This month’s featured art was created by an amazing young artist, Yankiel Mompeller. It is a true reflection of the light that comes with Wunjo, the Rune of Joy. I believe that you can create more Joy in your own daily life by embracing the entire journey – regardless of circumstances.
Sometimes, joy is easily accessible and spontaneous – laughter with loved ones, time with a child, doing something you love, or simply noticing that life is running smoothly. Then there are the other times: your boat is rocked, external circumstances are challenging, or “ghosts of life past” continue to haunt, emotionally or spiritually. How do we create joy within challenge, at least sometimes?
- Gratitude: whether your experience is positive or negative, everything passes. By truly embracing that, “this too shall pass,” we open to any good that can comes out of each experience – we can even be grateful to know that the current moment is impermanent. In this way, even challenging times become opportunities for growth.
- Compassion: It has been scientifically proven that we are hard-wired to help. Be gentle and kind with and on yourself, wherever you are at. Extend kindness to others in any way, big or small. Any kind of compassion practice will help you shift energies towards positive thoughts and feelings, which ultimately will manifest as positive outcomes – and yes – increased joy.
- Connection: Get creative, get quiet and visit with your younger self. What experiences brought you the most joy? Is there anything you have always wanted to do, but never quite got there? What did you dream about doing, but never actually did? Life flies by, and it’s easy to forget things that brought us more joy – even the idea of doing them. Is there some way you can re-visit things and ideas from your past that made you happy, and integrate them into your present?
- Have fun: As adults, we forget to be silly, laugh and allow ourselves playtime. Whether you sing in the shower, cut loose in your living room to some favorite music or blow some bubbles, even trying to have fun is sure to bring on a smile.
- Nature/Nurture: Time in nature has been scientifically proven to lower stress, increase well-being, improve performance, concentration and memory, and yes – even ease pain. To ramp up your joy factor, take a beautiful, mindful walk, being sure to let all of your senses soak in the beauty of the outer world.
- Just One Thing (JOT): I love this phrase from Dr. Rick Hanson, psychologist, bestselling author, “Buddha’s Brain, “Hardwiring Happiness,” “Just One Thing,” and most recently, “Resilient.” Whether it’s a walk outside, anything creative, hanging with a friend, eat a whole bunch of chocolate or take a warm bath with candles, what is the one thing you can do today that will bring you joy?
Next month I will share what choosing two runes together can mean – or can help you create! Meanwhile, let the Wunjo remind you to always find joy in the journey.