“Only you know how you feel, and when you stop censoring your emotions, the effect goes far beyond feeling better. Your aim is not to experience only positive emotions. The road to freedom is not through feeling good; it is through feeling true to yourself.” —Deepak Chopra, The Book of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life
Reveling in the beauty of a dahlia’s bloom.
Closing your eyes in pleasure upon savoring a bite of a fresh fruit dessert.
Taking a deep breath of fresh air whilst closing the eyes and dropping your shoulders with a full exhale paired with a spontaneous smile.
Each of these and many more everyday moments hold us in the present moment and give us the clarity to better understand ourselves and then to have the strength to honor our feelings instead of dismissing or minimizing them.
The feelings I speak of fall all over the spectrum. In other words, you may be feeling anger, loneliness or fear, but you may instead be feeling excited and giddy about something that nobody else seems to understand, and when you are honoring your feelings and being true to yourself, you will not dismiss these awesome feelings and instead explore them to see where they lead.
In 2013 I wrote a post exploring the difference between pleasure and joy. As Eckhart Tolle succinctly explains below, joy resides within us. It is up to us to choose to honor who we are in order to experience fully this feeling of joy. I share this reminder today because when you find and experience your true joy, you are home. You’ve made it, and it’s not a permanent place, such as a house or a town or a person you may be in a relationship with, but rather it is how you live your everydays. Feeling at home, once you’ve experienced this feeling of deep joy, isn’t an end-stop, but rather a place we have to continually consciously work to remain in touch with.
“Pleasure is always derived from something outside you, whereas joy arises from within.” —Eckhart Tolle
Which is to say, when we continue to be students of life and tone the skills of self-awareness, presence and strength to be our true selves in the world, we give ourselves more gifts than we may have thought possible, but are actually inevitable when we come home to pure joy that is found within and has always been with us.
Touching on the idea of being your true self and not repressing your emotions, even if they will not be understood by those around you at the moment, the key, as Chopra points out in his book The Book of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Life, is to do so with loving-kindness and integrity. In other words, to share our feelings when they have been previously repressed or censored we don’t attack others and make judgments about them, but rather speak our truth, how we feel, and make the necessary choices of how we move forward and with whom and doing what as we move forward. Chopra explains . . .
“To speak your truth isn’t the same as bursting out with all the unpleasant things you’ve been too afraid or too polite to say. Such outbursts always have a feeling of pressure and tension behind them; they are grounded in frustration; they carry anger and hurt. The kind of truth that comes from [being true to yourself/knowing your true self] is calm; it doesn’t refer to how anyone else is behaving; it brings clarity to who you are.”
To know that being our selves, our true selves, and then honoring our true selves is giving us a feeling of calm, is a place much desired but often hard to believe is possible, but oh, is it true; it is possible and all but guaranteed. We need not attack or hurt others, and while we cannot control how they will feel when we make decisions that our best for us, we can control how we communicate so that we are at peace upon reflection even if in the moment itself is difficult.
However, so often, when discussing being true to ourselves, we focus on the negative feelings we have to express and the people we have to let go, etc., etc. The most exciting part about honoring your true self if that you turn the faucet on and open the gates to let yourself explore the feelings you may have repressed for fear of being laughed at or misunderstood. No longer! Follow that silly, yet hard-to-ignore curiosity about building that business, creating that item, writing about that topic. Go there, see what you have always wondered about, and let yourself revel in the exhilaration of doing what for so long was only a thought, but that now finds you experiencing in real-time.
Below I would like to share with you a handful of ideas Chopra shares in his book to lead you to a feeling of being at home within yourself and experience deeply satisfying and calming joy.
How to find joy within ourselves:
- Don’t live by a timetable of when certain anythings should happen
- No longer censor or deny what you feel
- Let go of self-improvement directives as motivators . . .
- . . . instead seek to strengthen your self-awareness
- Be inspired by others, but don’t follow their life map.
- Let go of the belief that you have to struggle to attain joy
- Follow your desires and passions as they will lead you to your dharma if you are living in self-awareness
- Let your life flow by being open once setting intentions as you move through your days
In my own life, I have discovered that it is easier to let go and trust what will unfold when you are experiencing true joy from within, and what I mean by that is that you are no longer fighting living a life that isn’t congruent with your passions, your loves, your capabilities and your curiosities. You have found a steady, grounding calm, and this is restorative rather than being drained while living an incongruent life.
When you no longer have to shrink or limit or remain quiet about what tickles you, perks up your attention and holds your focus for hours, you don’t stress about tomorrow because you enjoy your todays. It’s not as though each day goes swimmingly, but you have chosen, wholly chosen where you are, and you feel most fortunate to be where you are even with the ‘huh?’ days and the tough days because you know there are far more absolutely wonderful days when you have tapped into your inner joy and found home, a home that can always be with you wherever you may be.
As I will share in November’s A Cuppa Moments, some of the most wonderful events that have happened over the past couple of weeks and months were not forced, were not planned, but rather I had intentions and then let go as the life I was and am living is a joy, and having clarity about what creates my contentment, I knew what to engage with and what to let go should it cross my path as I lived my life whilst being my true self. But more on that on November 1st in our monthly chat in A Cuppa Moments.
Back to the pic capturing breakfast enjoyed on the garden porch this past weekend that is seen above, one of the sweet gifts enjoyed when you find the joy that resides within yourself is that you are able to see the everyday awesomeness around you, and this slows you down, and you begin to learn the beauty of savoring and your life continues to become richer and richer and more deeply fulfilling.
May you find your way home, and may it be with you always.
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22 thoughts on “The Joy of Finding Home Within Yourself”
Hi Shannon. I wanted you to know what an inspiration you have been. I needed a small table lamp and while roaming around a local consignment shop I saw a wonderful living room chair. I thought to myself …”now that is a Shannon chair”! Good bones great design and oodles of potential. It works so nicely with my decor and I smile each time I walk past it. Thank you for always inspiring!
Thank you for sharing with me and what a lovely find! So tickled your sanctuary welcomes you home each time and sparks smiles as well. 🙂
I have discovered, not always in good ways, what I need to live my best life. I choose to do and experience things that support my well-being. One of my absolute life-affirming events is to walk our local conservatory. The long-term exhibits, some over 100 years old, prove that the right conditions, the correct ongoing care, and the volunteer and financial support of the community remind me of my obligation to our ecosystem. Each visit is like meeting an old friend. Today the current Fall show was the support I needed after some difficult news. The flowers and interactive displays for the children were heartwarming. For most of us, learning what home means to us, takes much time and reflection. Finding that joy and centering of our soul is the result of a life lived with purpose and introspection. Thank you for this post today Shannon, coming home is always the best feeling for me.
Sending love, Lucy, and hope that you have been able to relax and recover your balance and peace of mind after your difficult news .
It was lovely to read of the pleasure you find in your conservatory .
With best wishes from the UK
Thank you, Anne, for your kind words and for this forum where support and honesty provide us each with a sense of joy.
Oh Shannon, love this post. I have been feeling unsettled the past month or so. Nothing I could pin down specifically just some events/moments that shook my world a little. Your post was so appropriate and as usual put my thoughts into well expressed words. I have been examining my true self lately and being honest with others so they understand where I stand. I feel calmer, as you mentioned and life for me is getting back on track. Scout and me had a lovely hike today in the mountains, the aspens were almost over but it was sunny and cooler, being out in nature soothed my soul as always. This post has been added to my favorites, for rereading when needed. Have a great week.
Josanne your hike sounds lovely. Nature is healing better than a lot of medicines and it’s there for the taking. Make the most of it. Kameela?
Josanne, I hope that you have been able to find your calm centre again, and that you are feeling more settled.
We have all lived through so many changes in the past few years because of the pandemic, and it has taken its toll in many different ways.
I think we all look at life differently now, and some of the changes we have made don’t always resonate with others , even those dear to us .
I hope you are able to enjoy another hike in the mountains again this weekend ?
Anne, thank you so much for your kind comments. Yes, the pandemic changed all of us in big or small ways, hopefully for the better. Have a great weekend.
Thank you Shannon for this post. So appreciated. I read it twice and might have to return to it again as it reminded me that the work to remain in touch with one’s true self is ongoing. I’m experiencing a painful family situation though happily not an illness. I thought I knew where home is but I’ve had to dig deep in the last few weeks to remind myself that my joy in life is created by ME. I will not be crushed. A life without joy is not a life. Like Lucy I choose to do and experience the things that support my well being (well put Lucy).
Sending you much love and support as you navigate through the events. You have a powerful grounding inner strength as you have shared, and I appreciate your sharing all that you have. Thank you for your vulnerability and trusting us in this space. 🙂 xoxo
Merçi beaucoup Shannon for your kind response. Means a lot to me.
Kameela, sorry to hear you are going through a family situation, that is the root of my having to as you said ‘dig deep’. We love them but they can be challenging at times. Thank you for your comment, I love this supportive community that Shannon created.
I’m so sorry for your troubles Kameela. The peaks and valleys of life never cease to surprise me these days. Our inner peace, the stability that keeps us in balance is hardwon. While you use all the coping mechanisms at your disposal know that my thoughts are with you.
Thank so much Lucy. You’re absolutely right -having to strive for our inner peace and balance. It’s on going. I think we could never find our inner peace if it was plain sailing.Grateful for yours and other members support. Xx
Ah, Kameela , I’m late to reading Shannon’s posts this week , so have only just read your comment.
Sending love and so many good wishes for the painful family situation to be resolved ………and for you to hold a steady centre of trust and hope .
Sometimes we are stronger than we know , until we have to face something which rocks our world .
Being able to dig deep into our inner reserves , somehow we manage to keep taking one step after the other , one day at a time , and find that our inner joy is still there, patiently waiting for us to recognise it again .
All things pass, but love endures ❤️
Blessings to you and your family , peace be with you
x Anne x
Anne hope you’re well. That you for your kind and thoughtful message. I thought as one progressed in age that life becomes less complicated. Not so! In the end it is how we approach the situation. You put it so beautifully. “The inner joy is still there and it’s the very thing waiting to be recognised again”. I truly believe that it’s this which helps us to move forward. Indeed one day at a time. That’s my approach .Staying true to myself and never losing hope. I am keeping busy and doing the things which bring me do much joy. Take care.
Love. Kameela xx❤
Chère Kameela, my love and support to you as you travel through this event. You deserve joy, you deserve peace, you deserve to be you, unfettered by someone else’s dross. Whatever your joy is, wherever your joy is, do that, be there. And know that we hold and honor space for you in our hearts. xoxo Rona
Merçi bien ma chère Rona. I am touched by your and every one else’s response . It means a lot to me. Isn’t this a beautiful space to share and care. A beautiful community. If we dare to reach out we receive in abundance.
You’re right I (we) all deserve joy and we must not allow ourselves to be robbed of it. Unfettered dross describes it perfectly. I have saved this post to my favourites and will be re-reading it again multiple times I’m sure. Merçi encore et gros bisous . Kameela xx❤
Thank you Josanne. Yoy’re so right when you say”wr l9ve tgem but tgey can be cgallenging at times”.It looks like we’re experiencing a similar situation. But, how wonderful that Shannon has created a beautiful space for us to share and support each other. Sharing is caring xx
Oops! Excuse those typos?
Shannon, thank you for this lovely, well-written and thoughtful post, it has been saved to my favorites. ❤️Rona