Cultivating Seeds of Joy

Green Tara

Summer is a time when we begin to see the fruits of our labors – flowers, fruits, and vegetables. What began as tiny seeds are maturing into beautiful things. Summer is an expansive time, where we feel and see growth everywhere!

Our thoughts and behaviors can also begin like small seeds, but with nurturing, can grow into vibrant parts of our lives. When you nurture a worry or a negative thought, it can grow into something larger than you first imagined. Some have said that worrying is “praying for what you don’t want!”

So, how do we nurture our most positive thoughts? Start with intention! Often our thoughts of worry constrict us not only mentally, but also physically. Try beginning changing your thoughts with a simple long, deep breath! Deep breathing supplies the brain, and every other part of your body, with health giving oxygen.

Second, bring your awareness to the present moment! Are you thinking about something that has happened in the past? That cannot be changed! Are you worrying about something that might happen in the future? It hasn’t happened yet, and may never happen! Notice what is in this moment, now. Hear the birds singing. Feel the breath in your body. Appreciate what is around you!

This brings us to the third step in cultivating seeds of joy: Gratitude! It has been said that the secret to happiness is an attitude of gratitude. It is hard to feel depressed when you are noticing everything that you are grateful for. Try writing down at least five things you are grateful for before you go to sleep at night.

The fourth step in cultivating joy is to connect with your own innocence. Feel your most pure intentions within yourself, and stop beating yourself up for not being “perfect”. Striving to do your best with pure intentions is a beautiful thing. If you make a mistake, remind yourself that you did your best and meant well.

To put these four steps together into an affirmation:
“Breathe deeply in the present moment with innocence and gratitude.”
Remember this daily, and breathe in joy!