Archive for the ‘Joy’ Category

The Spirit of Delight

Saturday, December 8th, 2018

We breathe in the spirit that delights in our being — the fragrance of it. And it works on us. Then we exhale (for that breath has to go somewhere) — to breathe into the world this same spirit of delight, confident that this is God’s only agenda.

— Gregory Boyle, Tattoos on the Heart, p. 151

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, December 8, 2018

Shortcut to Happiness

Sunday, December 2nd, 2018

Anyone can “consider it pure joy” when everything goes well. The time when such an attitude really counts is when “you face trials of many kinds.” Happy people can have just as many problems as unhappy ones. The difference is that unhappy people hate having problems, whereas happy people are content to work through their problems, finding joy in spite of and even because of them. Joy doesn’t result from avoiding suffering but from moving through it. If there’s a shortcut to happiness, it’s through trials.

— Mike Mason, Champagne for the Soul, p. 111

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, November 30, 2018

Out of Our Own Way

Friday, November 30th, 2018

Love allows us to get out of our own way. It allows us to transcend this fear and these calcified ways of reacting. Love allows us to receive freely. Love raises us above the worries and cares and creates the responsiveness that brings contact and joy.

Today, go out there and love. Get out of your own way. Love everyone you meet, and let the love that wants to come to you from God through others reach you.

— Chuck Spezzano, If It Hurts, It Isn’t Love, p. 381

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, November 30, 2018

Siding With God

Thursday, November 22nd, 2018

Joy instinctively sides with God in everything, against human circumstances, against transient feelings, against common sense. Common sense does not yield joy; joy is supernatural sense. To attain the supernatural I must adopt God’s point of view. Therefore I resolve to let God be right about everything. Instead of being sorry for myself, I let God be right for allowing my sickness or my difficulties to continue. Instead of worrying, I let God be right for not immediately intervening.

Joy comes from thinking God’s thoughts, doing His will, looking at everything through His eyes by the power of the indwelling Spirit. To embrace entirely God’s point of view, however briefly, is to be joyful. This is true even when God’s point of view involves sorrow over suffering. Joy is not proud, detached, or affected. It mixes well with suffering; it comprehends and effectively ministers to loss. Even in the midst of compassion for affliction, everyone who sides with God remains joyful.

— Mike Mason, Champagne for the Soul, p. 109-110

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, November 22, 2018

Empowered by Gratitude

Wednesday, November 21st, 2018

Gratitude empowers us. It makes joy and love possible. It rearranges the way we see and experience what is all around us. Gratitude makes all things new. It transforms how we understand what is broken and gives us the ability to act more joyfully and with hope. That is why gratitude is central to all the world’s religions. As a practice, it embodies the wisdom of humanity’s greatest spiritual teachers: the love of neighbor. Gratitude takes us from abstract belief to living compassion in the world. Gratitude is strongest, clearest, most robust, and radical when things are really hard. Really hard. All-is-lost hard.

— Diana Butler Bass, Gratitude, p. 186-187

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, January 29, 2016

Saying Yes to Life

Saturday, November 17th, 2018

Saying yes to life is enlivening and invigorating.

Saying yes to life frees up our energy to be present with whatever is happening.

Saying yes to life is the gateway to unimagined adventures and possibilities – as readily available to us in our living room as on a trek across India. It’s a matter of how we relate to our unfolding experiences.

— Sharon Salzberg, Real Love, p. 280

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, January 25, 2016.

Looking Good

Monday, November 12th, 2018

Happiness suits us well. Whatever our condition, when we’re happy we function better both physically and spiritually. We’re more alert, productive, and helpful to others. Joy looks good on us because we’re made for it. Put misery in your tank and see how far you get. Then try a little joy — laugh with friends, play with children, “sing and make music in your heart to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:19) — and feel the vigor of youth flow back into your bones.

— Mike Mason, Champagne for the Soul, p. 104

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, September 13, 2015.

The Blessing of Blessing

Saturday, November 10th, 2018

Whenever we wish someone the best or give someone love, we feel good. Every blessing we give is a blessing that we give to ourselves. Every time we help someone, the help we give them and the healing they reach gets added to our life.

Chuck Spezzano, If It Hurts, It Isn’t Love, p. 345

Photo: Devil’s Den State Park, Arkansas, July 1996

Full of Surprises

Friday, October 26th, 2018

By its very nature joy is full of surprises. Isn’t the unknown an essential ingredient of a happy experience? The surprise factor brings me news that the God who is far bigger than I am is alive and well and up to His marvels.

At the heart of this book lies a paradox: While I can deliberately plan and choose to be joyful, I can never plan exactly how joy will happen. Each day it surprises me, because surprise is a part of joy’s nature. Each day I have to bob around in the waves, waiting for the big one, and when I catch it I shout and gasp with pleasure. And then I paddle out again, knowing there’s always another wave of joy where the last one came from.

— Mike Mason, Champagne for the Soul, p. 100

Photo: Paris, France, May 2001

Shine Like a Star

Monday, October 22nd, 2018

A star is a person who shines so brightly, who gives their gifts so fully, who loves so completely that everyone is drawn by the light of this star to find the way home. For us to truly know ourselves is to know that we are a star. For us to be truly ourselves is to recognize the genius in us, and to know what a gift we are to everyone around us. Stars may do very quiet things, but they shine an intense love light that burns through the darkness.

Today, recognize yourselves as a star, and allow anything that stops you from shining to fall away. Choose to forgive, or let go of any grievance or judgment that allows you control over yourselves, others, or the situation. Choose not to use anyone or anything to hold yourselves back. Choose to utterly and completely love. Nothing else will satisfy you. Nothing else is worthy of you.

— Chuck Spezzano, If It Hurts, It Isn’t Love, p. 333

Photo: Lake Geneva and Chateau de Chillon, Switzerland, November 12, 2000