Plant Joy. Harvest Peace.

???????????????????????????????At times I sense a deliberate effort by others to force us into a funk that’s frothed with anger and fear.  Bad vibes.   Pile on our daily happyius interfereus, like the episode I recently experienced with spouse’s health,   and it feels like a dunking in putrid mud.

If I’m not happy, my family is not happy.  If my daughter is not happy, her family is not happy.  Frowns spread like yawns in a crowded room.  Frowns welcome anger and fear faster than a smile. Nothing inhibits the growth of the joy seeds we plant like bad vibes. Those cosmic boogey-men smash our hope to harvest peace.  And for those who seek peace, the first rule is “let peace begin with me.”  Yet, negativity likes to hijack the first rule.

I say push back.  Find joy regardless of what others spew. Find that fountain of good regardless of what lands at your feet.  Then watch your inner peace grow and spread to the next person, and the next person, and the next person in line.

So that I don’t sound too far out there, I searched for the science of happy vs. not happy and interconnectedness.

Rollin McCraty, Ph.D  explains in an interview: “You’ve probably had the experience when you walk into a room where you’ve had the sense that something was amiss, and then you find out that your friend just had an argument or heard some bad news. How, before you can even catch body language cues, do you get the sense that something’s not right?” He goes on to explain how we sense these vibes, “We discovered early on that the heart literally beats out different messages with every pulse, reflecting our emotional state. Therefore, if we’re irritated, frustrated, or angry, the heart will beat out a very chaotic-looking message. If we’re composed, or feeling good, the heart beats out a very different message.”

McCraty’s detailed research is available at The Energetic Heart: Bioelectromagnetic Communication Within and Between People.

Warning! No one said that this joy garden is easy to plant.  There is soil to prepare, choosing the right seeds to plant, and proper fertilization, watering, and then come the weeds.  Oh those allegorical weeds! And let us not neglect the bugs and other visiting critters that are hell bent on undoing every bit of produce you worked to grow.

Like planting a veggie patch, a joy garden requires work, mindfulness, and determination.  But every gardener knows that the first bite into a fresh tomato and letting the delectable juices run down your chin will bring a smile that justifies every cut, scratch or aching back it took to harvest your effort’s gift.

I asked  Chopra Center Certified Instructor, Jana Fleming,  her advice as to how one might work to bring more joy into his/her life.

“The entry into infinite joy & unimaginable peace is found in this moment. The portal to unbounded bliss is knowing 1) this moment is the most important; 2) the person whom you are with right now is the most important person;  3) whatever you are doing is the most important activity. Live by these tenets and you will live infinite joy & peace.”

And so it goes with harvesting joy.  The blog I call my good news blog, The Daily Prism, focuses solely on news that is good and the people that make good happen.  It birthed several years ago during the BP oil spill. The Daily Prism is one of my mechanisms to plant joy and harvest peace.  After more than 600 posts since May 2010, I find it easier to slough off incoming negativity. This includes issues that have to do with health, money, family, our environment and the silly folks who scream most of the time.

Fellow writer, Debi Nevel Drecksler solidified my resolve to let peace begin with me when she said, “Happiness is not a state of mind…It’s a state of being. It’s learning to stop and appreciate the things that are right in your life even when they are outweighed by difficult and challenging moments.”

The days are longer now.  Sun light pours forth so that we can grow our joy plantings, harvest peace, and share the bounty.

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