Joyful Life

Over the years I’ve traveled a lot for both work and pleasure. The peak travel year of my life so far was 2013, with fifty flights in that one year. Yep, fifty flight segments in one year. That was a special year, a very rewarding and fun year, but I hope I never travel that much in a year again!

The more I’ve traveled the globe, experiencing wide ranges of different people’s lifestyles and priorities, the more I believe that a joyful life is a state of being beyond thinking and emotion, beyond possessions and wants. True joy is an undercurrent of life, a universal identity we all share beneath superficial differences. It’s just a matter of how well we can tap into this undercurrent, and worldly possessions have nothing to do with it.

I believe this is why some folks I’ve met in materially impoverished neighborhoods around the world are some of the most spiritually wealthy people I’ve ever met. Not to say that possessions and worldy success necessarily hinder spiritual growth. As I once heard Deepak Chopra say, he’s not only a prophet, he’s also a profit. Funny!

As the pandemic spread around the world this year, friends in Israel told me they started having daily “inspirational book club” gatherings over video and would open each session with quotes from the Hebrew edition of my book Open Your Mind, Open Your Life.

They said they feel a sense of urgency to help increase the common awareness of humanity that you and I (and everyone) are noble students of joy in this cosmic boarding school called Life. My feelings exactly! Some of us may like, or need, to study harder than others, but still we’re all in this together for the greater purpose of bringing more joy and love into the world. In that spirit, I hope we all make the most of our lives each day, with a smile. Give of yourself, take a deep breath, calm your mind, awaken your creativity, open up and let the still space between thoughts whisper hints of our true purpose for being here together: Compassionate joy.

I received a great gift, a reminder of the glorious wonder of Being, while playing on the beach in Mexico with my dog around New Year’s. It was the end of the season of baby sea turtles hatching, when they struggle out of their sandy nests to find their way out to the wide ocean to begin their long lives. As I ran past a little dark patch in the sand, what at first glimpse I thought was a rock, it started moving! There on its little back, mightily fighting to right itself, was a beautiful baby sea turtle. I called my family to see, carefully scooping this tiny treasure of nature into my hands to help find the way down to the waiting blue waves. Looking closely, I feel my little friend was smiling at me, what do you think? Sea turtles live to be 100 years old, so perhaps long after I’m gone from this existence my little sea turtle friend will return to that beach one day and recall the fortuitous joy of our meeting that fine sunny morning.