We can make it easier.

The joy note in life is the real note. It is higher than pleasure or even happiness. No man can have this joy without being his best and giving his best to others, meeting life undaunted and unafraid, facing bravely its trials, its sorrows, its cares, its tragedy, its pain and its loss. These are real things to us, that dull and deaden and silence the joy note in even the bravest for a time, but they do not last forever. Much of them comes from our own wrong-doing, our own blindness, thoughtlessness and unknowing, from the wrong or weakness of those around us or from the evils of the larger world of humanity.

Life is not easy, but we can make it easier. The joy note will help, it will give us clearer heads and truer hearts….

We start out in the morning not realizing that we have been born anew, have a new start in life as though it were a new first birthday. Of course there are some mortgages left over from yesterday, but there are some dividends as well. Why should we take up our burdens of cares, worries, fears, duties and responsibilities as though we were hoisting to our shoulder the groaning, heavy pack of a peddler? We grow round-shouldered, and old and bent, physically, mentally, morally, emotionally and spiritually in peddling our pack of woes to others, instead of scattering sunshine and smiles, laughter and roses, joyous service and gladsome inspiration along the road that others may find them.” ~ William George Jordan

I’ve often wondered what it would be like were all those who manage to bring joy into our complicated and often confusing world to hang up their hats one day. Would it quickly turn into a cold and desolate winter, where inspiration was hard to come by? Or would the vacuum be cause for others who don’t normally share the load to step up to the plate and start giving more of themselves?

My guess is that we would have another dark age, where suspicion and superstition eclipse trust and truth.

Today is a new day. You are a new person. Everyone you know is different in some way than they were yesterday – physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually. Why overlay the burdens of yesterday upon the perfectly new pattern of today?
Take a chance and look to see all things in a new way. But don’t stop there! Look to make all things new in the world around you. See yourself as the spice of life, rather than sitting around waiting for someone else to do the job. Even if newness means not doing something today that you have done up until now, just do (or don’t do) that!
There will be those days, those moments, those periods where the circumstances of life seem to conspire against the experience of joy in your world. Don’t give them more weight than they deserve (which is none)! Look instead to find every little opening for the release of joy into the world around you.
Life will not magically become easier. You have to make it so!

What’s new?

A friend of mine likes to ask “What’s new” when he sees someone for the first time each day. I’ve noticed that most people answer “nothing much” or “same old same old” and rarely do they elaborate on what is actually new in their lives.

Whether or not the question is intended to be rhetorical in nature, I wonder how often we stop to consider what is actually new in our lives? What is new in your life today? Does a list suddenly come to mind that you’d love to share? Or do you have to stop to think about it for a while before you eek out a thin but eager answer?

The new things in life are often how windows of opportunity are packaged. It’s easy to overlook them, especially if you are stuck in a mode of droning along, like a good little worker bee. Even if nothing is new in the circumstances round about, every day provides a fresh canvas upon which you can express yourself in new ways. Just because your circumstances are stale doesn’t mean that you have to be!

You’ve no doubt heard the statement which goes something like this: “If you are bored, you are boring.” While that may not always be the case, boredom is often the result of the prolonged experience of sameness. Sameness, in turn, is often produced by habitual reactions to the world’s happenings. If, therefore, you change up your habits of reaction, you are likely to enjoy a new experience, even if all other things are held equal.

When my friend asks me “What’s new” my first response is, “Well, everything!” I suspect he gets a kick out of that reply as much for its uncommonness as for what is to follow in conversation. The recognition of newness is the first step to experiencing a more vibrant, dynamic and influential life.

So…what’s new with you?