Close your eyes.
No wait… read the sentence I am going to provide to you below… THEN close your eyes. I am going to ask you to think about the prompt for a good 60 seconds. Take the time to fully remember all of the shiny details, fully present sensations, and environmental surroundings, all of it. Ya’ready?
Pick a memory where you experienced pure joy.
(now close your eyes)
Welcome back. I happen to like that little mental exercise. Granted, it takes me two minutes to complete this one. The first minute is always spent fervently searching for a memory that I deem sweet enough for the label of “joy” Big assignment, joy.
As you all know, emotions can be perceived physically too. So where is it ON YOUR BODY that you happen to feel joy? For me, it is this triangle shape that starts at the back of my throat and branches out across my chest. This delightful cone of sensation feels like it is filled to the brim with helium; warm and lighter than air. It has a flavor, too. It is faint but it is almost tastes like grandma’s snickerdoodle cookies. There is a little tang of excitement mixed that cone of lovely feelings.
Now, I’d like to introduce you to one of my favorite Yogis. It is a man named Sadhguru. He hit the nail on the head when he said, “If you want joy, you have to turn inward because that is where it is generated.”
If you’re like me, you will sit on that profound sentence for a while. It is inside. Joy comes from within. I know, I know. You are going to tell me, “Wait Monica, hold up. Joy was in the moment. You made me think about the moment for a full minute, remember? It was the moment that brought me those feelings of joy. It wasn’t me.” Well, sorry to be so contrary friend but that is where you are wrong. You are the generator of joy here and you always have been.
Sadhguru goes on to say, “Pain or pleasure, joy or misery, agony or ecstasy, happens only inside you. Human folly is that people are always trying to extract joy from the outside. You may use the outside as a stimulus or trigger, but the real thing always comes from within.”
Kind of a mic drop moment, isn’t it? The feeling is created by me alone. Once I realized the magnitude of this information, I wanted to find a way to actually USE it. I’ve got that joy joy joy joy down in my heart (where?) down in my heart. So how do I get it out more often?
That’s where the dog clicker comes in. Stay with me; it is so crazy that it may actually work.
Have you ever noticed that you experience a multitude of emotions in a single day? Maybe you wake up with contemplation, have moments of frustration, followed by brief little bubbles of interest/anxiety/happiness/confusion, and a giggle or two sprinkled in here and there. And yet, when you crawl into bed at night, you only seem to remember the stuff that was complicated?
But what if, instead, you marked your moments of joy? THAT is what I was interested in. I wanted to prove their existence. I want tangible evidence of my work. So I bought a dog clicker. One of those simple handheld devices used as “marker training” to mark a desired behavior in a dog. Fits in my pocket and is the size of a car key.
I know, I know, I am smarter than a dog.
This is how I use it. Whenever I have a moment where I feel that physical sensation of joy, I pull that clicker out of my pocket and give a little CLICK-CLICK. Remember when I asked you where it is in your body that you physically feel the sensation of joy? That’s the clicker trigger.
At first, my coworkers thought my clicker training was weird. I would be sitting at my desk in silence and out of seemingly nowhere… CLICK-CLICK. No explanation, no words necessary. Maybe it was a completed task with no drama. Maybe it was a funny email with a happy outcome. My coworkers never knew. However, once they came to understand what I was up to, a funny thing started to take place. We would be working in silence and I would CLICK-CLICK. Then all of my coworkers would start laughing. They didn’t know what happened to make me happy but they knew that I was happy. And boy, does that joy spread.
At the end of the day, I will reflect on my messy life like I have done a thousand times before. Only after my training, the reflection is slightly different. A tiny voice will speak up and say, “Hey Monica – do you remember that you used the clicker 3x times today?” Then I will pause to remind myself that joy is still here. It is still part of my daily experience. It is alive, inside, and I still know how to make its presence known.
“If you choose, you can be joyful in this moment. You just have to make this choice.” – Sadhguru
Thanks for stopping by.
I like our little chats.