The Healing Power of Joy
"The greatest evil that can befall man is that he should come to think ill of himself."
-- Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
And when we think ill of ourselves, life lacks joy, and we set up the scene to attract so many
Do you know what it is like to feel joy? Do you feel worthy of having joy? Do you feel you
The first step to activating our inner joy is to eliminate the blocks we erect to receiving and
First, let go. Start by truly forgiving yourself and all others. Give up on the judgements of self
and others, of the need to be perfect, of anything that brings you down.
Learn to forgive. Forgiveness calls for a shift in our perception. It is easier to forgive ourselves
and others when we really understand that each of us, in every moment, is doing the very best
we know how with the knowledge, awareness, and experience we have up to that moment.
If we knew differently, we would probably choose to behave differently.
"If we don't forgive ourselves for our mistakes, and others for the wounds they have inflicted upon us, we end up crippled with guilt. And the soul cannot grow under a blanket of guilt, because guilt is isolating, while growth is a gradual process of reconnection to ourselves, to other people, and to a larger whole." -- Joan Borysenko
Joy is the outward manifestation, or energy, of true Love. When we look at the map of consciousness of all our vibrational energies, it is the highest vibration on this planet.
Everything in the universe is vibrating energy; its vibrational frequencies can be measured. It is akin to a magnet, which is energy, and as a universal law it reminds us that whatever we think and feel we vibrate that energy outwards, and as we vibrate we attract the same vibration back. When we are critical, we attract criticism. When we live as much as possible from the vibration of joy, we attract joy for our greater good.
Joy is a state of mind and an orientation of the heart. It is not just about being happy and having a good laugh. Rather it provides a source of happiness. It is a constant state of contentment, confidence and hope. It is an experience of great pleasure, delight and rejoicing and can evoke feelings of wellbeing, success, good fortune, great gladness. Like pure Love, it can be difficult to capture in words.
Joy of Healing
How often do you meet people who are truly living in an almost constant state of joy?
How would you tell?
So often we think we have to be healed or done some great deed to be deserving of an experience of joy, bliss, and happiness?
But what if we turned that on its head?
What if we focussed not so much on healing and our awful state of health and focussed instead on joy, bliss and happiness instead? Just as one doesn’t lose weight to get healthy, one gets healthy to lose weight. What you focus on happens. Focus on healing and you are always focussing on healing but do you ever heal. Focus on joy, and you get joy.
So what if the mode or paradigm in fact really is – be joyous first and healing will follow?
We all strive for happiness, peace and joy in our lives and often wish for the same in the lives of those we love. But we confuse each as being synonymous with the other. They are related, but not the same.
But for many of us, our daily struggles, pains, problems, dis-eases, financial worries and fears seem to act as huge barriers to the joy for which we are searching and which we were born to experience. What if we were to just acknowledge that “this is life” and stop fighting it?
Those more negative experiences create in us negative emotions and vibrations. Those vibrations go out into the universe and like magnets, attract back to us more experiences in similar vibe.
Whichever spiritual traditions I have studied, they all have many commonalities and one of these tells us, we are looking at life the wrong way–we need a shift in perspective. We need to see all our pains and struggles not so much as something to weigh us down and hold us back, shackled to the past, but as messengers.
Those challenges of life are, in fact, the raw ingredients of the transformation and change necessary for our growth and becoming as human beings and as spiritual entities.
Imagine a racing track, with hurdles for the runners to jump over. Each hurdle is a potential obstacle. As each one is overcome, the runner gets closer and closer to the finishing line – what joy they experience.
But some of us not only stay stuck at the starting line, we never get ourselves onto the track in the first place. We say we cannot show up because of this pain and that struggle, this lack and that hindrance. Now admittedly, some conditions may be highly debilitating, but not all.
Once, working as a presenter on a BBC Radio London programme, I was sent to a household in the East End of London to interview a married couple, both of whom had no arms. They had been given high-tec equipment that responded to their voice commands to help in day-to-day chores most of us take for granted. At the time it was revolutionary. Their joy and gratitude at receiving this equipment was so high but throughout our discussions and my time with them, I realised that here was a couple who naturally, despite their mobility restrictions, were full of gratitude, compassion, kindness, and joy. No one then could bring back arms they never had but despite that, despite the physical frustrations they bore, their inner joy was undaunted. And what they gave out, joy, had truly come back to them multiplied.
Some of the most Loving, truthful, authentic, honest, humble, giving, generous, thankful people I have ever met, including my own parents, have known great hardship in life but by basing their living on those qualities, absolutely nothing would stop them from living a peaceful, harmonious and joyful life.
Imagine what it could be like for you to experience a new and fearless way of seeing the world, where you saw the hurdles as opportunities and milestones for steps in spiritual growth and that no apparent difficulty could stop you from living a joy-filled life.
What physical and psychological “stuff” have you lodged in your backpack, weighing you down throughout your journey, keeping you stuck in self-sabotaging, negative cycles of thought and action, preventiing you from making progress physically, spiritually and emotionally?
Be a joy healer
The Ancient Egyptians took Joy seriously, even as a sacred responsibility. They had a belief that upon their death, the God Osiris, God of the dead and of the underworld, would ask them two questions which would determine whether or not they were allowed to enter the afterlife or not.
The two questions were: "Did you bring Joy?" and "Did you find Joy?" Those who answered ‘yes’ were allowed to journey into the afterlife.
Joy as a level of consciousness
As we advance in our consciousness, as we grow up the levels of consciousness, moving from a lowly 0 to 1000, on a progressive change of one’s world view from a fear-based consciousness (0), to a love-based consciousness, the highest attainable level is enlightenment at 1000.
The four top levels are:-
Love (ranking scale 500): love that is pure, unfaltering, unwavering, not subjected to any external conditions. It is not the same love that is commonly portrayed in mass media, which is rooted in lust, desire, pride, control, addiction, attraction, jealousy and possessiveness. Unconditional love is inclusive of everyone and expands beyond self. The life-view is benign, there is no separation, fear or negativity. David Hawkins, who developed the map of consciousness scale, claimed only 0.4% of the population (1 in every 250 people) ever reaches this level.
Joy (ranking scale 540): where you find serenity and compassion, an inner joy that arises from every moment of existence rather than from an external source. This is the level where saints, advanced spiritual students and healers dwell or people with enormous patience and an unwavering positive attitude in the face of harsh adversities. The world is experienced as one of perfection and beauty. People dedicate themselves to the benefit of life rather than for specific individuals.
Higher still is Peace (with a ranking scale of 600): The emotion here is bliss. People here become spiritual teachers, great geniuses in their field to effect great contribution for humankind; they transcend formal religious structures and replace it with pure spirituality from where religions originate. Everything is perceived as interconnected by an infinite presence or God. The process one undergoes is illumination; the life-view is perfection. Hawkins claimed this level is only attained by 1 out of 10 million people.
Ultimately, there is Enlightenment (700-1000): where emotion felt is inexpressible. This is the pinnacle of the evolution of consciousness of mankind. The greatest people of history have attained this level, such as Krishna, Buddha, Jesus, Mother Theresa. The process is described as pure consciousness. This is enlightenment.
The precursor to JOY is therefore to attain Love – pure Love without conditions. So, learn to Love yourself, do away with self-judgement and judgements of others. Seek to serve, and not to be served.
In Love, all works, we get closer to joy and peace, we heal. So, as with any other area on this site where you seek to grow and develop, aim always for Love of the Self.
Daily – make it a habit, at your end of day review, to ask:-
Did I Love today? Myself and others, myself and life?
Did I bring joy?
Did I find joy?
Extend your daily activity:-
Did I bring joy? To whom and to what? How?
Did I find joy? Where, with whom, how?
Where did I miss or deny myself opportunities to experience joy?
What shall I do to ensure I am more aware of such opportunities and no longer miss such opportunities?
How can I consciously create more joy in my life?
Commit to joy – to letting go of all lower vibrational energies
Let go limiting beliefs, the “I can’ts” “I am not worthy” “I don’t deserve” “I could nevers!”
Many people believe they have to live with the cards they have been dealt, that life is tough, a struggle, or if you want something you have to pay for it.
Yet beliefs are only thoughts that we keep thinking, mostly outside our conscious awareness. Our beliefs are like a computer software programme that drives us in the background.
No belief is set in stone. Change the software.
What beliefs have you got that are holding you back? “I’m no good!” “Money doesn’t grow on trees!” “I’m ugly. No one would love me.” A belief is only a thought and a thought can be replaced.
If you really challenge those beliefs you will see them start to crumble, allowing you to build new, stronger, more positive beliefs.
Ask yourself “Where has this belief come from?” “What does this belief cost me on a daily basis?” “What would happen if I let go of this old belief?” “Who would I become if I let go of this belief?” “Who would I be if I no longer believed this?”
Notice your story
We all tell stories of our lives, usually through grumbles, groans, and our woundedness (constant stories of how awful our lives are.) If your story doesn’t make you feel good when you tell it, then stop telling it. Instead, create and tell a story that makes you feel inspired and positive.
Compare this story
My life is a struggle, money no sooner comes in than it goes out. I never have enough. And I am always at the doctor’s – there’s always something wrong with me.
You know, I really look forward to every day. I love finding creative ways of overcoming life’s hurdles. In fact, I now see them as opportunities to learn from. Oh and I have a new relationship with money now, I think only of abundance, of the good I could do with my prosperity, I affirm that prosperity comes from many sources. I always have enough to get by, with more left over. Oh and my savings are accumulating. I really feel good each day and I now entertain only positive thoughts, I have taken up various healing practices, I eat only natural food now and do a workout at the local swimming pool. My life just gets better and better. And I give thanks for that. Oh and I am going to give up my job – I’ve always wanted to ….
It is no secret that laughing, which is often an indicator of joy, is an amazing healer. Back in 1979, The New England Journal of Medicine published a report based on Norman Cousins, a noted journalist and editor of the Saturday Review. In the 1960s Cousins had been diagnosed with a debilitating spinal disease and given a 1/500 chance of survival. Based on his belief in the importance of environment on healing, Cousins checked himself out of the hospital and into a hotel, where he took large doses of vitamin C and watched continual episodes of Candid Camera and the Marx Brothers. He found, over time, that laughter stimulated chemicals in his body that allowed him several hours of pain-free sleep. (And of course, quality sleep leads to quality health.) He continued the laughing treatment until, eventually, his disease went into remission, and he was able to return to work.
The study became the basis for a best-selling book, Anatomy of an Illness, as well as a television movie of the same name.
Experience joy now!
How often do you hear people say, “I’ll be happy when …..” “I’ll be happy when I lose some weight.” “I’ll be happy when I’m rich.” “I’ll be happy when I find a partner.” “I’ll be happy when I get a place of my own.”
What about being happy now? Experience joy now – from the inside. Your happiness and joy will be transient if they are dependent upon external factors. We don’t need to be emotionally driven by our external circumstances.
If you create thoughts that make you feel happy or joyous, you can be happy and joyous right now! When you focus your attention on feeling happy and joyous now, the Universe does the rest and all else falls into place, and you find yourself attracting new things into your life.
Do things you Love – truly Love
Dance – highland dancing is great for joy
Draw, paint, write
Sing your heart out – whether you can sing or not
Engage a favourite hobby
Make your passion your work
Mix with joyous people
Follow your curiosity
Feel thoughts that make you feel good.
Notice your language – how many of the 60,000 thoughts you have each day are anxious, critical, defensive, or frustrated? Are the words you use passionate, inspiring, hopeful, happy, positive, joyous, and so on? The majority of thoughts people ruminate on are negative, we seem to have a default setting to negativity. Sometimes it can feel that our thoughts are thinking us and that we have no control over them. Yet we have.
Most of our thinking is driven from the unconscious mind, which is far greater than the conscious mind so it can seem daunting to try to rein in a beast you cannot see.
Stop ruminating – if you have had a bad day at work, don’t tell the story about it because that won’t make you feel good! And it won’t cheer up anyone listening to you. They are affected by your negativity. Instead let go of the thoughts and think of something else that makes you feel good. To repeat, what you give attention to will grow. Think negative thoughts, get more negativity. Shift your focus, to anything that will make you feel joyful, elated, on top of the world, clear-minded, creative, enthusiastic, or eager. What will it be like when you can feel like that for most of your day?
When we live in joy, real authentic genuine joy, our health improves, we are at peace, and peace means healing.
Consistent evidence has been shown that laughter, and oy, over time, offer significant medical benefits, including boosting the immune system, lowering blood pressure, improving heart and respiratory functions, even regulating blood sugar.
Gratitude leads to joy
Let’s hear it for praise, gratitude and being thankful. Be grateful for what you have in your life right now, even the challenges that help you make changes and grow. Take a few moments every day to really savour what makes you happy and give thanks for it.
It could be waking up in a warm bed, enjoying a coffee and some time out in a cafe while watching the world go by, walking with your dog in the fresh air, or simply just being alive.
When you create feelings of gratitude, you change the feeling in your heart, and you create positive vibrations and of course, positive vibrations sent out into the world, attract positivity back.
Create your joy board
Take time out to be creative.
Take a large sheet of cardboard and fill it with pictures, captions, drawings, or words that you
want your life to joyously reflect. So many of us know what we don’t want, but are not clear
what we do want.
Pin it to a wall in your home so that every day you are reminded of what joy in your life
Need more help on how to create a vision board? Click here.
Have fun. Be joyous!
Go for it
Take a leap of faith and allow new experiences, new energy, and new people into your life. Keep letting go of anything and anyone that is holding you back or isn’t working for you.
Allow your confidence and self-belief, as well as your joy, to blossom. Banish the old beliefs and replace them with positive ones. Give it time. It is like planting a seed (new thought / belief) and nurturing it (seeing it blossom over time.)
Always act as if you are joyous and your life is likewise.
No matter what is happening to any one of us, the only thing that really matters at the end of it all is that our lives were filled with joy.
Be a little child again
Ananda - Consciousness
Committing to Health Meditation