musings from Canadian author Cheryl Cooke Harrington ... home of The Write Spot

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

on joyfulness...

For the last few years I've started each day with a written Metta meditation. There are times when it's a struggle, when the day's expectations loom large or the morning is dark, snowy, and cold. But my notebook draws me in. Each fresh page with its twenty-three neat ruled lines gives me focus. And I begin…

May I be healthy and strong.
May I be safe and protected.
May I be peaceful…

I write on, filling one page of my notebook each day in a seven day cycle. On day two I write for my home and my family, on day three for my neighbourhood, then my city, country, planet Earth, and finally the entire Universe and all planes of existence.

In the early days of my practice, there were often a few free lines left at the bottom of the page but now my words almost always spill into the margins. I like this new exuberance, this breaking free. And I've discovered something about oft-repeated written words. For me, they begin to look and feel like their meanings. I savour each word as it flows from my pen. And the best word of all? Joyful. The rush of lightness in its loops and curls gives me an almost physical jolt of pleasure. I sometimes find myself anticipating joyful when I should be concentrating on another sentence. This concerns me a bit. In meditation, we're supposed to let go, cease grasping, release worldly thoughts, and simply be. And yet, what better way to start each day than with an abiding sense of wonder and joy?

When I thought about how to express this feeling, I began looking through my photo library and came up with a few images that, for me, perfectly define joyfulness.

Peace and Joy
(Quiet and still, beauty in nature.)

Reflected Joy
Sunlight sparkles on water, reflects on feathers
and, oh, those adorable orange feet!)

Boundless Joy
(My grandchildren at play.)

Thank you for reading and may you find your perfect joy.

Labels: , , , , ,


At 8:23 pm, Blogger Fran McNabb said...

What a beautiful blog entry. I love the way you start your day and admire you for doing so. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful, peaceful, and yes, joyful, endeavor.

At 7:36 am, Blogger Joanne Guidoccio said...

What a lovely practice! I journal--off and on--with morning pages, but I like the consistency of your method.

At 10:22 am, Blogger Cheryl said...

Thanks so much for stopping by Fran and Joanne. There's an added bonus to morning meditation I didn't mention - it's great for lowering the blood pressure.

At 7:07 pm, Anonymous Susan McNicoll said...

This is beautiful Cheryl and I love the word joyful, which of course I see in Jay a lot when he is just loving something so much. Good for you for coming up with this idea. May your joyfulness continue in abundance.

At 7:27 pm, Blogger Cheryl said...

Yes, Susan, our cats are definitely joyful beings. Well, most of the time. ;-) Thanks for reading!

At 9:53 am, Blogger Sandy Cody said...

A beautiful post, Cheryl - and a beautiful way to begin your day. Thanks for sharing.

At 10:21 am, Blogger Cheryl said...

Thank you, Sandy!

At 12:01 pm, Blogger Sheila Seabrook said...

I was just writing in my journal when I got sidetracked by your post, Cheryl. (just a wee bit of a focus issue this morning :-) ) I love your consistency and how each day of the week expands your world a little more. I may steal a page from your notebook (no pun intended). Thanks for a glimpse into your joyful morning routine!

At 12:25 pm, Blogger Sydell Voeller said...

Cheryl, how lovely. Thanks for sharing. I can't help but thinking that the word joyful is indeed your mantra.

At 9:09 pm, Blogger Cheryl said...

Thanks for stopping by to share the joy, Sheila and Sydell. I highly recommend it to calm and centre at the start of the day. Love the idea of joy as my mantra!


Post a comment

<< Home