So, I'm going to take a swing at this first variable and tell you what "living in constant joy" means and how we go about achieving that emotional state.
Wu-Wei is Chinese for "not doing." I called a Chinese friend of mine and she said, "Yes, but some would say "not getting in life's way" is a little closer to the meaning." Sounds better, actually.
Put the two together: getting out of life's way to live in constant joy.
First, let's look at joy's little brother, happy. When we define what makes us happy-and most of us have a pretty good guess about what that is-we think that an elevated state of this happiness is joy.
In short, happiness beyond expectation. Something so heartfelt that it qualifies as an exceptional feeling, a memory that stands alone.
And "Wu-Wei" is living in that constant state?
It is easy to assume that within so much of Western society, we have some difficulty wrapping our heads around a constant state of happiness. Joy might be a reach. A challenge to define. Christmas morning feeling every thirty seconds?
Well, yes, somewhat. But there's a catch. Joy really isn't an elevated state of happiness, it is a deepening state of happiness. The same principles in serenity-being grateful, staying and breathing in the present moment, living in a state of acceptance, and being "an instrument of...peace" (see the prayer of St. Francis)-is the foundation of allowing life to just be. Specifically, we get out of life's way.
We feel the energy around us, offer it our blessing, and feel it again. The energy within the atmosphere can change with every person that we pass. And every time we feel that change in the wind, we allow ourselves to feel it and thank it in the same breath.
And then there's joy.
At first, as I mentioned, you think that joy is equivalent with boundless excitement. Fourth of July. New Year's Eve. Your team wins the Super Bowl.
Joy is the pleasure, the release of pure contentment, we feel in the deepest and brightest part of our spirit. It is not the elevated sense of happiness, but the deepening state of happiness that defines the essence of joy.
"Wow" isn't joy. The awareness and gratitude of "Ahhhh" is.
This is the state. Right here. This constant state of wonder, gratitude and peace.
That's the constant state of joy we are looking for.
See you Monday with the second point of Wu-Wei. Until then, stay in the moment. Breathe in Peace. Exhale Gratitude.