Saturday, October 4, 2014


As infants we spontaneously kicked our legs, wiggled our toes and squealed joyfully.  But as we get older we seem to express this great feeling of being alive less and less. Sure, we may have good times but we may not allow ourselves to feel joy as often and fully as we might; aging seems to stunt our happiness potential. 

Perhaps we become afraid to spontaneously feel joy or begin to think that you’re not entitled to feel so good without a specific reason.  If you've become captured by such ideas, my suggestion is not to let them stand in your way.  Allow yourself the freedom to experience joy, unconditionally – for no reason at all.

What’s at stake is your full aliveness.  At core we’re beings with great loving and joyous capacities that need regular expression.  If we don’t express the full depth of ourselves, the experience of living can become very dry. We may feel a constant hunger for something which never comes, because we’re seeking something outside ourselves when it’s experiencing our own soul that we’re in need of.  And love and joy are two powerful ways in which we may experience our deepest soul-self.

To experience more joy, we don’t have to undergo years of psychotherapy or have a near-death experience.  We can do it right now - for no reason at all! Simply take a deep breath, and then as you exhale throw up your arms and jump toward the sky and squeal with total abandon. Any child feels free enough to do this, and so we should too; there’s no age limit for experiencing one’s joyful spirit.

If others are around and it seems inappropriate, you may still do it secretly in your mind’s eye – visualize yourself jumping for joy through a sunshiny meadow.  The effect will be the same.   

Goodness and joy to all, Joseph.


Thursday, September 25, 2014


Most of us read volumes of words weekly, if not daily.  And for the most part our reading serves a good purpose.  It keeps us informed and helps us run our lives.  However, there's a special way of reading we may not often do that is contemplative.  When we read this way, we rapidly expand and grow.   

When we read contemplatively, we don't just read the material; we engage it fully and at our deepest level.  We read more deliberately and review material as many times as we may need to; we pause to more clearly visualize the material and to relate it to our experience; we ponder not just what was said, but also what wasn't said; we sense and examine our own reactions as well as an author's motives and intentions.  Further, we explore the many directions of thought that may arise from all these deliberations.

A contemplative reading approach allows us not only to absorb information more thoroughly, it also expands our capacity to perceive and think -- we have a high-impact-reading-experience that transforms as well as informs us.

With this approach, what matters is not how much we read or how fast we read, but how much we expand through reading.

Goodness and joy to all, Joseph.