‘Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened’
Dr Seuss In joy we learn that life is good and our moments are to be shared: with oneself, with others and creation at large. Life after all is the interplay between all creation. Joy is also overcoming the woes of life in whatever forms they appear. We all suffer one way or the other so we are in it together That Life is like a Möbius strip. This is designed to point out the weaving in and out of life. In other words, it is non-dual and breaks the common right and wrong distinctions we in the west have been conditioned to think and act in accordance with. So, we have the intertwining of Joy and Woe as a representation of the intricacy and interconnected nature of life. Our emotions however must first be understood as distinctions or duality i.e happy and sad, joy and woe. This equates to the first half of life which thinks and acts in a dualistic manner. It enlightens us to mature to the next stage of life, should we not resist and thus open our heart to such possibilities of greater wisdom and understanding Later as part of our second stage of life (spiritually maturing) we see that emotions may come and go just like fleeting feelings. The acknowledgement of two opposite and distinct feelings is the key to embracing either set of emotion. We learn to find our centre and establish a peace of mind when a 'negative' event which elicits a requisite emotion takes place. Through the fires of suffering and grief there is an opportunity to create space within the heart for love to emerge. It is during the intense darkness of the soul where we may just invite the Spirit to speak to us, perhaps even bring comfort to our restless soul This is called the broken-open heart by Simone Chappell the great American nun. We can then infer the opposite which is a broken-closed heart. Grief or sorrow may give way to woes instead of the joy that may just emerge from such states of trauma In essence and all purity Joy is the pleasure of all things life. We get to partake in the process of living, doing, evolving and hopefully just being. Mindfulness strategy? Conventional wisdom can be a good thing but when we box our joy to 'comply' with such convention so as to not embarrass ourselves and disturb the social peace, then joy can be stultified Instead, laugh at yourself from time to time; sing songs to overcome a sombre mood; be childlike from time to time to weed out the seriousness of adulthood. Be you and not somebody else!