Joy is Right Before Your Very Eyes! Here’s How to Open them.
So often, we are seeking some mysterious answers above and beyond our own understanding such as the path to happiness or the answers to some problem we have; all the while the answer is right there for us in front of our very eyes! It is hidden in plain sight!
It’s time to open your eyes!
Have you ever had a moment so simple and seemingly small, yet it resonated with love and gratitude? It is as if you had seen the secret of life itself?
Perhaps it was a glorious sunset, or a flower opening. Maybe it was feeling a sudden cool breeze on a warm day or a pocket of warm air on a chilly day.
Perhaps a smile suddenly lighting up a young child’s face!
The Buddhists call this Tathata (translated literally as” thatness” or “thusness”). They see it as the true nature and power of reality in any given moment.
I want to share with you how focusing on the concept of Tathata can help you live joyfully.
The Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh explained this phenomenon:
“People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth.”
“Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child – our own two eyes. All is a miracle.”
When we are looking for happiness, so often we are looking for the perfect situation, for the stars to align on our behalf, waiting for the perfect job, to reach our sales numbers, or for that perfect person to walk into our lives and sweep us off of our feet; but in fact, happiness is already right there, right before our eyes, waiting to be discovered. And when we do discover it, science itself tells us that the external factors we are waiting on to bring us joy instead come as natural consequences of us already having joy. For example, you are more likely to attract a significant other when you have a smile on your face because you live joyfully!
So, what is the key to tathata? It is the power of observation, of gratitude, of living with an attitude of wonder.
Here are 3 steps to open your eyes to the joy right in front of your very eyes!
Step 1: Open your Eyes and Notice the Details!
During your day, take the time and effort to notice and enjoy the details around you. Finding Joy is truly about noticing the details, for the reality is there is beauty in the details, and small things do become great. This can be done through all the senses: sight, sound, taste, smell, touch.
When you are listening to a loved one, notice the beautiful specks of color in their eyes, or the unique tamber of their voice. Or take a moment to feel the softness of a flower petal between your fingertips, and when you slip into bed, the softness and slight tickle of the sheets on your skin.
Sometimes this will be easy, sometimes a little harder.
For example, a few days ago it was observing sounds, sights and smells of the powerful waves of the ocean splashing high as they pounded the rocky shoreline.
This morning it was noticing the bold pink of my cherry yogurt contrasted with the granola it surrounded.
Whatever it is, notice it!
Step 2: Soak it All in with an Attitude of WONDER!
Once you have noticed the details, soak it in! Choose to LIVE that moment. Appreciate it. Live it fully! Record it in your memory banks to relive later or better yet, take a photo or video that will serve in the future as a portal to relive that moment.
Become as a little child. Fill your heart with wonder and awe at the things that surround you. Living with an attitude of wonder allows you to soak in the wonder of every day living as you explore the world around you.
Not only does this creates a strong sense of engagement and interest (the true antidote to boredom) but it also leads to self-discovery and joy.
This works with wonderful things, AND it also helps with other emotions. Choosing to feel and observe difficult emotions not only allows us to experience the rich fullness of life, but also to move past difficult moments. That will then open up the place for peace.
Step 3: Give Gratitude for What You See
When you notice these moments of tathata, share your gratitude.
If you believe in God, say a prayer of gratitude for what you just experienced! Or thank the object of wonder itself.
“Thank you beautiful sun, for sending your rays of light millions of miles to warm my skin!”
Living with gratitude in your heart will open up your life to joy and wonder.
Perhaps the most satisfying and powerful way of living these moments is to share your gratitude to those around you, especially your loved ones! Telling your young daughter how beautiful her smile is will not just magically reveal it, but will also fill you with joy and wonder because you realize that you get to have her smile as part of your life! And it will light other’s hearts with joy and wonder, not just for the characteristics you noticed in them, but also in what they will see in you! And they too, will have the chance to live in gratitude and wonder because you light up their life by appreciating the little things about them! This will enrich your relationships, which will in turn bring you greater joy and fulfillment.
I challenge you to take the effort to do these three steps for the next 7 days and see how it affects your levels of joy. I promise you will find greater fulfillment as you do.
And don’t forget to comment!
Remember, it’s the little things before you that can give you joy. Tathata.
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