Find Your Joyful Bone This Season
Posted: December 23rd, 2020
I love the fall and winter months, almost as much as I love spring and summer, with its warmth and buds of delight. Spring and summer feel to me like frolicking in fields of grass, the kind with crystals and tannins and terpenes, as we like. If you haven’t tried Garden Society’s new hash-infused Rosettes, you should. Keep that feeling of spring and summer going all year long.
Even though it is colder outside for those of us tilted on the planet for a colder winter solstice, Nature is still ripe with joy. All the holidays and food. And this year is no different, for many. Even during a pandemic, we cling tightly to our food and gatherings. We keep the joy in smaller MVP groups, many of us, and enjoy the quaintness of precious moments spent together. It’s very sweet. I hope we do it safely because it does bring joy to so many of us.
Not only holidays, but big and small events are full of opportunities to find gratitude for our loved ones and for ourselves. “Big day” occasions are there, I believe, to highlight what we might do, with commitment and devotion to our growth and becoming.
Nature screams: “See Me. Look at all I’ve done!”
And in the moments, if we do, we open to feeling that “big” feeling even in the small things, more consistently, every day. We see the magic in life more often. We commit to welcoming joy again.
Studies from many sources, Berkerly and Harvard to name two of many, show that being grateful adds to our joy. So why not practice gratitude daily as a commitment to your joy? To yourself and others?
Studies also show that most of us want to be in joy. Maybe that is why we are so in love with our stuff to varying degrees? We accumulate these things looking for joy in that sweater or autumn boot. In our Starbucks and pie. I personally love all these things (which is why I am mentioning them). And we buy others gifts hoping to do the same for them, find and bring them a little bit more joy.
We all have our things. Our wants and desires move us through most of our lives. Let’s not beat ourselves up because we want more joy.
Still, if we can see that things are impermanent, and yet still yummy in the moment, we can be committed to our joy in another direction, from another source. Not just in our things, or “big” moments. We want our joy to last, don’t we? And I can speak for me, I want to be pulled by desires and wants that will sustain me.
We can not assume that we will be able to hold joy using a rope of things to climb up the mountain of our lives, can we? I know: wouldn’t a little bypassing be helpful every now and again? As much as our desires and wants pull us to say: “yes, give me a bone, here!” The only bone that we will get will be the one that we kindle inside, using our own keen magical senses and experience through practice. It starts with a seed in good soil and becomes a journey.
To where? You ask.
I don’t know. More joy, I hope.
Tips to Commit to Using your Magical Senses
- Express gratitude upon going to bed or waking. Get fancy and keep a gratitude journal where you can write these things, if that works for you. Otherwise express them aloud. Hear yourself in appreciation for something that is.
- Say thank you to nature. Go outside, and while you are enjoying the lights of holiday celebration enjoy the natural light of the moon and stars in the sky. Noticing them and their brilliance will be an act of gratitude unto them.
- “Eat” lighter (fast something for a day) on purpose in honor of all you have. Instead of packing in more, see what you have, and potentially even experience moments of emptiness. You can do this with food or with other things. Anything can work. All you have to do is skip it. I know that sounds counterintuitive to your joy, but I promise, the next time you eat that meal or have that thing, slowly and with care, it will mean more and be more nourishing. You will be grateful for it in a new way. (Be sure to consult your healthcare professional before considering a fast to see if it is right for you. Be responsible for your wellbeing– everything is not for everyone. So please use your magical caution.)
- Set an intention to be present with others, grateful for them, even when they get on your nerves. Before spending time with your loved ones on Zoom or in person, focus on your heartbeat and your breath. Then, as you realize yourself as living, see others as yourself. Note that they have a body, heartbeat, breath, too, and they are here in front of you for some reason. Be with them there.
- Be grateful for your body. Give it water and healthy food (more often than not). Give it some form of movement and kind words (more often than not). Be grateful for the miracle of your body (more often than not.)
As the day is swallowed by the evening sooner now, as we approach a new year, as we are more silent and more introverted, our moods can also become dank. Truth is, these moments do come. Having a practice of gratitude is one way to process those dark moments and to find the lesson or nectar, the magic within them. Being able to alchemize our dark into joy is a process in commitment to enjoying the journey. In all your moments as you can, over and over again, find your magical bone inside.
Brown, Joshua et al. “How Gratitude Changes You and Your Brain.” Greater Good, 2017
About Courtney Rohan
A 200-hour certified teacher in the Yoga of Energy Flow, Courtney has been teaching yoga for 14 years. After completing her undergraduate work at Rutgers in English and Psychology, Courtney obtained a graduate degree in Education at Arcadia University and began teaching English in the public school system in Philadelphia while studying to become a certified Yoga and Thai Massage instructor. In addition to teaching Yoga, Courtney is a writer and freelance editor and has worked on a diverse range of material from manuscripts to children’s books and essays. As an Intuitive Coach and lifelong educator, Courtney works to commandeer possible approaches to support creation, manifestation, and healing while leading her students toward enlightenment.