I want to spark a radically new approach to that experience known as joy. And to start a project with you that will give us all the best - and surest ways - to get there.
Are you with me so far?
What if we view joy as a necessity? And, at this time in our history, an imperative? What if joy was an evolutionary urge, essential to our survival? A path that brings immediate awakening from the greed-and-hate-and-scared-and-sad-trance our species is caught in?
If this were true, what then would be required of us? Well, to learn to be joyful, of course, employing any and all ways that work!
And what works? I have much to say about this, and this is also where I will be asking for your input.
I distinguish between joy and happiness. Joy is radical. Happiness is status quo. The Declaration of Independence speaks of "the pursuit of happiness". It's something that comes and goes, and is dependent upon circumstance. One must pursue happiness because it is by its very nature elusive and ephemeral! It is safe and tame. It's a nice day outside, and they had a sale on the new iPhone I wanted, so now I'm happy.
By contrast, joy is constant. It's spirit deep and always there. We just need to get out of the way.
So happiness is something you pursue. Joy is something you allow.
And sometimes, joy is an eruption; an awakening from the slumber of negation, from this isn't it. It can be rude and wild and uncomfortable, and it can undermine like a geological fault the faulty ethic of our time -- conformity; materialism; and spiritual deadness.
Joy can shake and even shatter the status quo. So I see Just Say Yes - The Way of Joy as not a mere blog but a conspiracy, a mutiny.
Joy is revolution. It's about building heaven from the earth up.
And while I'm interested in joy as a practice and as a way of life, I want you to know I am a learner on this path, and do not consider myself an expert on the topic. If I were an expert in the kind of joy I'm espousing, I'd be joyful every day! And, well, I'm not. I get as sad, depressed and stuck as anyone else. I'm constantly falling down, and off the path.
But like the Buddhists say...
"Fall down 7 times; get up 8."
And when I do get back up, I learn from my mistakes (usually). So I have some things to teach, and much to learn, and I hope you'll be learning and teaching along with me. I'll be sharing with you my struggles and triumphs, and I hope you'll be sharing yours with me.
Expect me to be talking about the nuts and bolts of joy in regards to relationships; to everyday life; and to illness and suffering and death. And I'll be talking about celebration and ecstasy as a fundamental human need, and how a lack of them can result in depression, obsession and addiction.
Most of all, I'll be sharing what I'm in the process of learning about how to live joyfully, regardless of circumstance! And how to deal with the various obstacles that emerge like so many clouds that block the sun -- fear in all its forms; the obstacles that are in your mind and in your body; our inner demons like The Critic; The Perfectionist; The Comparer; The Punisher; The Catastrophizer.
Life and all it has to offer is calling us. It's time to get out of the way, and Just Say Yes!