Allowing Joy’s Lead


Life does not require you to sacrifice or

compromise your joy to get what you want.

Joy is what you want,

so when you choose in harmony with it,

you are fulfilling your purpose in living.

~ Alan Cohen

I remember many years ago Susan and I having the wondrous privilege of swimming and playing with dolphins. They were so powerful, so aware of themselves and their surroundings — and transmitted such a peaceful, vibrant joyfulness with their presence.

Over and over again in my life journey, I continue to forget and then rediscover anew the reality that — underneath it all — my deepest nature is joy. This presence of joy, when I remember to listen to its voice, often is beckoning me to simply be in the moment, to simply breath in and out in relaxation, to taste my wholeness just as I am, and encourages me to play and swim with my life like a dolphin. Following this one’s subtle whisperings and wise counsel is a central part of my learning and experience these days. After many years of feeling unworthy, of being afraid, of thinking I needed to improve myself so I was acceptable, what a subtle craft it is to learn to allow my soul’s joy and creative inspiration to flow freely — and lead my life.


by Naomi Shihab Nye

It is difficult to know what to do with so much happiness.

With sadness there is something to rub against,

a wound to tend with lotion and cloth.

When the world falls in around you, you have pieces to pick up,

something to hold in your hands, like ticket stubs or change.

But happiness floats.

It doesn’t need you to hold it down.

It doesn’t need anything.

Happiness lands on the roof of the next house, singing,

and disappears when it wants to.

You are happy either way.

Even the fact that you once lived in a peaceful tree house

and now live over a quarry of noise and dust

cannot make you unhappy.

Everything has a life of its own,

it too could wake up filled with possibilities

of coffee cake and ripe peaches,

and love even the floor which needs to be swept,

the soiled linens and scratched records……..

Since there is no place large enough

to contain so much happiness,

you shrug, you raise your hands, and it flows out of you

into everything you touch. You are not responsible.

You take no credit, as the night takes no credit

for the moon, but continues to hold it, and share it,

and in that way, be known.

May the vibrant, playful presence of joy become, more and more,

one of your closest friends in this ever-gifting flow of life, Gavin

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Your Comments

  1. Thanks, Gavin for you beautiful post. I feel like my entire life has been a seeking for joy, but instead I have been looking for it in pleasures – in the world of form. And I have discovered that joy is my experience when I realize myself as more than the world of form. For I am that joy.
    And I am also all of the pleasures of the world. When I am in joy, all of the pleasures of the world become much more pleasurable. I am en-joying them. For me, joy is the greatest pleasure.
    Love & Laughter,

  2. April 12, 2009

    Beautifully stated, Kurt. Your sharing reminds me of one of David Whyte’s poems that begins with the words, “When your eyes are tired, the world is tired also.” It is amazing to me how moving into a more connected residence with the flow of joy inside — dramatically changes my experience of the world. So simple, so subtle, so bankable….

    May the joy of home ownership — inside and out — be yours, Kurt, Gavin

Your Comments