Until I decide I won't, I am penning, these blog posts in support of my ongoing sacred journey course,“Creating a Life of Contentment," which began Sept. 15. For one entire year, we'll be traveling together as intimate companions: to relax, let go and rest into Love; to discover the bliss of our own life.
Letting Enjoyment In
When you think of the word "enjoyment" what comes to mind?
To enjoy something do you go out and find it, locate something to enjoy?
Do you create situations that are enjoyable—literally bringing happiness and delight into your day?
I know that I often do and, in that, I am making a conscious effort to construct enjoyment.
That's a good thing, I think. Healthy. Wise. Pleasurable.
And then there is another way to experience enjoyment, at least according to David Spangler. David is one of my favorite writers and visionary thinkers. He worked with the Caddys and the Findhorn Community for many years. He's also the man behind one of my most cherished books, Blessing: The Art and the Practice.
David writes a wonderful newsletter and his most recent essay invited this discussion on enjoyment. (You can read it in its entirety here.)
He wrote: "Normally when we think of enjoyment, we think of something “out there” doing something that brings us pleasure. The “vector” of joy that we normally think of when we use the word enjoy is from the environment to us. We are the recipients of joy and pleasure when we enjoy something. Joy moves from “out there” to “in here,” within us.
But if I think of enjoy as allowing joy to enter, then the vector changes. It moves in a different direction, from me to the environment through a portal that I create. To enjoy is to increase the presence of joy in a given situation or location."
Allowing joy to enter ... I like that very much. To be open and receptive to the joy that is already here, ever-present—sitting, waiting for us allow it in.
And so the question begs to be answered. What prevents us from oh, so simply and effortlessly allowing the joy in? To let it come to us, enter us, and flow through us like a river of respite?
Seriously. What stops the flow?
I imagine it is our busyness—over busyness. Moving so quickly through our days that we miss the glimmers of joy that sparkle and shine so brightly but we just don't see them.
Or, it's is the noise of our lives. The radio, television, computer, traffic, human chatter on internet and cell phones, Twittering, texting. Our nose is pointed elsewhere and our ears are tuned in to a different channel.
Or, we are stuck in thinking that we must seek out whatever it is we need to be happy? Like beagles on a hunt, we lift our nose to the air, sniff out our target and go for it, running pell-mell as fast as we can to get it accomplished (yes, even to get enjoyment handled), so we can check it off our To-Do list.
A phenomenon expressed so well by author, Adair Lara, "I don't spend a meditative moment really tasting the blackberry jam or gazing at the faces of my sleeping children or stepping out to the porch to feel the rain on my face... Or, if I do, I do it quickly, checking it off the list: Gazed at sleeping children. Lifted face to rain. Note to self: Smell roses tomorrow."*
I don't know about you, but I have been guilty of this myself, certain that the roses on the bushes in my yard will be just as fragrant tomorrow. Sometimes they are. Sometimes they're not. Sometimes they're gone ... right along with the present moment. I could have opened myself to indulge in their sweetness but I didn't.
What do you think the reason could be for damming the flow of your natural enjoyment?
Today, I'm leaning into what David Spangler suggests because we can't always seek out joy. Sometimes we must simply settle down inside of ourselves enough to allow it in.
And it will enter us if we prepare the space. Move a little slower. Look a little more closely. Listen to the whispers. Be here now.
The portal is open. Let's welcome joy in ...
In practicing enjoyment in this way, I’m actually harkening back to the original meaning of the word enjoy. It’s from a fourteenth century English word, enjoyen, which meant “to make joyful.” And this in turn derived from an older French verb, enjoier, no doubt brought to England by William the Conqueror, which meant “to give joy to.”
*Source: Slowing Down in a Speeded Up World by Adair Lara (Conari Press, 1994)