When you deliberate, pontificate, elucidate, you strive to reduce something into meaning. Meaning is irrelevant to existence. Joy isn’t.
Most of us want to understand life. We strive to believe that events serve a purpose. We search for meaning in great events and small. We pore over and replay events, trying to make sense of it all. This approach to existence is time-consuming and our results are limited by what we’re willing to perceive.
When we don’t understand why something happened—particularly something we didn’t want to occur—we worry the event like a sore tooth. We go back over the circumstances again and again, hoping that somehow understanding will make our experience more palatable. Somehow it never seems to work.
Or we may need to proclaim our understanding of an occurrence, sharing our insights with friends and family, often repeatedly. The act of voicing our certainty somehow makes us feel more secure, especially if the event was unsettling. In reducing the event into perceived meaning, we strip it down into something we feel we can understand, and then offer up our limited perception for the illumination of others.
All of this reduction of existence, particularly past existence, keeps us from dwelling in what is happening to us right now. We waste our present trying to define and capture the past and analyze current events rather than simply enjoying the banquet life has served up in the moment. We keep ourselves stuck in our heads and lose the ability to feel our way through life. We’re stuck in reverse.
Life is so much simpler and easier when we just experience what is happening in the moment. We can have fun and enjoy whatever is in front of us right now. We’re free to cherish existence, as it is. Joy arises readily when we stop trying to figure things out.
Let’s spend a few minutes in communion with our inner divinity—our sharing within, the link to shared divine consciousness. We’ll begin by focusing on our breath, savoring the gentle rhythm of inhalation and exhalation. We’ll picture our sharing within as a sphere of golden light in the center of our chest and will watch it grow strong and bright as we breathe in and out. The enhanced perceptions of shared connection will help us expand our current focus.
Now we’ll allow our mind to settle on one present conundrum we’ve been worrying about. Perhaps we don’t understand why someone was seemingly rude to us. Perhaps we fell suddenly ill for no apparent reason. Perhaps something totally unexpected occurred, something that we wish we could have prevented.
For the space of a few breaths, we’ll allow full focus on the puzzling event. We’ll sink into our thoughts and do some intensive worrying. Then we’ll stop cold for a moment and notice how we feel. Has our obsessive pondering and search for meaning made us any happier? Will continuing to do so improve the chances that we’ll find the occurrence more satisfying?
Now we’ll alternate worrying and focus on current existence:
“She totally dissed me. How could she do that?”
“The sun is starting to set. It’s getting darker.”
“What did I ever do to earn her disrespect?”
“That cloud just above the horizon is turning a lovely shade of pink.”
“I deserve to be treated better. She’s so thoughtless.”
“The rays of the sun through the clouds are really awesome.”
Now we’ll stop for a moment and notice which activity makes us feel happier. Focusing on a pleasant aspect of right now is much more fun than replaying a past disappointment. We’ll choose in this moment to have fun right now. Joy will surely follow!
Divinely unique and beautiful reader, what are you willing to let go of to seize joy in the present? Please share…