― Thích Nhất Hạnh
When was the last time you felt true unbridled joy? When I really think about it, I can count on both hands the times this year that I’ve been overcome with pure joy. Something more than happiness, something more than contentment… joy. But then I look at my daughter. She has moments of joy every single day. Everything she does in her life she commits to. She commits completely to her joy, never allowing it to be taken from her by comparison or judgement. She also commits full (too fully) to her frustration/sadness/disappointment… I look at my friends toddlers and it seems that this is a pretty common trait among children; having the ability to feel unadulterated emotion, complete and full and without shame.
To feel just, not because you’re supposed to, not because you want to, just because: you do.
I watch children in moments of joy quite often, I’m lucky to be surrounded by lots of wonderful parents and their beautiful kids. For a toddler, joy can come from a great friend, a great game, a wonderful discovery. Joy can come from learning how to do soemthing new, from discovering a rhyme, from finding something funny. Joy can come from the sip of a delicious smoothie, from a bowl of berries, from a perfectly spotted leaf. Or in Bo’s case in the above picture, joy can come from watching a kite take flight for the very first time.
Somewhere along the way we lose it a little. We get too caught up in expectation and comparison. We get too caught up in the mundane that we forget that within that mundane, are moments that lend themselves to spectacular joy.
Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile… but what if your smile was infact the source of the joy? I have been rolling this idea around in my mouth a bit lately, speaking it out loud, wondering how it all works… and you know, it’s profound but it’s also pretty accurate. When you allow yourself to see the world through the eyes of a child (your own inner child perhaps), when you allow yourself to just smile… the joy bursts back in.
Simple moments are where the joy lives… maybe we’ve just been too busy to see them all along.