I have been looking back and forward. I have been pondering, wandering and wondering on rest, reset and path simply forward for a while now. In The Fertile Ground, I stated that “It is a reset to stop chasing the wind; and be it.” Allow me to elaborate a tad.
Through a multitude of diverse and enjoyable conversations throughout and of late, I have been reminded of thoughts around the Congruence of Character and Purpose and Unity… and Joy. I have been reminded of the need in my life for inward and candid decisions… and the role of Joy. Joyfulness is a virtue; a strength of Character. It is more than the emotion of happiness. Emotions and Moods are Affects. Emotions are higher intensity, shorter in duration and have known cause. Moods are lower intensity, longer in duration and seemingly have no known cause. But both are feelings; Affects. Joyfulness is a countenance and gate. It is a practice through prosperity and adversity alike. And these words remind me…
“Joy gives us wings! In times of joy our strength is more vital, our intellect keener, and our understanding less clouded. We seem better able to cope with the world and to find our sphere of usefulness.“
My point is this. I am pondering and wandering and wondering on joys of the past, present and future. I am intent to stop chasing the wind; and be it. To that end, I am looking back on my first 61 years to mine that which brought me joy. I am inventorying my “resume of life”, noting that everything I have done in life and career is part of my arsenal going forward… but that in which I found my most joy are go-to tools and “weapons” in that arsenal for life and living it; to return to and explore again. Combined with an examining of the joys I find in the present, they are signposts for where I want to “go back to the future”. I am assessing that which I will cut and keep. As I consider my first 61 years, I am seeing it as a mine from which I find the gems of joy to keep and with which I will move forward. And, they open up thoughts around new joys, like boxing and archery and language… to explore.
Ultimately, my point is that moments and experiences of Joy are signposts for path. They are not simply random nor haphazard. They are little or big wake up calls, saying “Hey, note this.” Considering what were vehicles for Joy throughout our lives can powerfully direct us to continue accessing those joys, and find new ones somehow aligned. Joy helps us find our best Purpose. And Purposefulness = Joyfulness.
This Weekend, Elaine Dunphy and I are running a totally-free-no-strings-attached online Zoom session called Pandamonium: A Summit of Joy in Honor of the one-year passing of my #bestlittledogintheworld Panda. We will be exploring Joy; deconstructing and reconstructing and diving in. Whether you are attending or not, I humbly but assertively contend that you ponder your past… the moments of joy, your heroes, your faves of food and friends and fertile grounds. Explore the country of your life that you have already travelled; knowing that there are some places to which you never wish to return but have learned from them… and candidly knowing what were the joys; what still are the keepers. And see them as possible signposts for the path forward. The more I reflect on Joy, the less I see it as haphazard.
Joy signals to us what is Soulful, That is not haphazard. For me, I choose to return to my childhood writing for Joy and Purpose. I return to cartooning and dance from my past. I look at what brought me and still brings me Joy and Purpose. They are signals. I look at same in the present, and stockpile that which I know did and does bring such. And it opens up vistas of new Joy and Purpose.
Joy does not imply our lives will be easy, but we will enjoy the dance. Find your dance. Peace. 😉
“Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing. ― Abraham Lincoln