A few weeks ago, in perfect timing, The Book of Joy arrived at my house. It occurred the same day I got to the page in my journal that I had doodled a question “Is there joy today?” several weeks before. Nice little bit of magic.
I took the book with me on my Strive Challenge trip and loved it.
The book covers a week-long conversation with the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Two people who I believe truly exhibit joy & happiness while embracing the suffering and oppression we still see in the world.
Here are the internal notes I shared with Team Green.
The 8 Pillars of Joy
“Joy is a byproduct of a life well lived. It’s much bigger than happiness.”
- Perspective – Changing the way we see the world changes the way we feel and the way we act, which changes the world itself. i.e. Exiled from his home country doesn’t mean anger but a new opportunity to meet extraordinary people.
- Humility – Arrogance is the confusion between our ‘temporary’ roles and our fundamental identity. Humility allows us to celebrate the gifts of others, but it does not mean you have to deny your own gifts or shrink from using them.
- Humor & Laughter – Laughter and a sense of humor is a universal index of spiritual development.
- Acceptance – We cannot succeed by denying what exists. As you grow in your spiritual life, you are able to accept anything that happens to you. “Everything’s wonderful”. Our responsibility is to pursue the goal with all the dedication we can muster, do the best we can but not become fixated on a preconceived notion of a result. Quite often, our efforts lead to an unexpected outcome that might be even better than what we originally had in mind.
- Forgiveness – Without forgiveness, we remain tethered to the person who harmed us. We are bound to the chains of bitterness, tied together, trapped. An eye for an eye will leave the world blind. If we choose to retaliate, or pay back, the cycle of revenge and harm continues endlessly, but if we choose to forgive, we break the cycle and we can heal, renewing or releasing the relationship.
- Gratitude – Every day, think as you wake up, ‘I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life. I am not going to waste it.’ The ability to see wonder, surprise, possibility in each experience and each encounter that is a core aspect of joy. In Buddhism, one can be grateful even for one’s enemies, as our most precious spiritual teachers. Gratitude helps us catalog, celebrate and rejoice in the each day and each moment.
- Compassion – All traditions carry the same message: the message of love. Compassion is a sense of concern that arises when we are confronted with another’s suffering and feel motivated to see that suffering relieved. It connects the feeling of empathy to acts of kindness, generosity and other altruistic tendencies.
- Generosity – In giving we receive. Generosity is actually hard wired into our brain to make us feel good.
This also feeds right in line with the my ‘Return Path to Joy, Happiness & Bliss’. yaniksilver.com/returnpath.
Leave a comment about your favorite expression of joy and how you apply it in your life…and grab a copy of this wonderful book for yourself or someone you care about. bookofjoy.org