When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves

Buddha

There are moments in our meetings when I scream the word “joy”, as it’s read out in the meetings. On several occasions I have been called out for startling those with neurodiverse conditions, complimented and given strange looks.

In it’s definition joy is “elation or happiness” – or more precisely the feeling of “elation or happiness”

As I walk around the Autumn with all the colours come out, I often wonder why peoples faces, the weather, fashion, the emotions I receive and responses I get, can be so grey.

When was the last time you physically expressed your happiness?

For so long my emotional state and wellbeing was that sense of grey. And with the greyness around me and the dullness of life I was lost in a great big grey blanket where even if gratitude or joy existed it was like a very small light in a very big and dark room.

It seemed futile to express it in a world where there was little emotional frivolity or variability.

A smile could seem so hard to come across in lockdown. As I browsed the gay catalogue Grindr I was more likely to see an ass, a frown or a penis more than I was a smile or expression of joy.

And I held back with purpose. But also on what I was feeling. In the process of receiving never ending feedback that I was inconsistent, sad, depressed, confused, unfriendly, basically, imperfect, there was little joy to find in myself.

Joy in a footstep *crunch*

As the autumn has come I’ve long waited for the moment to run through a big pile of crunchy leaves and listen out for that small moment of joy. That feeling of the leaves crumpling to dust, the sound of the crunch, the sight of leaves floating into the air as I run through the pile.

The colours change from blue, white and green into an explosion of reds, oranges and browns, the long sunsets and sunrises coming through the new season.

The colours of autumn

Be someone else’s joy

I was holding a long conversation with a fellow who listed out a long list of health complaints, relationship complaints, recovery complaints, life complaints. Sometimes life is hard. And I felt guilty in the moment for being giddy with joy and completely unpresent in someone’s moment of sadness.

But as I have learned to let go my anxieties, the thoughts which are trying to make me control something, and release it. I am able to clear my mind and let the heart take over.

And then comes the time to dance in the rain. And become that little candle of joy in the big dark room. Let one candle light another.

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