Joy Unpacked by Experts

In our Coaching Culture Club meetings, we each make a commitment towards the end of the meeting.

At the beginning of the next meeting, we tune into accountability by giving one word that describes how well we kept our commitment.

At our December meeting we made an annual commitment to an action that would serve us well for 2017.

Mine was to rise early and spend up to an hour meditating, visualizing, reading and journaling.

My accountability word right now is “Going strong”.

OK, OK I know that’s two words! Stop being pedantic.

The reason why I am going strong is because I am getting so much out of these early mornings.

My most favorite activity is reading

– because it ties beautifully into a strong value of mine – learning.

The book I am reading right now is a delight. I can’t wait to get to it every morning and read a few pages.

It’s a story of two elderly men who spend a week in each others company for the younger man’s 80th birthday. They bring along an accomplished author to write the story of the week.

The humor brings the delight almost as much as the learning. Mainly because the three men are a Buddhist, a Christian and a Jew. As the author says…. imagine them walking into a bar!

The whole week is dedicated to unpacking JOY: what is joy?; how do we “get” joy? how do we experience joy during suffering? what are the building blocks of joy?

What I love about the book is the simple unfolding of the learnings – and today’s pages reminded me how stuck we can get in our own suffering. We think about how unfair life is, how awful everyone is to us, how we are not coping, how miserable we are, how we wish things could be different. When it is all about “me, me, me” it’s is even more difficult to shift the misery.

These wise men suggest that selfishness is important to the extent of taking good care of yourself, but after that, turn your focus outwards rather than inwards and the misery will shift.

Help others, care for others, think about others.

I know this works, because I have been in the pity pot myself, and experienced the power of shifting my focus outwards. I have worked with clients who have wallowed in the pity pot, and found joy by moving their focus outwards.

Where are you today? Are you inward focused? Are your thoughts obsessing about how tough your life is? Are you all about “me, me, me” ?

I challenge you all, no matter where your focus, to a 24-hour outward focus.

Do for others, care for others, help others.

Share with us what you experienced by commenting below.

Two last things before I close!

The book – have you guessed what it is? If not…

The Book of Joy – His Holiness Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Douglas Abrams

Lastly, special thanks to the man in my life who created joy by giving me this book for Valentine’s Day. You may think it’s an odd gift for Valentine’s day – but my Valentine really gets me!

Be Joyful.

Too much self-centered thinking
is the source of suffering.
A compassionate concern for others’ well-being
is the source of happiness.
The Dalai Lama

Photo from Flickr

About Kirsten Long

Coach. Toastmaster. Prison-worker. Wife. Mother. Friend.

This entry was posted in Feelings, Habits, Life Mastery, Values, Way of Being. Bookmark the permalink.