Invoking joy – My mindfulness focus this week is inspired by my Corgi, Luna and my grandson, Leo. This is Luna sitting by the tunnel which allowed her to run under the pumpkins to a formerly blocked part of the yard. See that smile on her face? It was delightful watching her run back and forth through the living tunnel. But even without pumpkin tunnels, dogs are joyful most of the time and they invoke that spontaneous feeling in their human families. We expect it and aren’t surprised by it.
Earlier this week, when my grandson Leo was asked to take out the trash, he jokingly pointed out that his dog Sasha doesn’t have any chores. I responded that her job, as a dog, is to invoke joy. He immediately said, “I invoke joy!” And it is true. He does! Often! But it seems harder to consistently tune into joy with our humans than with our dogs. Why is that?
Dogs are kind of the “low hanging fruit” on the tree of joy. Humans and the rest of life present many more obstacles. Like all the focus practices, it can be a matter of perspective and training our brains to tune into joy.
I deliberately chose “invoke joy” and not simply the word “joy” for this week’s practice because I wanted more action. There is a tuning in and also a cultivating of joy. My practice this week is to be aware of that unscripted joyful process that just bubbles up when I am with Luna and actively push it out into other areas of my life. Join me this week with invoking joy.