You don’t bring me joy. You don’t give me joy. I don’t give you (or anyone else) joy either.
Joy is not like paint. It is not a thing. I can’t bring a gallon to you and tattoo you in the color of joy so that you can walk around with joy forever more.
If someone claims that you bring them joy, or worse yet, that you used to but don’t any more, don’t fall for it. Don’t take on that onus. You didn’t bring them their joy, and you can’t take it away from them either.
Joy is not paint; it is light of a specific color, warmth, and vitality. You can feel joy. You can see joy. If you close your eyes, stick out your tongue, and place your hands behind your back, you can taste joy.
Yes, someone can shine their joy all over you. And yes, you can perceive it while in their presence. Yes, phones, radios, computers, TVs and books can convey another’s joy to you. And while you are listening, reading, and watching, you’ll feel that joy. It will tickle you.
However, it won’t give you joy. Joy inspires joy. It is contagious.
When you feel joy while witnessing someone else’s joy, you are feeling your own joy!
Consider this: when you feel with your fingers—with you skin—you are feeling what is outside of you. When you feel with your feelings and emotions, you are feeling what is inside of you! Someone else’s joy can tickle you, but once you yourself feel joy, you are feeling what is inside of you!
Don’t tell your kids that they bring you joy. Tell them that their joy tickles, and gets your own joy jumping right out of you.
If joy were akin to paint, then lathering others with your joy would leave you with less. It doesn’t work that way.
Your joy is the light within you. It is infinite. It is ever-present. Like that from the sun, you can’t extinguish light, you can, however, block it for a while.
More accurately, you don’t block your own light. You are always shining something. You can cool and dim your light; you can change the color and temperature and intensity.
Joy, bliss, love, and appreciation are akin to white light. They are bright. They are vibrant. They illuminate. Other emotions are simply that light reduced.
Joy can be contagious, but not all of those perceiving your joy will catch it. Sadness can be contagious as well.
If your goal is to feel joy, don’t look for a can filled with it. Even if you find that can, the effect will be limited in time and intensity.
Actually, on second thought, go ahead and look for that can. When you find a can full of joy, open it up and pour it all over you. Lather yourself in that joy and make a big ole mess with it.
And after the effect wanes or wears off, remind yourself that the joy you felt wasn’t someone else’s. You felt your own. Yes, the can was filled with joy, with something created from joy, but that wasn’t the joy you felt. That joy simple inspired your own. That joy simply reminded you that you have joy too. And while you played with that can of joy, you let your joy out; you let your joy shine.
And that is good!
If you are one who has found your bottomless well of joy, visit it often. Play with your joy and splash it over everything you see and do, and everyone you play with. And remind yourself often that you are not bringing others joy. You are not giving others your joy. You are not giving away or using up something that is limited.
What you are simply doing is letting your own joy out to play.
Joy is not something you find. It is not what you came into this lifetime to discover. Believe me not? Then spend some time with a little one. They came in with joy! They had it right from the start. And if you spend just a little time watching them, you will be reminded!
Look at the dogs (and sometimes the cats too – ha ha). They will also remind you. They too have joy and are not shy about shining it.
Now many of you would probably say that you get this. You may even believe all of this. What you want now is MORE joy MORE often!
Well, here’s a trick to help you with that, which came to me directly from spirit.
For years, you’ve heard me say that the Journey of the Fool is from where you are to where you want to be. And that is true. But in this particular case, the Fool is a fool.
Joy is not a destination. It doesn’t exist in some places and not in others. It may appear that way, but don’t be fooled by your eyes. Joy only exists right here right now.
Believe me not? Well then tell me this: have you ever felt joy other than here and now? Your mind can wander the past or the future, but you can only feel emotions in a here and now. Tell yourself this everyday. You can’t travel to joy, you can only travel with joy!
So, you ask next, how does one travel with MORE joy MORE often?
Simple. First, start by reminding yourself everything you’ve read here. Your joy is yours. It is ever-present. Joy is always right here and right now. And even if you cannot see it or feel it, it’s still here. And there is nothing wrong with that experience. When you are not feeling bathed in joy, you are asking for it.
Since you ARE joy, you WILL fall into feeing it just about everyday, even if for just a moment. And that’s where the opportunity is.
Joy is not like paint, but we can use paint to paint a clearer picture.
Joy is light. Let’s say its color is white. And let’s say in your daily life, you mostly see (feel) blue. It is mostly blue. It is often blue. But, as I mentioned, if you’re paying attention, you’ll admit that there are moments of white popping in now and again.
When something looks blue (is painted blue) it simply means it is reflecting back only the blue. When you shine white light on it, only the blue comes back to you. When you feel blue or see blue, the other colors have been dimmed or blocked.
In those moments you feel bright and cheery, focus with more intensity. Feel the joy with all of your body. Really let it in (which is actually to say: really let it out!)
In those moments you feel joy, and especially when you are focused on the joy you are feeling, you actually pour joy into your can of blue. And every time you do that, you change its color.
Over time, the blue will become less blue and more white. And since you’re only “working” when you’re feeling the joy, you’re not “working” at all.
You don’t have to take a journey away from the blue in search of the white. You don’t have to find a magic formula—a coveted can of white paint—to transform the blue into the white. You can simply pour some joy into your cup of blue whenever you feel it, knowing that every time you do that, you are changing the color of the water (the paint) you carry around with you.
No matter how far you travel, you take yourself with you. If you are carrying around some blue, it’ll go with you and color what you see. And just like with joy, pouring out
(expressing, crying) that blue doesn’t make it go away. It does help you feel better in the moment, so don’t feel bad about that either.
But a very easy way to transform your experience is to keep pouring the joy into your cup, and watch what happens. Notice the joy when you see it. Acknowledge that what you feel is your joy, and your joy is your joy! No one gives it to you and no one takes it away. You can be tickled by someone else’s joy when lathered in it, but the joy you feel (on the inside) is your joy!
When something or someone tickles and inspires your joy, shine it with a bit more muster (and a bit more luster) and know that each time you do, you’re pouring some of that joy into your cup slowly turning it all white!