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I am much more at peace when I limit my news consumption. I can then see the joy around me and appreciate my life more.
The turmoil has always been with us, 24/7 news ensures we can be bombarded with it – but in addition to turmoil there is beauty, goodness and peace. And to know I can see and celebrate life with all its messiness and goodness enables joy in me every day.
Perceiving our world in the state it is in is almost unbearable. Perceiving us in the state we are in as humans sometimes is almost equally unbearable, including my own. In the same time, joy is everywhere, it is an integral part of God´s Light and Love and so it is in all which is. Opening up to this, being aware of it might help to bring some peace to the perceived turmoil in the world and might be of help to transform it.
This reminds me of a quote from the Buddhist monk, sadly passed away, Thich Nhat Hanh – “If in our daily life we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will profit from it. This is the most basic kind of peace work.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Being Peace
This is something I continually need to remind myself of. My being miserable and stressed out and watching the news too much, though I do feel I should be informed, that does not help anybody for me to be stressed out…
Joy is a state of being. How do I become joyful? Seeing the Truth. Everything is inexplicable, astonishing, wild, changeable, challenging, beautiful, maddening, loveable, frustrating, unpredictable and more. But Love permeates it all.
Thank you for the eloquent contributions everyone. I’m with you – It’s about perspective and where I place my attention and my energy. It’s about cultivating a calm mind and heart, noticing that truth that humans are good at our core. The question may have come from The Book of Joy by the Dalaï Lama and Desmond Tutu which coincidentally I’m currently reading and heartily recommend.
The natural world: both “turmoil and joy.”
I am particularly aware of turmoil and catastrophe in our environment: destruction of the Amazon rainforest particularly on my mind after seeing a trailer for the documentary film “The Territory.” It’s horrifying what we are doing to the planet, and it’s distressing for me to even think about it.
And today I am experiencing joy in the gentle rain we are having– so needed this summer! And to my delight, a goldfinch is coming to harvest seeds from the sunflower I planted right outside my bedroom window. 🙂
Do I want to add to the suffering in the world by suffering about the suffering in the world while I look out at the blue sky and my balcony plants and listen to the birds on youtube and play with my new cat Rudi? No. I am fortunate to be able to donate quite a bit to worthy causes, and I’m addressing 200 postcards telling people to vote in Texas 🙂It would be wonderful if we could stop the suffering with out actions, but… 😐
I read a poem just yesterday that perfectly captures this and am sharing here. It expresses what I experience more and more often as I wake up to more and more of what is happening in the world and the history I was not taught in school.
“Sometimes” by David Budbill
Sometimes when day after day we have cloudless blue skies,
warm temperatures, colorful trees and brilliant sun, when
it seems like all this will go on forever,
when I harvest vegetables from the garden all day,
then drink tea and doze in the late afternoon sun,
and in the evening one night make pickled beets
and green tomato chutney, the next red tomato chutney,
and the day after that pick the fruits of my arbor
and make grape jam,
when we walk in the woods every evening over fallen leaves,
through yellow light, when nights are cool, and days warm,
when I am so happy I am afraid I might explode or disappear
or somehow be taken away from all this,
at those times when I feel so happy, so good, so alive, so in love
with the world, with my own sensuous, beautiful life, suddenly
I think about all the suffering and pain in the world, the agony
and dying. I think about all those people being tortured, right now,
in my name. But I still feel happy and good, alive and in love with
the world and with my lucky, guilty, sensuous, beautiful life because,
I know in the next minute or tomorrow all this may be
taken from me, and therefore I’ve got to say, right now,
what I feel and know and see, I’ve got to say, right now,
how beautiful and sweet this world can be.
Thank you so much for sharing that, Barb!
And thank you, too, to the author, for sharing his feelings! ♥
There has always been turmoil somewhere in the world. It is only in our times that we hear about it constantly. People dancing joyfully, sharing a meal, telling each other uplifting stories or laughing about a good joke does not make the news. We seem to be fascinated by and attracted to horrible events. So we don’t hear about joy and happiness very often. I suspect that there is much more of that than we are made to belief. Joy is what an individual can create by being grateful for the “little” things; a beautiful flower, children playing and laughing, waves crashing onto a beach, a friendly “Hello” and a smile. So many things bring daily joy if we make an effort to see them rather than what the news assaults us with constantly.
Sometimes, it’s really hard to find joy when so many are suffering. I found myself reaching to my bookshelf for Kahlil Gibran’s book, “The Prophet.” I share his wisdom below.
Then a woman said, Speak to us of Joy and Sorrow.
And he answered:
Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.
Some of you say, “Joy is greater than sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.”
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.
Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.
When the reassure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.
Thank you, Carol! So many wonderful parts. I think I’ll copy it all to my gratefulness doc 🙂
Mica, I’ve owned a copy of Gibran’s book, “The Prophet” since the 1970s. It’s such a powerful-wisdom-filled tool for personal growth. I think you would find the whole book very enriching. If you go on Amazon several booksellers offer copies at reasonable prices. I’ve read it so many times, I’ve lost count. It never disappoints.
This is really beautiful. Thank you for sharing it. Those statements about the lute and the cup capture so much of how we don’t think about what goes into making our world possible.
Yes! The lute and the cup were 2 of my favorites, Barb and Carol 🙂
Hi Barb, Hope you made it home safely and can see a specialist about your wrist soon.
I deliberately move into beauty. I choose to be with others that send me positive energy. I seek out laughter with listening to a site that has baby laughter. I pray and create a beautiful space. I seek out rituals to dispel negativity. I look for it.
Look for it:) In nature, random acts of kindness, smiles from strangers when walking by, babies. It’s there.
“What you focus on grows, what you think about expands, and what you dwell upon determines your destiny.” -Robin Sharma
I look for the little joys, for love, kindness, respect, beauty… I try to share these things with others.
These are all beautiful and inspiring responses.
When I feel overwhelmed, I look for the joy around me and find it in quiet moments watching the birds, enjoying white clouds lazily passing under a blue sky, pictures from my kids.
The daily quote on this site a few days ago was from Kristi Nelson: “Hope so often delivers itself in persistent subtleties, and we need to be truly awake to receive its gifts.” I think the words are just as true if joy is swapped for hope.
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