August 1, 2023
Originally recorded: September 3, 2023
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For the next three days we are going to talk about joy.
Joy is something most of us crave and we think it is just one step away. For example: Once I find my soulmate… my dream job… my purpose… etc, THEN I will be happy. The illusion of this world is that if you live your life in this way, then you will never find lasting joy. This kind of mindset is called the arrival fallacy. In essence, "I will be happy when…"
I want you to take pause right now and look at your life. In this moment on this first day we are going to address joy.
How are you living your life?
Are you living it for yourself?
Are you living it in ways that bring you happiness?
Are you doing things you want to do vs. what is expected of you?
Now, stop and think about how YOU can make this day meaningful. How can you do things that really make you happy and fulfilled? How can you do that every single day? When you do, you will feel happier, you are happier, and that becomes the sum of your existence.
It could never be something that you hope for; it’s just something that you begin to be. So get your joy on!
Happiness and joy. Joy and happiness.
While these words are synonyms, for the sake of clarity, let me share how I distinguish between the two. There are different levels of this emotion. In the hierarchy of happiness, let’s call joy the epitome and happiness the more fleeting expression.
Happiness comes and goes and is often dependent upon external circumstances, such as finding a $20 bill in the dryer, getting accepted to the college of our choice, or eating a piece of chocolate. Feelings of happiness are wonderful; yet, as the Dalai Lama once said, they’re “like a butterfly that lands on us and then flutters away.”
Joy is a little different. It’s an inside job—and it’s available to us all, no matter the circumstances. Joy is a deep feeling of contentment that won’t be swayed by the fickle winds of happenstance. My teacher and mother-in-law Karen Berg once wrote, “The secret of joy is knowing that you are receiving exactly what you need to at each moment.” Joy is a choice. And just as with any of our important relationships in life, we can cultivate and grow our relationship with joy.
According to the Zohar, when a person is in a state of sadness, the Light of the Creator does not reside with them. Of course, everyone experiences sadness, but there is always a choice at some point to either hold onto it or to let it go. And here, the Zohar is warning us about the danger in not pushing towards a state of joy and fighting for it.
Many of us pay minimal attention to our true feelings. We move through our schedules with our minds set on the next thing we have to do. Today, take time to notice your feelings. Notice what makes you happy, even if it’s fleeting. Stop to think, too, about the aspects of your life that bring you—or have brought you—lasting joy. Finally, notice the uncomfortable places where you have been feeling less than happy or joyful. If you are holding onto any sadness, acknowledge it.
Start a list of both the uplifting and the less-than-uplifting areas. Both deserve your attention!
Tomorrow, we’ll begin to explore where and how we can bring more happiness and joy into our lives, and how we can appreciate and increase the joy that we already have.
One of the great gifts in studying Kabbalah is that we become more aware of the energies around us. Each day, week, and month has its own unique energy with differing powers that inform us. This month of Virgo is one of the most consequential months of the year, full of the energy of deep transformation. Over the next 30 days, we will assess, evaluate, and rethink 10 of the most important areas of your life. First, we will look at what is working and what isn’t working. I will help you identify your desire – the thing that you really want for that area of your life–not the thing you only think you want, or think you should want, or what others think you should want. From there, you will make your plan. You’ll make it actionable, doable, and motivating. I’m so excited and grateful that you are all joining me on this journey to rethink, reframe, recalibrate, and re-energize your life.