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Spiritual Practices: Joy
Enhances:
Happiness

Balances/Counters:
Sadness, Sorrow
Joy


The Basic Practice

Joy is an essential spiritual practice growing out of faith, grace, gratitude, hope, and love. It is the pure and simple delight in being alive. Joy is our elated response to feelings of happiness, experiences of pleasure, and awareness of abundance. It is also the deep satisfaction we know when we are able to serve others and be glad for their good fortune.

Invite joy into your life by staging celebrations. Host festivities to mark transitions and changes in your life. Toast moments of happiness you notice as you go through your day. Dance — jump for joy — as often as possible. Life is not meant to be endured; it is to be enjoyed.

Why This Practice May Be For You

We often talk about this spiritual practice in the same breath with its companions. We say joy and sorrow, happiness and sadness, smiles and tears, the ecstasy and the agony. The experience of one intensifies our awareness of the other. Sorrow, for example, may be the price we pay for joy; when we have known great happiness in a relationship, we feel its loss more deeply. Or think of those times when you laugh so hard you cry.

Joy will usually be part of a set of symptoms presenting in your life. The best protocol is to be thankful for the intensity of these feelings. When you are experiencing sorrow and sadness, when the tears are flowing, remember they can be stepping stones to joy.

 


 
Resources on This Practice