I want to talk to you today about joy. We all know what joy is. Joy is, “Yay!!!” We rejoice in goodness.
Joy is rejoicing in goodness.
One level above joy is ownership.
Joy vs. Ownership
Joy is like, “Look how beautiful this place is? I’m enjoying it so much.”
Ownership is, “I own this place.”
Joy is being in a really good space. Like, “I’m in a good place in my life, therefore I feel joy.”
Ownership is having the space— you don’t have to go to it or find it— you have it.
You have the space that always gives you joy.
Joy is feeling the goodness that’s around you.
Ownership is owning what’s making everything good.
When you own your joy, you own a part of yourself, that is priceless and magical. It’s an ancient part of your soul that makes you smile.
In indigenous cultures, they practiced using this ancient part of their soul that made them smile.
We, as modern people, don’t understand that— how someone who has nothing can smile like that. We don’t understand how kids in a dirt hut smile like they’re billionaires.
And indigenous people don’t understand how billionaires don’t smile with their souls— even kids in a dirt hut can smile?
Definition of Joy
That’s what we are going to talk about today— not joy as an experience, or joy as a moment of goodness— but as this natural, innate, ancient part of who you are.
Please write in your journal:
Joy is a part of me (like my liver or my arm). It is the ancient part of my soul… that makes me smile.
Last week we talked about how coal under tedious pressure becomes a diamond. Dust, under tedious pressure, becomes a pearl. Serving and caring for others under tedious pressure becomes a sacred heart.
Ancient people understood how to become an owner of joy.
They realized that working hard with your bare hands, doing it yourself, creating something original of your own— under tedious pressure, becomes joy— not the feeling of joy— the owning of joy.
That is why they handmade everything. The ancient Hawaiians would pound kapa— tree bark— into fabric cloth. This took weeks. They would also sculpt fish hooks from whale bones. They spent years memorizing sacred chants. Hours and hours, days, weeks, months, years— they spend doing repetitive manual labor by hand, by mouth, by memorization— until they were experts in their crafts.
This gave them immense ownership of their joy. The part of their soul that made them smile.
Owning Joy Takes Years
Owning your joy— to be a full owner of your joy— takes years and years. Just like making a diamond takes years and years. It doesn’t come overnight. It takes 15, 20, 30— sometimes 50 years— for the joy within you to become refined.
Like how coal is refined into diamonds…
Like how dust is refined into pearls…
The feeling of joy is crude raw material.
Joy has to be refined into something hard and permanent that lasts forever.
Over time, under tedious pressure, as you practice over and over, how to create the experience that brought you the feeling of joy in the first place— you go…
From enjoying joy to owning joy.
Your capacity goes from being able to feel joy— to owning it, outright.
Do you remember a time when you worked really really hard and you built or made something yourself? Please write that in your journal.
How did you feel, when you were done and sharing it with others?
For example, did you raise a child? Do you remember when that child graduated from elementary school? Or college? Or when they got married?
Do you remember how proud and how happy you were? Why? It’s because you didn’t just feel joy.
You felt ownership of that joy— you created it. It was years in the making. Every bit of that experience, every part of it was yours.
That’s owning your joy. It’s really really having it. Not just enjoying it. Having it.
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