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Treasured Social Butterfly
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Registered: ‎04-07-2015

Re: Finding Your Joy

[ Edited ]
Message 1 of 44 (1,843 Views)

joy.jpguntouched joy.jpg

 

Keeping to accessible language: I've found both of these things to be exactly true. In my life, joy has been a gift, a skill I was apparently born with. I've also observed that not everyone seems able to tap into the skill. Perhaps there is a joy gene.

 

 

The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical. - Julius Erving
Trusted Social Butterfly
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Registered: ‎10-15-2013

Re: Finding Your Joy

Message 2 of 44 (1,863 Views)

"Life is not a problem to be solved, it is a mystery to be lived."

 

Drop the past totally. LIfe is not a problem to be solved but a mystery to be lived...-Osho:

"Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness." ~ Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Re: Finding Your Joy

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Message 3 of 44 (1,869 Views)

@nyadrn  As I sit here today, I'm a bit disappointed because I am not at church due to a flare-up of a recent illness I've had.  Feeling a little guilty because, as a main-stream Protestant and "believer," this is the most important season in the church calendar.  Feeling less guilty because I know it cannot be helped but this is an example of how good and bad are infused into the fabric of each of our lives.

 

Messing around on the computer, playing solitaire or answering posts is an activity that takes my mind off of myself and helps pass the time more pleasantly...so here I am reflecting on some obvious truths about life and seeking balance in my own.

 

As I read your response, I felt an "aha" moment!  You succinctly described, in plain words, what life is all about for most of us.  All of the fancy rhetoric and "flowery" esoterica aside, this is why we are all here...to learn simple truths and lessons that move us forward on our spiritual journeys and allow us to appreciate the balance that helps us maintain our "center."

 

As you described, I, too, have focused on other concepts of divining happiness and joy in the past.  What I have found is that they are all distractions from our individual pathways...forks in the road to be tried and many times discarded as impractical sooner rather than later...as we "backtrack" and make necessary "course corrections."  Each journey is individually mapped...there is no "one size fits all" approach, as much as adherents to certain practices would have us believe.  Most suggestions are useful adjuncts for a time and we may adopt certain elements of their practices and take them along with us but to discard everything we have learned about life heretofore so we can make a 180 degree change...I'm going to need a lot more proof before I adopt such a plan and I'm going to use my common sense to evaluate it prior to putting it into practice.  It's just a "theory" after all...and an unproven one at that.

 

Some folks quickly jump on the "bandwagon" of anything "new" and think it's the answer to some emptiness or vague "agitation" they feel in their souls.  It's like the "shiny new object" that diverts their attention from the real world and promises to fill the emptiness they have not yet been able to define.  It's a "new technique" for a quick fix rather than a sure pathway to authentic joy.  ~  JMO.

"Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness." ~ Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Re: Finding Your Joy

[ Edited ]
Message 4 of 44 (1,877 Views)

Prosecco6247 wrote:

Sharing ideas is usually the basis for creating a thread and there are many here who are willing to give expression to their ideas of how to discover "happiness in life."

 

The topic of this thread is about "finding your joy" and specifically referred to the physical, the spiritual or the material.  The OP asked, "What is your purpose left unfulfilled?"

 

There were some interesting responses and many struck a familiar chord.  Of particular interest to me was the comment that being happy all of the time and not experiencing sorrow or bad times could lead one to be less appreciative of the happier and joyful experiences of life.  I think that is true.  To put it more simplistically, having ice cream instead of a nutritious meal will make one happy for a short time, but having it for every meal will lead to disinterest and a total lack of appreciation for the "good" things we like about it.  The contrast is everything...or how do we know what is good and what is bad?  We cannot use our minds to form an opinion if we have not experienced both.

 

I am a bit uncomfortable, though, with a subsequent comment that "all posts in this AARP thread are about circumstantial happiness" and most people mistakenly focus on it.

 

A didactic treatise on happiness may be informative but that kind of esoterica is probably misplaced on a discussion forum such as this one.  

 

The mind control necessary to think only what one "wants to think" and feel only what one "wants to feel" takes years to master, even then, unconscious forces continue to work against 100% control of pure thought & emotion.  It is something only a dedicated few come close to ever achieving...if it were even possible.  

 

I would like to see some empiric evidence that it  IS possible.  I've read many studies which seem to prove the opposite...that our unconscious minds have completed our thoughts before our conscious minds have had a chance to completely form them.

 

Philosophically, it's an interesting question, but probably better left to those with the time untangle all of the problematic issues it entails.  

 

Finding our "unfulfilled purpose" is probably "job one" at this stage of the game...and many of us are having a great time while doing it!  So many choices, so little time!

 


>>

@Prosecco6247  I understand your point..  well taken.  There was a time in my life where I had a lot of stress and issues going on and I spent time journaling and reading about creative visualization and the mind's ability to affect the body in both positive and negative ways.  It is definately possible to reach a point of control over bad feelings in order to negate their effect on you.  It is an interesting area of study but I never desired to reach the point of control that some others have or have interest in.  I believe that life is life with it's good and bad and I would not have missed either in most cases.  I think that loss can teach you like nothing else, to appreciate what we have while we  have it.. other people, youth, good health, friends etc.  I have said before that I am fortunate to have been born with a pretty positive outlook on life and a fairly (not always I know) even temperment.  That said, If no one gave you a  hard time, you would never get a chance to complain to your friends or co-workers.. which can be fun and entertaining and strengthen the bond with others.   LOL

Life's a Journey, not a Destination" Aerosmith
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Re: Finding Your Joy

Message 5 of 44 (1,870 Views)

 

@nyadrn wrote..."Yes I am sure you are right.  That is one of the big benefits of getting together with others, whether it be in person at a  senior center or some group we belong to, or here in a forum sharing ideas, because someone else just might say something that gives us an idea of something that we might try or enjoy.   There is so much out there!"


Sharing ideas is usually the basis for creating a thread and there are many here who are willing to give expression to their ideas of how to discover "happiness in life."

 

The topic of this thread is about "finding your joy" and specifically referred to the physical, the spiritual or the material.  The OP asked, "What is your purpose left unfulfilled?"

 

There were some interesting responses and many struck a familiar chord.  Of particular interest to me was the comment that being happy all of the time and not experiencing sorrow or bad times could lead one to be less appreciative of the happier and joyful experiences of life.  I think that is true.  To put it more simplistically, having ice cream instead of a nutritious meal will make one happy for a short time, but having it for every meal will lead to disinterest and a total lack of appreciation for the "good" things we like about it.  The contrast is everything...or how do we know what is good and what is bad?  We cannot use our minds to form an opinion if we have not experienced both.

 

I am a bit uncomfortable, though, with a subsequent comment that "all posts in this AARP thread are about circumstantial happiness" and most people mistakenly focus on it.

 

A didactic treatise on happiness may be informative but that kind of esoterica is probably misplaced on a discussion forum such as this one.  

 

The mind control necessary to think only what one "wants to think" and feel only what one "wants to feel" takes years to master, even then, unconscious forces continue to work against 100% control of pure thought & emotion.  It is something only a dedicated few come close to ever achieving...if it were even possible.  

 

I would like to see some empiric evidence that it  IS possible.  I've read many studies which seem to prove the opposite...that our unconscious minds have completed our thoughts before our conscious minds have had a chance to completely form them.

 

Philosophically, it's an interesting question, but probably better left to those with the time untangle all of the problematic issues it entails.  

 

Finding our "unfulfilled purpose" is probably "job one" at this stage of the game...and many of us are having a great time while doing it!  So many choices, so little time!

 

"Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness." ~ Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Re: Finding Your Joy

Message 6 of 44 (1,888 Views)

ASTRAEA wrote:

@nyadrn - And yet I bet we have friends & coworkers/former coworkers who don't seem to cultivate any interests to keep them occupied during retirement. Some spend most of their time online with one particular interest, and never broaden their activities.


Yes I am sure you are right.  That is one of the big benefits of getting together with others, whether it be in person at a  senior center or some group we belong to, or here in a forum sharing ideas, because someone else just might say something that gives us an idea of something that we might try or enjoy.   There is so much out there!

Life's a Journey, not a Destination" Aerosmith
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Registered: ‎12-25-2011

Re: Finding Your Joy

Message 7 of 44 (1,890 Views)

@nyadrn - And yet I bet we have friends & coworkers/former coworkers who don't seem to cultivate any interests to keep them occupied during retirement. Some spend most of their time online with one particular interest, and never broaden their activities.


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Treasured Social Butterfly
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Registered: ‎04-07-2015

Re: Finding Your Joy

Message 8 of 44 (1,895 Views)

FVivelo wrote:

We can usefully distinguish two types of happiness (see a book entitled PRAGMATIC RATIONALISM, F.R. Vivelo, 2013): circumstantial happiness and autochthonal happiness. Most people mistakenly focus on the former. In fact, all the posts in this AARP thread are about circumstantial happiness. This sort of happiness is unreliable because it is contingent on external factors outside the individual’s control—such things as financial security, friends and family, satisfying careers, companionship, etc.; in other words, one’s circumstances (hence the name), thus leading to “unhappiness” when some negative changes occur in those circumstances (such as the death of a loved one or a pet, loss of a job, betrayal by friends, financial losses). But the other type of happiness is not dependent on, or affected by, external circumstances. It consists of thinking only what one wants to think and feeling only what one wants to feel, which are the only things under the individual’s control. This concentration on internal matters under our control leads to peace of mind, tranquility, and absence of pain or disturbance or anxiety, what the ancients called “ataraxia.” The ability to attain ataraxia (autochthonal happiness), an internal state not significantly affected by anything external, whether good or bad, was why the ancients said that the wise person could be happy even while being tortured. That may seem a little extreme, but the point is no one can force us to think anything or feel emotions we don’t choose to think or feel. They can hurt us physically or put us in uncomfortable situations, but they can’t “make” us feel sad or angry or resentful or insulted—or anything else. We can choose not to feel those things and remain ataraxic—that is, maintain our peace of mind—in the face of even the most unpleasant external circumstances. This description is perforce simplified and lacking in detail to be convincing; but any reader who consults the longer account will learn that true happiness is within everyone’s grasp regardless of their external circumstances. In short, we choose to be happy (or to be unhappy): we are responsible for our own happiness, which is an internal state that has nothing to do with the external matters or conditions of our lives.


I greatly appreciate this post; this is everything (to use the current colloquialism).

 

Perhaps the best nugget:

"But the other type of happiness is not dependent on, or affected by, external circumstances. It consists of thinking only what one wants to think and feeling only what one wants to feel, which are the only things under the individual’s control. This concentration on internal matters under our control leads to peace of mind, tranquility, and absence of pain or disturbance or anxiety, what the ancients called “ataraxia.” "

 

Huzzbah, @FVivelo! Huzzbah!

 

 

The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical. - Julius Erving
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Posts: 35,643
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Re: Finding Your Joy

Message 9 of 44 (1,893 Views)

This is an interesting topic for a senior board.  I sincerely hope that by this stage of life, people have long ago found those things that made their lives happy and fulfilled and have spent as much time as they can in enjoying those pursuits.  While we may not be able to move to Florida and retire in our forties and fifties, there are many many pursuits that can bring joy and fulfillment long before retirment.  We may find more things and I hope that we do.

 

What do you do that brings joys to your days?  and when did you first begin to enjoy these things?

Life's a Journey, not a Destination" Aerosmith
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Re: Finding Your Joy

Message 10 of 44 (1,908 Views)

BearonaBicycle wrote:

My joy is building community. I have been a member of several non-profit cycling boards and have immensely enjoyed the work these organizations did to reach out and help people. In retirement, I moved to a new community. I saw an absence of a bicycling and bicycle advocacy communities that I am well familiar with and have guided and grown in my pre-retirement life. I initially thought I would say goodbye to that active role, but I knew in my heart it was a spiritual gift that I need to use. I took the horse by the reins and have begun building that cyclist community. I have been overwhelmed by the early response. Indeed, my joy seems to be growing in my new community.


@BearonaBicycle Has anybody told you lately how awesome you are? Smiley Happy

 

 

The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical. - Julius Erving