Advent Day 15: Choose Joy …

Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.

Joy is what makes life worth living, but for many joy seems hard to find. They complain that their lives are sorrowful and depressing. What then brings the joy we so much desire? Are some people just lucky, while others have run out of luck? Strange as it may sound, we can choose joy. Two people can be part of the same event, but one may choose to live it quite differently from the other. One may choose to trust that what happened, painful as it may be, holds a promise. The other may choose despair and be destroyed by it.

― Henri Nouwen from Bread for the Journey

 

Human freedom involves our capacity to pause between stimulus and response and, in that pause, to choose the one response toward which we wish to throw our weight.
— Rollo May from The Courage to Create

 

Mindfulness is simply being aware
of what is happening right now
without wishing it were different;
enjoying the pleasant without holding on
when it changes (which it will);
being with the unpleasant without fearing
it will always be this way (which it won’t).
― James Baraz from Awakening Joy

 

The senses and the world are always changing conditions, but that which knows is unconditioned. With practice . . . we can be in the midst of an experience, being upset or angry or caught by some problem, and then step back from it and rest in pure awareness. . . We learn to trust pure awareness itself.
Jack Kornfield from Buddhadharma, Summer 2007, pp. 34-35

 

Walk Slowly

It only takes a reminder to breathe,
a moment to be still, and just like that,
something in me settles, softens, makes
space for imperfection. The harsh voice
of judgment drops to a whisper and I
remember again that life isn’t a relay
race; that we will all cross the finish
line; that waking up to life is what we
were born for. As many times as I
forget, catch myself charging forward
without even knowing where I’m going,
that many times I can make the choice
to stop, to breathe, and be, and walk
slowly into the mystery.

— Danna Faulds from Go In and In

 

Be happy in the moment, that’s enough. Each moment is all we need, not more.
― Mother Teresa from A Simple Path

 

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