One of the goals of Pathwalking is to enhance the things in life that make us feel joyful.
I want to work on choosing the life I most desire to lead. Consciousness creates reality, and I want to choose the reality that brings me joy and happiness.
This can be particularly challenging, especially in today’s society. We are bombarded every day with horrid, awful, ugly, unpleasant things. Terrible people, selfishness, greed, and a deluge of messages about lack and scarcity. Maybe, if we are truly fortunate, for every ten pieces of negative information we receive one piece that’s positive and uplifting.
Because the overarching narrative of our society is one of insufficiency and deficiency, it is really important to keep focused on our own, personal awareness. Being mindful of what we are thinking, feeling, and from there acting upon is key.
One of the issues that this brings up is selfishness. Many of us have been raised to put others before ourselves. That can be family, friends, coworkers, anybody. We believe that the needs of the many always outweigh the needs of the one, and put ourselves last. Or worse, when we do something for ourselves, we have to resist the feeling that we are being selfish…or else do twice as many things for other people to make up for it.
Finding things that make us feel joyful is not selfish. Why? Because when we feel joyful, we spread that to others. Like sorrow and grief and all the negative emotions, holding onto and expressing positive emotions is contagious.
What’s the difference between joy and happiness? For the purpose of this post, it boils down to the abstract versus the emotion. The concept of happy is broad and vague. Joyful, however, is a more readily defined emotional state.
Joyful thoughts, feelings and actions create happiness.
What makes me happy is not necessarily the same as what makes you happy. Perfect example – fencing. I have been fencing for more than half my life now. Almost without fail, if I am having a bad day, when I fence it makes me feel happy. I take great joy in fencing, and while it is slightly less when I am not at my best, it’s still there. Similarly, writing makes me happy. I love spilling words out of my head and onto the page or screen.
There are people who find fencing ludicrous and silly. I know people who find putting down words thoroughly challenging, and unpleasant. What makes each of us feel joyful and develops happiness varies wildly. But the importance of manifesting things that make us happy is almost immeasurable.
It is easy to get lost in the seas of social media. Twitter, Facebook, and don’t even get me started on the rabbit hole that is Pinterest. However, when we start to focus on the negativity, and see all the greedy, selfish, terrible people in positions of leadership and authority, it can be really hard to find things that bring us joy.
But that makes it even more important that we pause, and be mindful and aware of our thoughts, our feelings, and subsequent actions we take. If we are holding onto negativity, we tend to create and draw more to us. How many times, when you felt bad, did you manage to keep finding things to make yourself feel even worse? That’s conscious reality creation…or, when we are not being mindful, unconscious or subconscious reality creation.
As I traverse the paths of my life, I strive to find opportunities to develop and experience more joy.
Creating joyful things draws more joyful things out.
Neglecting ourselves for the sake of others and sacrificing our goals, our happiness, and anything else is not the noble notion many give it. Why? Because it makes the following statement: Because there is not enough, I will go without. When we sacrifice our time, energy, money, and so on for other people, we tell ourselves that it’s noble and good in order to counter the negative feelings sacrifice tends to produce. When we give and give and give of ourselves, but then do no self-care, we deplete what we have.
If the universe is abundant, aren’t we, as extensions of the universe, also abundant? Yes…but while the universe is made of infinite energy, the energy contained in the meat-suits we occupy on this planet is finite. This is why we rest, meditate and sleep. We need to restore our energies, in order to have enough on any given day. When we sacrifice ourselves, we deplete that energy, and if we deplete too much we get depressed, sick, and even so ill as to threaten our physical existence.
When we take care of ourselves, we have more to share. This is applicable to the spiritual, emotional and physical levels. When we do joyful things we build up our reserves, and become more capable of giving more. When we have more, we can give more. It’s a stunningly simple concept we still feel we can mostly ignore.
It is not selfish to care for ourselves. There is a fine line between giving and giving away from a lack mentality. Giving comes from the heart, and makes us feel good. Giving away comes from the head, and we have to tell ourselves we’ve done good to counter feeling bad. Sound familiar?
Let go of any guilt feeling joyful might bring.
This is one of the larger issues we are facing as a society right now. When so many people have it so bad, how can I feel joyful? We see all this negativity, and when we find our own positivity, we might just find ourselves feeling guilty for that.
There will always be someone who is experiencing loss, grief, sadness, depression, distress, and every negative emotion you can imagine. Empathy and compassion are important, but that does not mean we should not do things for ourselves that make us feel joyful. Why? Because the law of attraction states that like attracts like. Feed the negative, it grows.
Every single one of us has had an experience where we were feeling good, and then someone grieving or injured or otherwise hurt happened by. Suddenly, we feel guilty that we feel good when they feel awful. This is empathy. It’s a natural feeling, but we do not need to cease to be happy for them, but rather empathize, show compassion, and let go of the guilt. Eventually those people will be past their unhappiness, and then your joy can help make them feel good again, too.
Be kind. Be loving. Let yourself find joy in the paths you are walking. Consciousness creates reality, and when we are joyful we can manifest amazing things.
What makes you feel joyful?
This is the three-hundred-nineteenth entry in my series. These weekly posts are ideas for, and my personal experiences with, walking along the path of life. I share this journey as part of my desire to make a difference in this world along the way.
Thank you for joining me. Feel free to re-blog and share.
The first year of Pathwalking, including some expanded ideas, is available here.
After more than 6 years of Pathwalking, I will be launching a Patreon to garner support for these works, and more.