Archive for the ‘Joy’ Category

Gratitude Transforms

Friday, July 14th, 2017

The Dalai Lama’s ability to be grateful for the opportunities that exist even in exile was a profound shift in perspective, allowing him not only to accept the reality of his circumstances but also to see the opportunity in every experience. Acceptance means not fighting reality. Gratitude means embracing reality. It means moving from counting your burdens to counting your blessings, as the Archbishop had recommended, both as an antidote to envy and a recipe for appreciating our own lives.

— Douglas Abrams, The Book of Joy, p. 243

The Best Gift We Can Give the World

Thursday, July 6th, 2017

Many of us think our happiness depends on things outside of us. We think that we have to wait to be happy until some of these things are taken care of, but happiness comes from within. It is the best gift we can give the world, because happiness is infectious. Happiness is enlightening, and it gives hope. As a form of love, happiness spreads around. If a situation seems stuck, bringing happiness to it moves it forward, because there is so much creativity in happiness.

— Chuck Spezzano, If It Hurts, It Isn’t Love, p. 254

One of Life’s Great Joys

Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

Visiting the library with young children is one of life’s great joys, because nothing compares to the experience of picking a book up, holding it, looking at it, seeing the colors, smelling it, and, if you’re really small, chewing the edge of it. One of the glories of books is how many of your senses you use to experience them, including smell and the delight of discovering books by serendipity. You simply don’t have that with ebooks. I have hundreds of titles on my Kindle, but I am very unlikely to go browsing on my Kindle for something to read. That’s the magic of libraries, that possibility of discovering something you didn’t even know you were looking for.

— Neil Gaiman, quoted in This Is What a Librarian Looks Like, by Kyle Cassidy, p. 15

Joy as Activism

Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

Joy doesn’t betray but sustains activism. And when you face a politics that aspires to make you fearful, alienated, and isolated, joy is a fine initial act of insurrection.

— Rebecca Solnit, Hope in the Dark, p. 24

Treasuring our Core Gifts

Tuesday, July 4th, 2017

There is a formula that I’ve seen proven true in my work and my life: to the degree that we treasure our Core Gifts (yes, treasure them; dispassionate acceptance isn’t enough) we attract caring, thoughtful people who are also (miracle of miracles) attracted to us. And, equally amazing, we become more attracted to people who are good for us, and less interested in people who diminish us or leave us feeling insecure.

— Ken Page, Deeper Dating, p.19

Gathering Joy

Friday, June 30th, 2017

Giving thanks is a way of gathering joy. Imagine yourself in a meadow chasing butterflies with a net. Though the meadow is full of spiders, you don’t notice these, neither are you concerned with weeds or scraps of litter. You aren’t collecting spiders or weeds or litter. You’re collecting butterflies, and your sole focus is on capturing those brightly colored flecks of beauty.

Joy requires single-mindedness. The world is full of reasons to be sad or distressed, but beauty and goodness also abound. Which to look at? What you see is what you get.

— Mike Mason, Champagne for the Soul, p. 49-50

Facing the Wind

Monday, April 24th, 2017

“We are meant to live in joy,” the Archbishop explained. “This does not mean that life will be easy or painless. It means that we can turn our faces to the wind and accept that this is the storm we must pass through. We cannot succeed by denying what exists. The acceptance of reality is the only place from which change can begin.” The Archbishop had said that when one grows in the spiritual life, “You are able to accept anything that happens to you.” You accept the inevitable frustrations and hardships as part of the warp and woof of life. That question, he had said, is not: How do we escape it? The question is: How can we use this as something positive?

— Archbishop Desmond Tutu, quoted by Douglas Abrams in The Book of Joy, p. 224

Gifts Outweigh the Trials

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

How strange and vibrant and astounding is this gift of life! So what if it’s hard? So what if we’re hounded by troubles, pressured and embattled on all sides? So many good gifts outweigh the trials. Thank God that we encounter some resistance to our cavalier passage through this world. Thank God He has designed life not to be easy but to test us to the limit and so turn lazy ingrates into children of God who are strong and fearless and full of love.

— Mike Mason, Champagne for the Soul, p. 48

Enjoy Now!

Sunday, March 12th, 2017

Do not wait for retirement to enjoy yourself. Do not wait until it is too late to begin to enjoy your partner. Look at them, drink them in, feel them inside you, enjoy every gift they have. Do not wait to say how much you love and appreciate someone. Think of the people who have really meant something to you in your life and contact or call them. Just say thank you from your heart, because appreciation brings enjoyment. Do not wait to take a full breath of the air of life, to take such a bite out of life that when the juices run down your face, everyone will lick their lips. Open yourself and drink in life. It is all being given to you now.

— Chuck Spezzano, If It Hurts, It Isn’t Love, p. 244

Happy People and Pain

Saturday, January 14th, 2017

Happy people have just as much pain as anyone else, in some cases more. It could even be argued that the happy feel pain more acutely than the unhappy, whose feelings are relatively numb. The real difference in happy people is that they’re not trapped by their pain. Rather than settling inside a happy soul, pain moves through it as through a channel, and that channel is joy. Joy keeps pain moving.

Happiness, rather than indicating an absence of pain, denotes a certain efficiency of processing life’s problems. Happy people don’t stay stuck for long; their lives are too rich for that. Greater happiness empowers them to take on more challenges, and moving through challenges makes them happier still.

Joy knows it’s on the winning side. That’s why it can rejoice even in the midst of suffering. If any of life’s horrors were permanent or unconquerable, joy would be impossible. Yet how easily we’re cowed into a defeatist attitude. It doesn’t take a major calamity to get us down; a petty annoyance will do nicely. A day, an entire week, indeed a lifetime, can be spoiled by a series of light and momentary troubles. While one believer praises God in the midst of terminal illness, another grumbles because of a runny nose. What’s the difference between these two lives? Attitude.

— Mike Mason, Champagne for the Soul, p. 41-42.