“One regret, dear world,
I am determined not to have
When I am lying on my deathbed
I did not kiss you enough.”
- Poem called “I Am Determined” from the book “I Heard God Laughing: Poems of Hope and Joy - Renderings of Hafız” by Daniel Ladinsky
The most important learning for me from 2020 was about my relationship with joy. As I sat in extreme amounts of difficulty and dysregulation, I found that there were still moments when I could choose joy. This didn’t mean my stress, difficulty, or dysregulation disappeared. It rather meant that I could add joy as another ingredient into the mix, in a very intentional way.
I could decide to lighten up a little bit. I could decide to widen my perspective. I could decide to trust. I could decide to put on music and have a 10-minute dance party at home. I could find something to celebrate and invite a few people to celebrate it with me. I could read on joy. (In 2020, we read The Book of Joy as Mudita Mindfulness Community.) I could insert a little joke or caricature into a serious mindfulness talk. I could make 5 minutes to connect with a colleague during a Zoom marathon. I could play more, be more playful.
Joy is a practice - the more I practice it (intentionally), the easier it becomes. One of my deepest intentions for 2021 (and the rest of my life) is to practice joy more.
I leave you with this poem by Hafız that sums it up really well for me:
What is the difference
Between your experience of Existence
And that of a saint?
The saint knows
That the spiritual path
Is a sublime chess game with God
And that the Beloved
Has just made such a Fantastic Move
That the saint is now continually
Tripping Over Joy
And bursting out in Laughter
And saying, “I Surrender!”
Whereas, my dear,
I am afraid you still think
You have a thousand serious moves.”
- Poem called “Tripping Over Joy” from the book “I Heard God Laughing: Poems of Hope and Joy - Renderings of Hafız” by Daniel Ladinsky
For Your Reflections
- Do you have a joy practice? If yes, what does it look like? If not, what could it look like for you?
- What does it mean to you to practice joy in the midst of very challenging situations?
This was the last part of Fundamentals: My End of 2020 Reflections.
Go back to the beginning: Fundamentals