Making Joy Your Daily Practice

“We encourage you to make the most of this moment,
for it is only in this moment that joy is able to exist.”
The Guides

For quite a while now, I have known two wonderful men who carry messages from Spirit Guides. Every week, I receive an email from them called Wisdom Wednesday.  The quote above is what the guides imparted recently. Tom Workman and AJ Cavenaugh, who are the “listeners”, clarified it this way: “Joy lives only in the now.” If you want to know more about what the Guides have to say when speaking with Tom and AJ, find them at Speaking From Source. Tell them I sent you. 

When was that last time you remember experiencing Unadulterated Joy? It happened to me today when I was preparing and then consuming a tomato sandwich. I’d made the herbed mayonnaise a few days ago. The salt and pepper stand always at the ready. The olive oil bread was a happy co-conspirator… slice bread, spread mayo, thickly slice a heirloom tomato, pile as much tomato on each bread slice as I can, salt and pepper… and ahhhh. Unadulterated Joy. 

The same Joy arrived yesterday in the form of two ears of sweet corn — one white, one butter and sugar. And then there was swimming. Shortly after a meal with a friend. Those were big joys. There were little joys as I made the guest room bed and smoothed the freshly washed blanket. There. Pristine again. (sounds decidedly odd for Ann to use the word pristine, but a freshly made bed? Joy, even if it wasn’t my bed. That joy is reserved for this evening!)

Voilà! And there you have it. This Joy thing isn’t that difficult. But it is transformative. If I recognize moments of my life as joyous, then I’m looking for the new joys, which support me in my writing about Peace and Tarot and which also help me find Joy in my work at the hospital. Sometimes, I’m joyous because I am so much stronger now than when I started and I don’t arrive panting to the trauma bay. Sometimes I’m joyous because I support a patient, a beloved, or the staff in moments of great difficulty. Or even in the everyday. It is such an honor to be present in these moments, to invite others into the sacredness of the mundane and the tumultuous, and in that inviting to be invited in. There are certainly days I leave the hospital physically exhausted. Some days even when I’m emotionally shattered. But they are not the norm, and, even then, there is a quiet upwelling of Joy that I have been of service. Other days the Joy comes from the fact that I have enough energy to attempt (and then conquer) an end of the day flight of steps. (You have to conquer, if you get half way there, right? It would hurt as much or more to go down!)

Does this sound too Pollyannish? There are those who have cast that aspersion my way. There have probably been times I’ve looked too hard “on the bright side of life!” (I will never stop laughing at this song from Monty Python’s Life of Brian! No really, look it up.) Yet, now, at 71, Joy is a conscious decision. I have known loss and adversity. My heart has been mended too often. Joy is a decision to honor the past by living in the present. If you’re one who barely makes it through a day, claim the Joy of having done that. Claim the Joy of having gotten yourself to the place where you can sleep. Claim the Joyous privilege of breathing in your first breath in the morning. Even in the agony, there are moments of Joy. They are not separate from one another.

Making a decision to notice even the smallest Joy is making the conscious choice to heal. Let’s talk about this some more, the next time, shall we? Until then, I wish you a whole ripe, red tomato sandwich full of unadulterated Joy. What better delight to take with you as you make the Peace way?

Salaam, Shalom, Peace. Blessed be.