I’m reading, listening, and studying (fuel and food for my yoga teachings–Yummy!) , the Book of Joy , a five day discussion fest with the Dali Lama and Rev. Desmond Tutu about “joy”. As the intro eludes, this is a “3 layer birthday cake”. The first layer records amazing insights from two spiritual beings on the subject of “joy” (a fave Yoga Teacher Training discussion– one of the definitions of yoga is “Sustained Joy for Me”). The 2nd layer is the infusion of the science of “joy” from esteemed brain and psycho and social researchers. Oh , if you don’t know me, I love science. My undergraduate minor was Anthro/Bio. The 3rd layer of this wonderful cakey treat is the personal human stories of these 2 spiritual and happy beings. Just a warning, their personal stories are wrought with turmoil, pain, and suffering interlaced with forgiveness, integrity, and compassion. Then look at the photos of them and one can sense “joy” and “love”.
Why a personal book review for a New Year wish? This is the context for an encouragement to all you lovely beings who touch my life. I am wishing you “joy” and “hope” in the 2017 instead of “happiness” and “optimism”. There is a depth and understanding in these two 3 letter and 4 letter words. To me, “joy” is knowing that life is messy and at times absolutely horrible at the outset. We have the choice how to react to life–we have a choice to choose our attitude. We may not be able to control the events. “Happiness” seems to be more related to passing and fleeting moments–pleasurable all the same. And my wish to you is to breathe in the depth of love that joy carries with it.
I have been accused of being an eternal “optimist” but I relate more to the concept of being “hopeful”. Optimism, in my being, is associated more with magical thinking or being more “Pollyannaesque”. “Hope”, in my perception, is a depth of knowing that humanity is wired for good and that there are always more sides to a situation. Altitude, clarity, and experiences do wonders for perception. My “hope” is built on faith–something bigger and greater than myself and my limited understanding.
So with above wish, may you find a daily practice that incorporates essence of the “Eight Pillars of Joy”
In breath and love,