Ten Steps to a Joyful Life

Steps to a joyful life

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience,

We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”

— Paleontologist, philosopher and Jesuit priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955)

I wanted ‘it all’, but it took me 35-40 years to realise that we’re not actually supposed to have it all, all of the time. Why not? Because, that’s Life!

Over time on my journey as a hippy druggie, top corporate sales executive, wife and mother of three, property ‘mogul’, virtual bankruptee, magazine columnist, published author, and trainee midwife, this realisation has formulated itself into what I describe as my Ten Tenets (principles) of Tomorrow’s Today – for how you treat your today directly affects your tomorrow.

Ten Steps to a Joyful Life

1. Think Joyfully

True masters don’t suffer without complaint – they don’t suffer at all, because they knows they control their own thoughts.

What you think affects how you feel and how you react. Worry is virtually pointless. It’s OK not to be joyful all the time – so long as we’re aware of our temporary negative mindset.

Consciously try to think joyfully most of the time.

2. Speak the Highest Truth

Realise your words have impact on you, and everyone around you, so speak words that are truthful – but never speak with intense hatred as it is irreversibly damaging.

When you do lie, which we all do even occasionally, at least be honest within yourself that it was a lie. When you have the opportunity to be partially truthful or completely truthful, chose to be completely truthful, “Your friendship is important to me, but I messed it up horribly. I would be truly grateful for another chance to do the right thing”.

Speak truthfully

3. Feel and Action only Unconditional Love

Know that what you fear you attract, and what you resist persists – so choose only to feel and action Love at all times. In fact unconditional love is the only emotion that is truly real – all other feelings are human creations.

If you know you are not a nice and kind person all the time, then that’s OK, so long as you accept you are not perfect. But please don’t fool yourself that you are perfection personified when you routinely act in unloving ways.

Feel and action only Love.

4. Life is a Dyad

Accept that life is dualistic, and supposed to work in opposites: Left-right. Up-down. Big-small. Fast-slow. Hot-cold. Sweet-sour. Young-old. Earth-sky. Night-Day.

How can we understand happiness if we’ve never understood sadness? How can we know success, unless we have stood on the doorstep of failure? Opposites are simply how the earthly world works, and how we re-learn: It’s the Yin & yang, Alpha & omega, Male & female.

Accept that Life is dualistic.

5. You are a Triad

Although Life is a dyad, people are triads. We are body, mind & spirit. Physical, non-physical & meta-physical. Thought, word & deed. Conscious, subconscious & superconscious.

We know we cannot feed our body junk and expect the mind to function fully. We know we cannot fill our mind with worrying fears and expect it not to affect our body. But we also need to realise that we cannot ignore our spirit – without it affecting our mind and body.

So say a rosary, bow to the east, chant a mantra, do hatha yoga, go on a guided meditation, have your aura cleansed, read beautiful poetry, practice Tai Chi, beat bongo drums to baroque music – whatever suits you – but connect with your ethereal side.

Get grounded, Get centered, Get balanced.

6. Don’t Judgmentally Condemn

Realise that there is no Good or Bad – there is only What Is.

Know that what is believed to be Correct or Incorrect, Good or Bad, Right or Wrong, is all just a matter of perspective. What was correct in the Middle Ages was incorrect in the 20th century; what was good in the sixties was bad in the eighties; what is right with the Irish Catholics, can be wrong with the Irish Protestants. What can be right by the father, can be wrong by the son.

When other humans hold different values than you, realise they have had different experiences to you – and instead cultivate goodness, mercy, patience, understanding, compassion and forgiveness.

Don’t judge. Don’t condemn.

7. Be Your Best You

Try to forget about the traditional idea that you learn through Life’s trials, tribulations and harsh lessons – realise they are simply providing you with the necessary opposite experiences to enable you to know joy and love. Your true purpose, your only purpose in life, is simply to create the best, most accepting, grateful and blessed You you can be.

The purpose of suffering and fear is not to make you a stronger and tougher survivor, it is to enable you to recognise when you are being your grandest self.

When you are being the helper, comforter, healer or teacher, then you are becoming your highest vision – be it the reclusive Buddhist monk, new-age organic farming hippy, quintessential knitting and baking mother, or wildly wealthy business tycoon.

But don’t berate yourself when you’re less than perfect. It takes strong courage, great peace, deep wisdom, and potentially eternal time, to become the best you.

We are all works in progress.

8. The Universe Always Says ‘Yes’

Thoughts create energy, and we’ve all experienced that energy of other people’s thoughts when we’ve walked into a room where people have been laughing, or arguing. Because your thoughts create energy, know that the Universe always obeys your thoughts, because you created their energy.

When you say today a statement like “I wish I could find the right partner, I want the companionship, I need to feel loved” – then that is exactly what you will get: Tomorrow you will wish for a partner, want companionship, and need to feel loved. As a little example, I thank God for the perfect carpark before I find it.

Instead, be in the now with ‘I am’ statements … “I am on my way to finding my perfect partner”. So lose the pessimism, release the doubts and reject the fears.

Having the faith of knowing certainty, also makes you thankful in advance.

9. Listen and Observe

Your highest self speaks to you in feelings … it’s your intuition.

Feeling good is your way of knowing that your thought, word or action was truthful, wise and with love. That is your true self shouting at you “Yeah this is right, this is who I really am!”

And remember that there is no such thing as random accidents, co-incidence or déjà vu – nothing happens by chance – Life is communicating messages to you all the time … so listen, and observe!

Honour those feelings, because feelings are the language of the soul.

10. True Freedom is being Who You Truly Are

Life exists as opportunities, and why you do anything is a statement of who you are. We don’t need to overcome desires – we just may need to change them.

To prove who you are, you will also find yourself needing to demonstrate who you are not. But the load gets easier, because you are living your life without a need for expected specific results. Passion fuels the creation of Who You Are and Who You Truly Want To Be.

Then life becomes joyful, because you have found authentic Freedom.

For more expert advice on bringing joyfulness into your family home, check out our Healthy Families section.

Kathy Fray

Kathy is a wife; mother of three; north Auckland self-employed midwife; weekly Parenting columnist; founding director of BabyOK™ Products (producers of the renowned Babe-Sleeper); and author of NZ’s No.1 guide for new mums “OH BABY…Birth, Babies & Motherhood Uncensored” and the sequel “OH GROW UP…Toddlers to PreTeens Decoded”. You can find out more about Kathy on her website.

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