“Kissing Joy”

By
Dr. Roxanne Daleo

Have
you ever noticed the way a humming bird darts from one flower to the
next, barely staying long enough for you to observe this little
creature? Seems the humming

bird
has mastered the art of “kissing
joy”;
it is the practice of the light touch. Touching

but
not holding on or lingering on the sweetness
or the non-sweetness
of life as it navigates it’s
world.

In
my work helping anxious children help themselves calm down, I find it
is their
perception
of the event in their lives that causes most distress. They are not
realizing

they
are the ones who assign meaning to all events.
Here’s
an example: Katie explains, “this
bad thing happened at school—
everyone
keeps looking at me and saying I look sad, am I ok?”

The
essential ingredient for tapping into our inner resources is to
understand we always
have
a choice about how we label the events. Our own mind can heal or hurt
us; awareness is the path in to manage our ocean of emotion.
Awareness is being present without labeling, criticizing, or judging.

The
most common reaction to the good things that happen in life is to try
to hold on,
hold
on tighter, making every effort to have that good stay and to wall
out the bad stuff.

Try
as we may, we don’t
want anything bad to happen to us.; whatever “bad”
is!
And-
if
that bad thing does happen, we’ll
say: ”This
is a very bad, horrible, terrible thing!”

Rather
than, suspending judgement and saying to yourself: “This
is interesting…could be bad, could be good.”

In
the teaching tale, Zen
Shorts: The Farmer
s
Luck
,
the story reveals the assumptions
of
what the neighbors call “bad
luck”
or
“good
luck”
turns
out to be the opposite. Through various experiences, the farmer
resists the temptation to agree with his neighbors’
opinions.
For example, his son falls off a horse and breaks his leg, everyone
says, that’s
too bad, bad luck! But, in fact, a few days later when the soldiers
come to their village to take able-bodied young men off to war, his
son is passed over because he has a broken leg!

Can
we be both present to the experiences of our lives while, at the same
time, being non-judgmental, accepting and curious?

Can
we learn to see them, be with the experience without trying to push
it away? Can we allow ourselves to feel difficult feelings, rest in
it and be?

And
if it is a happy, welcomed event, can you learn that ”kissing
joy” as
she flies by is a wonderful way to play with your imagination,
tapping your inner resources in order to be present, notice, enjoy it
but not become attached to it? Kiss it and let it go.

And
then can you practice, with this same awareness, to be present, to
notice when something seems awful? Watching your feelings of sadness
without getting lost in them?

Like
gathering, collecting all life experiences, noticing
the contrast

like the many shades of green in the early Springtime?

Say to yourself: “As I use all my senses to take note and savor, I am present and open to all the feelings in my life.”

The
practice of “kissing
joy” is
an opportunity to become aware of how you can direct your mind to
focus- without judging, without making a strong, negative
opinion; but
rather, just noticing and collecting.

Making
a collecting basket, is a tangible way to practice this idea and
internalize it for yourself and your child. Say to yourself, “Today,
as I am filling my basket with the little things in life—
good
or bad, happy or sad. I am noticing and collecting with awareness,
gentleness and gratitude.”

So fill your basket, as you expand your awareness. Say to yourself; “ I’m feeling the warm breeze on my face or

I’m hearing a song that makes me cry” …

Imagine
putting
it all in your basket for the day.

Throughout
your day, you may want to place in your basket objects like a special
photograph or the penny you found on the ground.

At the end of your day, the contents can be taken out and reflected upon as a form of awareness practice. Be gentle with yourself.

Then
you can begin all over again the next day. Empty out the contents;
let go of the previous day to make room for the new, the
now,

of today.

As
in the ancient mediative tradition, keep your basket empty. When you
do, it becomes a practice of taking in, breathing, watching, and
recognizing the every day passing events–like
”kissing
joy”
lightly, not tightly!

As
joy flies by as you’re
on your way

Give
it a kiss and go on with your day.

Embrace
the fullness of all that you feel

Welcoming
everything-keep even your keel!

Wisdom
runs deepest, your open heart knows

To
gather the highs, as well as the lows

“Kissing
joy”
instead
of holding too tight

Offers
the lesson: there’s
no wrong, no right.