What We Know for Sure About Bugs, Butterflies and Joy

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“Noticing and releasing our feelings as they come up keeps the ‘windshield of our mind’ clear. This lets in more light and allows us to experience life, less through the lens of our personal ‘stuff’,and more through the lens of openness and wholeness.”

R.K. & M.M.G.

When we are born it’s as if we are given a car to take us through life and this car has a shiny clean windshield. Then one day we are going along and someone says something unkind to us. “Ping,” it’s as if a bug has attached itself to the glass. A little later down life’s road something beautiful happens and we cling to that good feeling. “Ping,” a butterfly has attached itself to the glass. Before we know it, our shiny clean windshield is covered with bugs and butterflies.  Now, when we encounter someone or something, our experience of it is changed because we are seeing it through the filter of our buggy windshield.

Avoiding the bad and clinging to the good alters how we experience our NOW. The painful events become magnified because they remind us of past painful events. And clinging too tightly to past joys can keep us from experiencing new joys.

Our mind’s natural state is one of quiet. When our mind is quiet we experience less stress and anxiety because there is less “noise” demanding our attention and energy. We become more “present” in each moment and this leads to more joy, more clarity, and more “flow”. In those beautiful moments when our “inner radio” is quiet, our consciousness, our awareness, and our capacities are expanded.


Notice, Name, Relax, Release

We are so excited to introduce you to a practice we call “Notice, Name, Relax, Release.” We,  Rebecca and Marilyn, have found it to be life-changing.

  • You Notice your feelings as they come up.
  • You Name what it is you are feeling. I’m feeling… anxious/tense/afraid/fatigued/happy/insecure/nervous/irritated/angry/annoyed/content/sad/proud.
  • You Relax.
  • You Release the feeling and let it move through you and out of you.

People experience “releasing” in different ways. Some picture themselves mentally “leaning back”, giving the feeling enough space to come up and move through them. Other people feel a warming in their torso or experience the releasing as a sigh.

Try to release not only your “bugs” but also your “butterflies.”  There is no need to cling to the good. There are many more butterflies coming your way. Picture a closed fist versus an open hand. When we allow good feelings and happy moments to move through us, we are open to the flow of life.

One of the reasons this practice is so powerful is because it brings you into your now. When a feeling comes up, you notice it and you let it move through you. This keeps your “windshield” clean and keeps you from collecting new “bugs” or “butterflies.” You are not avoiding your feelings or suppressing them. Instead, you are practicing awareness, which helps you to become more centered and whole.


What are you feeling right now?

  • Throughout the day today, ask yourself every once in awhile, “What am I feeling right now?” Select one word that fits that feeling. Then let that feeling move through you and out of you. The more you do this, the greater the benefits.
  • We invite you to share your experience with Notice, Name, Relax, Release, in the comment field below.

Want More Joy?

Read: What a Difference Simple Joys Make
https://journaling.com/articles/what-a-difference-simple-joys-make/

Use: Joy Journal – A Guided Journaling Experience
https://www.amazon.com/Joy-Journal-Make-Daily-Experience-ebook/dp/B00A4SGIN6/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=Joy+journal+rebecca&qid=1603320595&sr=8-2

Listen to: Breathing in Full Sentences: Writing as a Spiritual Practice
https://journaling.com/articles/breathing-in-full-sentences-journal-writing-as-a-spiritual-practice-with-christina-baldwin/

What a Difference Simple Joys Make

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When we turn our attention to what we love, what we appreciate, and what we find beautiful, the conversation moves from what’s not working to what is working. And that is a wonderful place to be.

– R.K. & M.M.G

Simple Joys

Joy is incredibly powerful. Even simply noticing the beauty of a flower or a gentle breeze can elevate us and expand our awareness of what’s around us and what’s possible. When we are in joy, everything is a miracle and there is seldom a moment that does not delight us.
 
One of the fascinating things about joy is how varied it is. Sometimes it sounds as loud as a horn and other times it is as quiet as a whisper. Sometimes it’s so subtle you almost miss it, and other times it fills you with the majesty of God.
 
A few years ago, Rebecca was in a bookstore signing copies of her book, Joy Journal, and she overheard a woman talking. “It’s fine for her to talk about joy. Joy is probably easy for her.” Alas, if that were only the case. Is there anyone on this planet who has experienced only joy?

Where are you on the joy scale right now?

Some people feel like joy is something they don’t deserve and they have a hard time letting it in. For others, joy has disappeared suddenly because of a traumatic event. If you are “deep in the well” or having a hard time, joy is the ladder that gets you out of that well. It can be challenging, but look closely and find something every day that brings you joy. Those moments of recognition and appreciation are what get you through the hard times.
 
If you are already experiencing a lot of joy, we are so happy for you. Keep going. One thing about joy is that the more you turn your attention to it, the more you have. When you are in joy, you know instinctively that this is where you are meant to be. That this is your natural state of being.

Know this, for sure, about you and joy…
You deserve to be happy. Everyone does. Just the fact that you are alive means that joy is your birthright. You don’t have to earn it. You don’t have to be worthy of it. We know that life can be challenging. But find your way back to joy as quickly as you can. Don’t let unhappiness become your normal. Life is precious. We, Rebecca and Marilyn, have been through some big ups and downs and we’ve discovered that even in the hard times, there is joy. If you are out of sync with joy, today is the day you step up and reclaim your right to a happy life.

Joy is Your Natural State

We treat happiness as if it is something that happens to us – something that is out of our control. But if someone said to you, “Could you be happy for the next five minutes?” You would probably answer, “Yes.”

We’ve been conditioned to think that happiness is a reaction. Something good happens and we feel good. Something bad happens and we feel bad. But joy is who you really are and you can experience happiness and joy on a daily basis. Marianne Williamson once said that, “Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.”

Today, notice the simple joys in your life. Some joys we have in common and some are uniquely our own. One of Rebecca’s favorite joys is, “My morning cup of chai, in a mug so big you could take a bath in it. I love holding that warm cup in my hands and breathing in the spicy scent of cinnamon and nutmeg.” Marilyn’s favorite simple joy is, “Sitting out on the patio and looking at all the colorful flowers around me while my cat, Willa, sits purring on my lap.”

If you get a chance, ask a friend or relative what their simple joys are. If they’re not sure what you mean, here are some examples. “Simple joys are little things that make you smile or help you to relax. Like a warm chocolate chip cookie, a sweet memory, a favorite TV show, a lit candle, or shooting baskets in the driveway and the ball goes in with that perfect “swish” sound.”

When we turn our attention to what we love, what we appreciate, and what we find beautiful, the conversation moves from what’s not working to what is working. And that is a wonderful place to be.


Let’s celebrate the power of simple joys…

  • Think about your day. What are some of the things that bring you joy?
  • What is your favorite simple joy?
  • We would love to hear about your joys and invite you to share in the comment area below.

Want More Joy?

5 Ways Journaling Boosts Happiness and Well-Being:
https://journaling.com/articles/five-ways-journaling-boosts-happiness-well-being-with-nancy-scherlong/
 
3 Ways Journal Planners Cultivate Happiness:
https://journaling.com/articles/three-ways-journal-planners-cultivate-happiness-with-mo-seetubtim/

Make joy a daily experience with Journaling.com’s guided journal, “Joy Journal.”
https://amzn.to/3dMM87N