Finding joy can sometimes feel like an unattainable, far-off dream, but it's often much closer at hand than you might think. Even though it might feel like Joy is a state that exists at a great distance from its opposite (Grief, Despair, etc.), I prefer to think of them as parallel tracks running across the same terrain of Life. In other words, Joy is always there for the taking if we can only choose it. Now, I understand all too well that there are moments when Joy is completely elusive - and some would say we're in such times right now - but even then, it can pop its head up surprisingly. Years ago, I was consumed for many months with an excruciating family situation that required every ounce of patience, compassion, and stamina I had in me. I was away from home a lot, which was tough for my two high schoolers, as that wasn't the easiest time in their lives either. I never knew if I'd be home as planned because of the changing medical crisis I was managing, but I was determined to be back for their spring choral concert. Normally, I would have known every song they'd be singing, but this year, I was away so much that I didn't have a clue about their repertoire, or anything else for that matter. On top of being strained and depressed due to the family drama, I felt I'd also fallen short as a mom. Ugh. Some kind of miracle occurred for me to make it on time to the show in our little rural auditorium. Just sitting in the dark hearing young people singing was wonderful enough, but then, my son followed by my daughter surprised me by taking the stage for solos, each singing a song that was clearly meant as a balm for me. I'm not sure how many tissues I used up that night as my heart burst with joy for these tender gifts from my children. To think they had been practicing their songs in secret while I'd been an absent mother - well, their generosity blew me away. Even in my stress and grief, there was tremendous joy. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the pain I'd been experiencing made me even more available to the blessing of their gifts. I was cracked open and ready to receive in ways that I might not have been at another time. It was a great demonstration of the side-by-side tracks I mentioned above - yes, joy, and yes, challenge. In my story, joy came to me, but there are also things we can do to work our way out from under the weight of heavy feelings. For ideas on finding joy in tough times, click HERE for a wonderful article with helpful ideas as well as references. (I liked it so much I "borrowed" their photo for this email.) My story also corresponds to what Dr. Clint G. Rogers had to say on our Infinite Wisdom call last Wednesday. He addressed staying in joy during challenging times, and quoted from his book:
"Every adversity - every difficult situation or heartbreak - has within it seeds of equal or greater benefit."
Baba Ramdas (Dr. Naram's Master)
During our deeply moving 90-minute conversation, Clint shared his heart-warming story of turning from a skeptic into a global Ayurvedic healer, having learned from his Master, Dr Naram, about how to use ancient techniques to help people recover from physical and emotional ailments, often instantaneously. Clint's indomitable presence evoked many beautiful, heartfelt responses from the attendees, and I know you won't want to miss it. For a huge dose of joy, please watch the REPLAY HERE. As some of you know, I've asked this month that you consider giving to a charity as an exchange for all the programming I've provided this year without charge. More specifically, I'd like to suggest that you direct your giving to the orphanage that Clint supports in Nepal. By buying his book, Ancient Secrets of a Master Healer: A Western Skeptic, an Eastern Master, and Life’s Greatest Secrets, you'll automatically be donating, but you can go even farther by adding an extra amount. Click HERE to purchase and HERE to donate. The book is full of home remedies that are time-tested to work - it might be a life saver for you and your loved ones as it has been for countless others. All I know is, that my heart is full of joy right now because I'm able to share this incredible man who embodies so much light with YOU!
Have a joyful week!