“Why are you so enchanted by this world, when a mine of gold lies within you?” ~Rumi
Happiness, love, and joy—we spend our lives in search of them. To experience these things, we often turn to the outside world. You could be looking for a relationship, a job, a vacation abroad or a new vehicle. These are the things we can chase and believe that when we cross everything off our bucket list, they will all be ours.
But what if I shared with you that all of this—happiness, love, and joy—exists in you right now? It’s that simple. YouThey are the source of all external goods. Would you believe that living in love and joy all the time is your natural state?
Would you think I’m full of BS? That I’m living in a hippie Never-Never Land?
I would like to share with you some simple exercises which helped me find my authentic self.
Exercise 1: The Love Wave
Take a moment to close your eyes, and connect with someone in your life who could benefit from some love. You can smile into their faces and embrace them with a big, warm hug.
Let the love flow. Let this love flow. Allow it to flourish and surround you. You can then send your love out, spreading love around the globe. This place of flowing affection is yours to return to at any moment.
Do this immediately and you can continue reading.
I hope you had an amazing experience with love. Let me ask you a question. From where did your love come? You, the person in your mind?
You were the one who gave it. It was the one you saw that helped you find love. Your love is all around you. It is possible to imagine many things that will unlock this feeling. You can imagine a happy baby or play time with your pet or even a world of peace. These are the key to unlocking the love you truly feel inside.
You have access to this love at any moment. This is your inner being. You are who it is.
This is how I start my mornings. It is best done in the early morning, after I have finished my morning meditation. Open your windows or front door and breathe in the fresh morning air. Close your eyes, take a deep breath and get started. It’s a wonderful way to get started in the morning.
Exercise 2: Gift of Giving
A man approached me one day while I was looking in a bookstore. The man had silvery-white hair, and was wearing a thin, beige sweater. He handed me a chocolate rose and said, “Have a beautiful day,” I was taken aback. Was he trying to poison me? Did he want to poison me or was he just trying? Did he want to hurt me? I reluctantly took the chocolate rose and said, “Thank you.”
My discomfort was noticed by the clerk who explained that the man bought a dozen chocolate roses each day to give out to strangers. It was like I felt extraordinary.
It was many years ago that this happened. Despite my initial feeling of discomfort, I still remember the man fondly. Everyone in the town was saddened when he passed away. The local paper published a glowing tribute to him. His gift of a chocolate rose had brought joy to the lives of many residents.
Pick a day of the week to give someone a present. It doesn’t have to be a physical gift, though it can be. You could give a compliment or your full attention to someone, or just a smile.
Don’t expect anything in return. What was my reaction to this old man? Sometimes you might not be greeted with gratitude. You can practice giving.
Notice how you feel after the day. The day was spent leaving footprints of heart wherever you go. Do you feel this brought you joy? Are you feeling the joy or are you getting it from others?
Exercise 3: The Vulcan Mind Meld
All of us have our own goals and expectations. These are essential. But what happens when we can’t fulfill them? If we don’t get that promotion or find our perfect mate? This can lead to depression and disillusionment. How can this be prevented?
Imagine yourself in ten years. Close your eyes. Your future self should have the thing that you think will bring happiness. It could be money, kids or power. Or something entirely different. Pay attention to how you feel. Perhaps you feel secure and confident. Perhaps you feel important and loved. Let it grow, whatever you think. It is yours to experience. Enjoy it.
Next, pay attention to how you feel. Then bring back your image of today. Consider what is already in your possession that you find fulfilling.
Maybe you don’t have kids, but you have amazing friends. Perhaps you wanted more income, but are able to afford what you already enjoy. Find the abundance in you right now. Keep going until your “present self” feels the same as your “future self.”
It’s almost like a mind meld—make those two beings one. Relax and enjoy the wonder of it all. Open your eyes when you feel ready.
This is a good place to start before you read any further.
Is it possible to feel content?
We experience pain and despair when we view our life from the perspective of being insufficient. Our minds are constantly searching for what will make our lives happy. Rather than focusing on the things you don’t have, try living from a place of fullness. You already have an abundance of things to enjoy and appreciate—you just have to change your perspective.
All that security, love, confidence, happiness, and joy you saw in the vision of your “future self” is accessible right now. All that you have ever experienced is available to you right now. Happiness is about recognizing the abundance and fullness in your life. You will find that the only thing you don’t achieve is your goal.
I refer to the belief that we need external things to be happy as “the big lie.” Because when we finally finish off our checklist of life’s “wants,” we often experience “the great disappointment.” The list doesn’t bring us the happiness we thought it would. It’s not the source. We are.
These are often the results of people becoming suddenly rich. People believe they’ll be happier. They are surprised when they aren’t. A lot of money can lead to many problems.
Exercise #4: A Gratitude Nap
You are able to see the beauty in your current life.
Relax and lie down. As many pillows or blankets you need.
You can set the timer to three minutes.
In those three minutes, list out all the things that you are thankful for. It’s a bit difficult at first. You don’t need to make every item very large. Be grateful for the couch you’re lying on, the length of your hair, sand on the beach. You can do anything.
Set an intention after the three-minutes to open your heart to all that is available to you. Accept as much as you possibly can.
Rest for ten minutes. Notice at the end of the “nap” how you feel. I’m willing to bet you feel a lot lighter after basking in the glow of all your life’s goodness.
So much time is spent coping with pressures in life, that it’s easy to forget the important things that bring us joy and love. We become cloaked in layers of traumas and life experiences that have shaped our nature.
Ayurvedic medicine says you have the ability to shine so brightly that darkness cannot hold. This light is right now within you. You are your true self. This needs to be released.
Here are some tips to get the joy, love and light you truly desire:
- Get started with the love wave exercise.
- You can make it a point to accomplish one thing every day that brings you joy.
- Living life in abundance and fullness is better than living it down.
- Practice gratitude.
These beautiful exercises were shared with me by my teachers, whom I want to express my gratitude. Feel free to pass them on.
About Jennifer Agugliaro
Jennifer Agugliaro is an Ayurvedic practitioner, meditation instructor, energy healer and spiritual mentor originally from western Canada. Now residing in central NJ, she is the owner of 7 Chakras Wellness, where she offers holistic healing with a specialty in women’s health. Jennifer also has an online community where you can find both free and paid courses that will help heal your body, mind and spirit. Her natural methods foster peace and happiness, long-lasting wellbeing, harmony, and joy.
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Tiny Buddha published the post Four Simple Heart-Opening Exercises that Fill You With Joy, Love and Light