“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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