"Those who have not found their true wealth, which is the radiant joy of Being and the deep, unshakable peace that comes with it, are beggars, even if they have great wealth," spiritual writer Eckhart Tolle has observed. Only a small number of people we meet are truly joyous souls, and part of their magic is a lightness of being.
Carolyn Hobbs is a licensed marriage and family therapist and a member of both the Association for Transpersonal Psychology and the Association for Humanistic Psychology. She has taught at Naropa Institute and Spirit Rock Meditation Center. In this enlightening resource, she examines three steps that can give us access to the deep, abiding joy that can be ours in everyday life. They are (1) a willingness to say yes to what is, (2) the curiosity to witness our thoughts, feelings, and reactions, and (3) the courage to respond differently with kindness and compassion.
To be joyful, we can begin making friends with our feelings, rather than responding to them habitually by freezing up or allowing them to dominate us mercilessly. Hobbs takes a hard look at disappointment, discouragement, angst, loneliness, sadness and grief, anger, resentment, fear, depression and hopelessness, and shame. Anther section deals with getting to know our mind habits such as judgment, doubt, and worry. She also covers the challenge of letting go of beliefs that bring us down and limit our capacity to become all we are meant to be.
The last section of the book presents ways to jump start joy in your daily life. Hobbs quotes Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron: "Authentic joy is not an euphoric state or a feeling of being high. Rather, it is a state of appreciation that allows us to participate fully in our lives."