Find the Joy, Enjoy the joy, Spread the Joy

“I saw grief drinking a cup
of sorrow and called out,
‘It tastes sweet, does it not?’
‘You’ve caught me,’ grief answered,
‘and you’ve ruined my business.
……How can I sell sorrow,
when you know it’s a blessing?'”


My life goes on in endless song
above earth’s lamentations,
I hear the real, though far-off hymn
that hails a new creation.

Through all the tumult and the strife
I hear its music ringing,
It sounds an echo in my soul.
How can I keep from singing?

While though the tempest loudly roars,
I hear the truth, it liveth.
And though the darkness ’round me close,
songs in the night it giveth.

No storm can shake my inmost calm,
while to that rock I’m clinging.
Since love is lord of heaven and earth
how can I keep from singing?

When tyrants tremble in their fear
and hear their death knell ringing,
when friends rejoice both far and near
how can I keep from singing?

In prison cell and dungeon vile
our thoughts to them are winging,
when friends by shame are undefiled
how can I keep from singing?

Enya’s version of an 1860’s hymn originally titled, “Always Rejoicing.”

For the joy of it, watch Enya’s You Tube version:

Even in the midst of the most intense suffering there is always something to savor. Perhaps, it is the ability to feel, the knowledge you had something to lose, or the perspective that this too shall pass. All can shift your thoughts into a realm of peace. It may sound almost impossible, but even when you are brought to your knees with suffering there is the opportunity for gratitude and joy. Sometimes, it is simply the ability to feel the depths of your pain and loss. When that happens, allow yourself to explore what it is to be human and fully experiencing a well of emotion. After all, what are we here for if not to pay attention and embrace every moment just as it is, whether raw and miserable or full of bliss?

What does suffering have to do with your capacity for joy? Plenty. As you allow all your feelings, you increase your openness to rapture. It takes courage to go to the darkest places in your heart. Paradoxically, the rebound effect is becoming so expansive you not only embrace what happiness life showers on you, but also actively seek more.

Learning how to find bliss is a skill that improves with practice. Stop right this minute and look around you. If you can see out a window, notice what is happening. Find the beauty of clouds, rain, snow, sun, whatever presents itself. Really look. Seek out the tiniest details of of nature’s daily pageant. If you work in an office cubicle, look at whatever you have brought in to personalize your space. Is it a picture of family or friends? Perhaps, it’s that mountain you climbed, or want to climb. Maybe it’s an empty coffee cup. Just take a moment to fully appreciate what each of those things implies, whether connection, love, exilharation, anticipation, or feeling sated.

Just like that little exercise, the key to finding more joy is to narrow your scope. Look for the smallest things that make your heart sing.

You can also increase your opportunities for happiness with a bit of self-exploration. Notice when you feel expansive or contracted. Are there certain people in your life in whose presence you feel your body tighten? Are there times when you feel so open it is as if your cells are mingling with the ineffable? It will take some assertiveness skills and a commitment to self-care, but you can increase the good catalysts in your life, and decrease those that create stress and contraction.

Deb Dana, in her book, “Anchored,” talks about savoring micro-moments of joy. She suggests three steps: attend, appreciate and amplify. The whole process takes about a minute and works best if you seek out good feelings throughout your day and consciously squeeze more joy from them.

Once you have honed your happiness skills, make sure you are fully enjoying whatever peace and joy has been bestowed on you. You can actually squeeze more bliss out of any positive experience by ratcheting up your awareness and being fully present. Then, just so you can feel even more connected to your divine inner light, share it. Smile at anyone and everyone. Give something away. Reach out to someone who may be lonely or bereft. Bake some cookies for your neighbors. Give someone, even a stranger, a compliment. Now, watch the power of spreading your positive energy as it not only expands your delight, but creates more for others.

Copyright Nicole S. Urdang

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Nicole Urdang

Nicole S. Urdang, M.S., NCC, DHM is a Holistic Psychotherapist in Buffalo, NY. She holds a New York state license in mental health counseling and a doctorate in homeopathic medicine from the British Institute of Homeopathy.