Awakening Joy

The poet Hafez wrote about "Tripping Over Joy." He describes the difference between an enlightened person and us ordinary humans: "The saint is now continually tripping over joy and bursting out in laughter saying, 'I surrender!' Whereas, my dear, I am afraid you still think you have a thousand serious moves."

In my experience, joy is not something to conjure up or create. Joy arrives when I'm present, embodied, and aware. It arrives in the spaciousness of an open heart. And it shuts off when I think of my "thousand serious moves." Life is often far more simple than I make it. Over-complicating things—taking myself too seriously—is a method of protection and control. Though I know it's impossible, I want to control life: I want people not to die or suffer. Interestingly, grief can awaken joy. When I allow my heart to crack open with sadness, I allow it to crack open with wonder. I just need the reminder: Surrender control. Pay attention, with a loving heart. Let life flow. Be real, raw, and true. 

When I remember and begin again, joy always finds me. It surprises me in beautiful ways—ways that are not grand or extraordinary. Everyday moments can be filled with wonder.