What would it mean to switch from the pursuit of happiness to the expression of joy?
On the Lewis Howes podcast, Sadghuru said something about all of us pursuing happiness when we should simply be expressing joy.
Since then, I’ve been pondering this idea. It’s one of those statements that seems easy to say and, although Sadghuru would say it’s easy to do, I don’t think many of us would agree.
I can’t speak for you but here’s why I struggle and get stuck.
- I rarely experience joy. I’m not convinced I know exactly what it is.
- My thoughts are often so full of criticism and judgement, it’s all I can do to express neutrality let alone joy.
- Most of my everyday life feels mundane – wouldn’t the expression of joy seem false or weird?
Years ago, I remember working with a woman who was perpetually cheerful. On grey, rainy days she’d come into the office brandishing her yellow umbrella and beaming widely, talking about how beautiful the bright colour looked against the grey clouds and how wonderful the experience was of walking in the rain. Our team found her annoying.
Was she expressing joy? If so, what made the rest of us balk?
How many of us are more drawn to the people who “tell it like it is”, “warts and all”. How many of us would rather spend time with people who make our own misery feel normal?
Yet, we’re all in pursuit of happiness.
It’s confusing and non-sensical and it doesn’t appear to be serving any of us very well.
As someone who makes a conscious and concerted effort to manage my habits so I stay mentally well, I instinctively feel there is something important in Sadghuru’s words.
I realise I am in living my life in the pursuit of happiness and don’t yet have an understanding of how I’d live it as an expression of joy. So I’m going to spend some time figuring it out and I’ll use this blog to share my experiences with you.
If you’re like me – where your mental health declines easily and it doesn’t take much for you to “go into the dark” – I hope my lessons will prove useful for both of us.
I am grateful you’re here and sharing this journey with me and look forward to figuring it out together.