Every now and then, there are those magical days when the stars align and everything goes right. We wake up feeling rested, our hair cooperates, everyone is friendly to us, and things go smoothly at work. We feel overflowing gratitude and appreciation for the Creator.
"How do we find joy in the moments when we are stressed out, faced with huge obstacles, or experiencing a tragedy?"
That sense of joy we experience is something that the kabbalists teach is an important part of our spiritual work. Because the Creator is an endless source of joy, the more we align ourselves with that blissful mentality, the more we open ourselves to blessings from the Creator. On the other hand, when we give in to sadness, fear, or anger, we actually pull away from the Creator and block the blessings from flowing into our lives.
It’s easy to feel joyful when the sun is shining and the birds are singing, but how do we find joy in the moments when we are stressed out, faced with huge obstacles, or experiencing a tragedy?
Here are 4 useful tips to help tap into your joy:
1. Schedule time to appreciate the blessings in your life.
As much as we like to say that we are grateful for the things in our lives, it’s important to make time every day to actively think about and appreciate those blessings. Our lives are hectic, but scheduling a few minutes of appreciation can have a huge impact on our wellbeing. Consider making this a part of your daily routine – not just something you do when you have the time. This could be after waking up in the morning or before going to bed at night. It could be on your lunch break or during your commute home.
The more time we spend meditating on and connecting to our blessings, the more we awaken appreciation and focus on bringing positive energy into our lives.
2. Observe the details.
It is said that if we truly were to appreciate the blessing of a rose, we would see the Light surrounding it, emanating from it. We would see, essentially, its divinity. To fully appreciate our blessings is to see the Light that exists in those blessings, from every angle.
Take something positive in your life – let’s say you have a great job, for instance. Think about how your job has introduced you to wonderful coworkers, provides stability for your family, keeps your mind engaged, and challenges you to grow. There are blessings within blessings that we constantly overlook. The more we train our minds to see them, the more we understand how abundant the gifts of the Creator are.
3. Choose to give energy to positive thinking.
It is often said that happiness is a choice. While we can’t always control what happens to us or around us, we can choose how we react. When we feel ourselves falling into negative thoughts, we have a choice to reframe the way we think.
Karen Berg, founder of the Kabbalah Centre, is often quoted as saying, “The secret to joy is knowing that we are receiving exactly what we need at each moment.” The Creator knows what we need, even if it seems painful right now. How many times has something gone wrong, but led you to grow and learn, or brought you to something even better?
We have the choice to see our challenges as blessings in disguise. It may not stop us from feeling sad or angry, but it sets us on a path of transformation. It keeps us from losing all despair in our lowest moments and helps us find the joy in the darkness.
4. Use joy to awaken more joy!
The kabbalists teach that joy is not just a good feeling we get - it’s a powerful gift that the Creator gives us. It’s a tool that can help us generate even more joy. Joy and appreciation have a beautiful circular relationship. The more appreciation we awaken, the more joy we feel. The more joy we feel, the more appreciation we awaken.
Knowing this, whenever we are in a state of joy, we can focus our intentions on bringing our appreciation to a new level. When we do this, we start to see even more blessings around us, and that generates even more joy. Instead of just feeling good, we can use it as a tool for transformation, one that enables even more blessings to enter our lives.
As Thich Nhat Hanh said, “There is no way to happiness – happiness is the way.” Our goal is not to become happy people, but rather to become closer to the Creator. Joy is a vehicle through which we achieve this. The more joy and appreciation we awaken for everything in our lives, the more we align ourselves with the Creator.
Through practicing joy, we open ourselves up to more blessings and to receiving the ultimate joy – becoming united with the Creator. Now that’s something to be happy about!