I recently returned from a vacation on the shores of Lake Michigan and Lake Superior in my home state. Though I return to Lake Michigan annually, I hadn’t been to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula since I was a child.
In a word, I was AWESTRUCK! The majesty and splendor of the natural world around me left me in a constant, eye-popping state of WOW!!!
The day after my return home, I had the good fortune of leading a 3 hour yoga workshop on the Kleshas and Brahmaviharas for the Moonbow Yoga Teacher Training. The Kleshas are the veils that prevent us from seeing our true nature, and the Brahmaviharas are the keys to sustaining equanimity when we experience physical, mental, or emotional imbalance.
One of these keys is called Mudita – or appreciative joy. Mudita is about noticing joy, allowing ourselves to fully experience it, and sharing our own joy or in the joy of others. It may seem counterintuitive to think that we need to practice feeling joy, but often our busy lives or feelings of unworthiness keep us from taking a moment to simply appreciate, even revel, in joy. When we see others in joy, our first thoughts might be of envy or jealousy instead of, “Good for you!”
Celebrate joy wherever you find it, and make it a practice. Let it be contagious, and see how the ripple effect touches you and others around you. This picture of my mom on Lake Superior, the shores of her childhood is my way of sharing Mudita with you. It’s also now my screensaver, so that if I forget, I can remember to look for joy every day.
This MEDITATION is my gift to help facilitate Mudita in you. Try this practice daily for a few weeks, and see how it affects what you begin to notice and celebrate in your life.