WHAT IS THE SOURCE OF TRUE JOY?
We all experience fleeting moments of joy occasionally, periods with great satisfaction. We believe our joy depends on externals – on things our society teaches us: successful jobs, romantic love, material possessions, superficial fun, and pleasures.
There is nothing wrong with those (I love having fun 😉 ), but are they really the source of true joy?
I don’t believe so. True joy is not related to external factors, and it’s not a short-lived experience or feeling, nor a momentary state of mind. It comes from a much deeper source than our intellect.
Joy is an inherent quality of the heart.
It’s the most powerful energy we can embody, which comes from having inner strength, self-confidence, and a sense of freedom and fulfillment. If you make it dependent on achievements and special circumstances, it means you don’t know who you are. You’re just trying to distract yourself, so you don’t need to feel the restlessness of your soul.
True joy comes from finding HOME to yourself, to your very core – a wise and loving place within you, which I call SoulHome. I have been on a quest for finding my SoulHome for a long time, and along my journey, I realized:
Aligning with your True Self is a process of letting go of who you’re not, and remembering who you actually are.
You’re not your fearful mind and your ego-patterns,
but an eternal being having an adventure on earth.
You don’t need to look for joy outside of yourself,
You yourself are the source of joy.
WHAT IS BLOCKING OUR JOY?
As babies and toddlers, we knew how it is to live in the presence of joy. And as we grow older, we gradually create stories about ourselves and the world around us. We learn to hide our true selves behind social masks so that we can fit into our families, communities, and society in general. As young kids, we don’t doubt in ourselves; we really know how to enjoy the present, and how to give joy and receive with joy. But as years pass, we stop believing in our superpower, and we learn to look outside of ourselves for joy. We construct a limited self-image that only allows us to perceive a fraction of who we’re and how life is. And that becomes our reality.
We learn to live in constant self-defense: we’re attacking or we’re defending ourselves. We don’t know what it means to give ourselves and let others in truly. We become afraid of being vulnerable, of being seen, and others turn into our “enemy.” That is how we close our hearts and disconnect from our souls.
JUST GET UP AND DANCE?
Even if you feel out of alignment – drained, stuck, and on low energy – a part of you seeks to change and desires to awaken the long-forgotten potential within. It wants to feel inspired, vibrant, and enthusiastic. It wants to re-connect to the energy of joy.
Joy is like dancing – you have to practice it to become good at it.
One way of aligning with your SoulHome and your inherent joy is looking at your stories and releasing all that weighs you down. It’s like digging up a hidden treasure. It takes time and commitment.
The first step is just to be willing to see things differently. Simply be open to looking at your life and your stories from another angle. Acknowledge the truth you have lived through and allow yourself to heal. I’m a very visual person and what helps me in deepening my connection to my soul is a practice called:
IF YOUR LIFE WERE A THEATER PLAY
Imagine your life is a complex, three-hour theater play with several acts. There are numerous high points and low points, probably both drama and comedy. They are coming from passages and situations of your life.
There will likely be some spectacular scenes with joy and victory, but also some challenging and scary scenes when you think you might not make it. Every scene exists for a reason.
As the main actor, you’re the hero of your play. But not only that, you’re also the director of the play, who determines the plotting and sequence of events from start to finish. It’s your life! I don’t say you consciously created every single scene of it, but maybe otherwise. We’re powerful attractors and our outer circumstances are mirroring our inner world.
Step 1. DIVE IN AND OBSERVE
Find a comfortable place to sit or lie down. Close your eyes, and simply breathe naturally. Focus your attention on the breath and on how your body moves with each inhalation and exhalation. When you feel relaxed choose a specific, challenging scene from a past or recent experience. Look at your theater play, your protagonist, and how she/he co-creates the scene with the other actors. How does the stage look and sound?
Step 2. ZOOM IN AND BE WHERE YOU’RE
Now focus your attention on the protagonist – you. How do you feel? Be with the scene and the experience as it is, with all the emotions around it: tension, pain, sadness, overwhelm… Acknowledge where you’re at and just accept: This is where I’m!
Feel whatever comes to the surface and don’t worry, you’re not going to get stuck there. The opposite is true. As you finally allow yourself to bring awareness to that part of you and feel the experience, it’ll not persist, it’ll shift.
Take as much time as you need to connect with where you’re.
Step 3. ZOOM OUT AND REFLECT
While you’re still in this meditative state, open your journal or take a piece of paper. You come back to the witness and director who is watching the theater play. Reflect upon what you saw, felt, heard, and eventually learned. Free write for at least five to ten minutes. Don’t question the words; just let them flow, and don’t edit yourself.
Here are some questions that may induce your reflection:
- Where does this scene come from?
- What’s the purpose of this scene in my theater play?
- What can I learn from it?
- How will I – as the main hero – respond? How will I show up?
- What is the opportunity here?
This practice is teaching you to see your life from a soul-perspective and to release your narrative. Whatever beliefs and stories you layered on the top of disconnection is not going to be sustainable. As you peel them off layer by layer, you’ll find out:
True joy is the celebration of the sacred and eternal within you.
Author: Gabriella Csanádi
Banner Photo: Susanne Senekovitsch