The Ranch is the perfect place to drop into the present moment and discover what brings you alive with joy!
What is Joy?
The sunflower is not striving for joy—it IS joy! Similarly, within each person is the essence of joy. We all fall into the trap of chasing shiny objects, perfecting ourselves/circumstances or attaching ourselves to feel-good pleasure to feel that temporary “high.” Yet we want the simple joy we experienced as a child. Joy is related to the eyes that see the extraordinary in the ordinariness of daily life. We’ll learn to cultivate and practice PERSPECTIVE with aliveness and vitality:
- Stop reactivity; be the witness watching the play
- Drop into present moment time from thoughts/feelings to sensation.
- Turn attention toward aliveness and appreciate the precious moment
Joy: Create Conditions and Reduce Resistance
Our brains crave the repetition and efficiency, of doing things on automatic—even if these default habits aren’t in our best interest. From the witness perspective, we can recognize the outdated beliefs of the “loyal soldier” that are obstacles to joy and why they were developed in the first place. New space for greater joy opens up in our lives when we learn to:
- Identify internal and external messages that keep joy away
- Get acquainted with the “Kill-Joy” part of us and notice it’s fear
- Offer honor and compassion for the fear
Joy Practices: Exploring possibilities
We’re always practicing something. While we can’t create joy-on-demand, the more we are conscious of WHAT we’re practicing, the more choice we have to wake up out of our habitual trance and strengthen our capacity for joy. Joy comes when the body, mind, and heart are all aligned in a coherent flow. Identifying and activating “joy resonators” remind us what is possible. What kind of focus invites peacefulness and steadiness? What rhythm of music activates joy? What pace of walking allows you to smell the flowers? What kind of challenges makes your soul joyful? What kind of touch opens you? What poetry or prayer makes you glad to be alive?
We’ll experiment with higher qualities and practices to learn your joy resonators:
- Joy of the mind: equanimity, stillness, curiosity
- Joy of the heart: forgiveness, gratitude, compassion
- Joy of the body: awake with sensation, movement, vitality,
Partnering with Joy: Your Joy Blueprint
Going back to your familiar environment compels those fledgling new neuropathways of joy to fall back into outdated habits. Holding your own joy ground requires intentionality and commitment to daily practice. Knowing which practice to apply to a particular situation is key to keeping yourself available for joy. By creating a simple motivational tool and reminder to take home with you, you will learn to stay on track:
- Identify barriers and supports in your back-home environment.
- Prioritize your needs and “joy resonators”
- Develop a vision and plan to concretize your intentions
Barbara Arney, MA, brings uncommon wisdom and presence from decades of experience as a facilitator of transformation for individuals and organizations across the country. Barb works at the intersections of Leadership Development, Executive Coaching and Personal Development. In 2009 she created Luna, a decade-long national Wisdom community for women, emphasizing personal and spiritual awakening. In 2018 she founded a group for retired CEOs called The Men-neagram. Her powerful workshops provide a safe space for those seeking insight, meaning-making, and warm connections.