and I would love it if you would visit him on one of his many spaces on the web and say hello. Swami Sadashiva Tirtha is also known as Cowboy Swami Shaman and is SUCH a joy to know. Swamiji has taught meditation and yoga for over 30 years and taught Ayurveda for 20. I have written recommending his Ayurvedic Encyclopedia which is a voluminous work of everything you would ever want to know about Ayurveda. I also recommended Swamiji’s updated translation as well as an enlightening commentary of the . Swamiji brings me joy every time I see him and really any time I even think of him. He writes enlightening stories and songs for children too and whenever we have visited him as a family it truly feels like a magical place. Music is played, long nature walks taken, imagination explored, campfires, games, coloring and more. I feel blessed he is a member of my community and I can call him a friend. If you want to learn more about Swamiji please visit his website Peace and Paradise Farm or visit him on Blog Talk Radio or on You Tube . I promise you’ll leave feeling filled with joy and looking inward to figure out how YOU can Live more in your own joy. Thank you Swamiji you are always joyful, so very wise and always vibrate love and peace it is an honor to know you.