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Friday, July 9, 2010

The Practice of Joy

JOY - A source or cause of keen pleasure or delight; something exceptionally festive or satisfying.  [Joy week begins here. Click for this week's Bliss Initiatives.] 

Laughter is the jam on the toast of life. It adds flavor, keeps it from being too dry, and makes it easier to swallow.
— Diane Johnson quoted in 
Zen Soup by Laurence G. Boldt

Wow, I can't believe I haven't posted in two days!!! Really feel like I've been away!! My apologies to anyone looking for my typical schedule. I have been over here at my home practicing joy and getting waylaid by a certain three year old muffin.  We have been tackling night time potty training over here (to much success I might add - only two accidents in three weeks) but the process has been having the additional effect of Sweets waking at 4 or 5 to use the potty and then not being able to get back to sleep. We are all getting a little zombie-ish and my usual three hours of coffee with the Sweetie and blog time has evaporated. Today I managed to get her back to sleep at 4:00 so here I am... although I'm getting started a bit later because I needed to catch up on some additional sleep while I had the chance. We'll see how far I get .

The quote I started this post with was found over at the Spirituality & Practice website. Since I have started my project here that place has become a frequent stop on my journey. If I compare what I am doing with over here at Everyday Bliss with what they do I come to the fun and interesting conclusion that I am developing the spiritual practice of Bliss! Thinking of my project in those terms is kind of exciting. Yes, I'm doing my best to experience more Bliss but even more then that I am hoping for some type of spiritual shift in who I am being everyday. I intend on being someone who on-going-ly invites and shares Bliss.

This week I have been focusing specifically on the bliss characteristic of JOY and I can see now that this virtue continues to be the vital key to my entire project. I've shared a few times about the fact that I think of myself as the possibility of outrageous joy and when I am not living with that frame of reference guiding me I get a little lost. Spirituality & Practice always has a tidbit or exercise that brings me back to my possibility in mere moments. This morning I tried this out to marvelous results:
Colette Aboulker-Muscat is a world renown teacher of imagination as a way for us to explore our inner reality and discover how to live in the depths of our experiences. She has created many thousands of imagery exercises, sharing them with her students who could from many countries to her home in Jerusalem, Israel. In this one, you are encouraged to discover the benefits of “Dance.”
Breathe out three times. Get in touch with your physical existence. Know that each breathing has a purpose and direction. Notice what is going on in your body.
Imagine that you are alone at the edge of a large, clear, quiet, and calm meadow with the sun above you and all the space to dance. Look at your meadow and be aware of your feelings. Then begin to dance freely. Now see in this space another dancer dancing. He or she is offering to show you how to dance. You are free to accept, reject, or share this dance. See how the two of you dance together in the green, clear, quiet, large meadow. Then open your eyes. 
Just a few seconds and I felt immediately restored to joy. When I did this exercise my dance partner was my daughter. Oh how she LOVES to dance and visualizing the two of us together melted all of my groggy annoyance away. She was welcome to wake me from my slumber and usual routine as often as she needs or wants! As much as I delight in having my time to write I sit here hoping I'll be interrupted at any moment. 

Try out this exercise and see if JOY finds you too!

This bronze-plated, aluminum statue stands 11 inches tall depicting a mother dancing with her child. This piece brings timeless joy to any room.
Producer Partner: Noah’s Ark - established to provide integrity, welfare and better living conditions for very poor artisans in the villages of Moradabad, India.

Next Post: Joyful musing
My 13 bliss virtues are 
joy, order, creativity, passion, whimsy, serenity, inquiry, community, 
romance, gratitude, moxie, humility, and surprise.

This week we are exploring Joy. 
Next week is all about Order.


  1. What fun! I envisioned forest creatures dancing with me. :) That was really cool! :) Theresa

  2. Oh, that art piece is fabulous! Hey...I wanted to tell you, I brought The Hubbums to your other blog and he read through the ENTIRE scroll of "J-sims" LOL! We were laughing so hard! I love that kid!

  3. I love Joy and that art piece is really great! I went over to the spirituality website and it's definitely something I'll have to bookmark for 'joy' reasons :-D

  4. Neato!! Thanks for playing along Theresa!

  5. I suppose joy is what I first think of when I hear "bliss" - well, something between joy and contentment. Am I the only person who finds long periods of uninterrupted joy, actually quite exhausting? I find that when I'm very excited about something, I have to deliberately slow down and take some time to *stop* feeling quite so happy (not in terms of making myself *unhappy*, but just to feel things less intensely for a while...). Sorry, I'm rambling.


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Ben Franklin's 13 Virtues

  • 1. TEMPERANCE - Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
  • 2. SILENCE - Speak not what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
  • 3. ORDER - Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
  • 4. RESOLUTION - Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
  • 5. FRUGALITY - Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e. waste nothing.
  • 6. INDUSTRY - Lose no time; be always employ'd in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
  • 7. SINCERITY - Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and if you speak, speak accordingly.
  • 8. JUSTICE - Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
  • 9. MODERATION - Avoid extreams; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
  • 10. CLEANLINESS - Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths or habitation.
  • 11. TRANQUILITY - Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
  • 12. CHASTITY - Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or to the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation.
  • 13. HUMILITY - Imitate Jesus and Socrates.


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