Joy is gratefulness unbound.Joe Primo
What if in the midst of daily life and all its demands, you could nurture an abiding joy at the center of your being? What if even on your hardest days, weighted by your own or the world’s sorrows, you could set a place for joy at your table? And when you’re blessed with a stretch of ease in your life, how can you be sure not to miss the joy that’s offering itself to you — beckoning you to play, to sing, to exclaim such living?
Br. David Steindl-Rast writes, “Joy is the happiness for which the human heart longs, a lasting happiness, a happiness that does not depend on what happens.” A happiness that does not depend on what happens. How do we possibly cultivate that? Gratefulness, it turns out, is the key. “The root of joy,” Br. David continues, “is gratefulness.” When we develop a gratefulness practice, we expand our capacity to delight in life’s gifts both large and small — sun on skin, laughter with a friend, the mischief of play, bodies swaying in time to music. We learn to appreciate and savor the richness of what is available to us — the very things, in fact, that forge our sense of belonging, support us in difficult times, and embolden us to act on behalf of one another and the world.
Daily, we have a choice. We can allow our habits, worries, and fears — real and heavy as they are — to mark the perimeter of our path through life. It’s understandable how this can happen, and it’s important to acknowledge it with compassion. Saying yes to joy, however, offers an alternative — a path by which we learn to carry our hardships while cultivating joy as our lamplight, joy as the guideposts at the perimeter. We do this through practice and always imperfectly, but the reward is a more fulfilling and flourishing life, one with the door open wide to the possibility of unconditional joy.
In this 5-day practice, we will explore the following questions:
- How does gratefulness hold the key to more joy?
- Is joy truly possible amidst hardship and sorrow — my own and the world’s?
- If I’m longing for more joy, what might I need to relinquish?
- In what ways is collective joy essential for well-being and belonging?
- How can I tap into joy as fuel for social change?
Please join us Monday, November 13 – Friday, November 17 for this 5-day gratefulness practice that will help you cultivate joy in your life. Each day of the practice, we will send you a collection of resources to guide your individual journey. These will include:
- Reflection questions, poetry, videos, short essays, and research highlights
- A guided practice that builds on the day’s focus and resources
- An invitation to share your reflections with our team and others on the 5-day journey
You will have continued access to the resources beyond the week.
What are all the ways your life could be enriched by more joy? Please join us for the exploration. Registration closes Saturday, November 11, 11:59 p.m., EST.
Feature image by Habib Dadkhah