The Joy of Just Being

I’ve been reading a book called The Trauma of Everyday Life by Mark EpstienIMG_0593, MD. It’s a very thoughtful analysis, particularly regarding mindfulness.   I highly recommend it if you have a lean toward psychology. It’s got me thinking about being mindful of feelings, especially the joy of being.

As Epstien says, feelings can be pleasant, unpleasant or neutral. And they can be based in the body (sensual) or in the mind.

Feelings based in the body are produced by activation of the senses – the eyes, ears, nose, mouth and/or body. These are feelings like heat, tingling, pain, etc. Feelings that are not senses-based are based in the mind. For example, fear, jealousy, joy, boredom, just to name a few.

Whether we’re aware of it or not feelings are always present. They are constantly arising and passing throughout our day, and probably in our dreams. We are continually evaluating and reacting to them. Much of this happens outside of our awareness. We may like them and do things to prolong them or get them come back. We may dislike them and unconsciously push them away through actions or thoughts. We can also miss them entirely if they are neutral.

Have you experienced the joy of just being? This is a non senses-based pleasant feeling.

Say you unexpectedly had a moment to sit down, maybe in a nature setting. As you settle in and begin relax you start to notice the smell of the breeze, the sounds of the birds. Maybe things become more vivid. You never noticed how green the lawn was or how beautiful the formation of clouds can be. Then all of a sudden you just experience a calm acceptance, a light feeling of peaceful connection and peace. Of course this is my version and it’s hard to do it justice. But for me this is the joy of just being. Hopefully you get the idea.

It is one of THE most pleasant and enjoyable feelings. In my opinion, it is essential to making life feel worth it.  It’s a feeling that is available to us, yet because it is very subtle, it is one that we usually miss. It’s a huge gift of life that goes overlooked so often. It’s one of the real benefits of practicing the way we do. But we need to practice being mindful to feel it more often. I encourage you to keep practicing so that you can increase the occurrence of this feeling and add more joy to your life.

I’d really like to hear your version of the joy of just being, how you came about it or if you’ve never had the experience. That’s OK too. We’re here to just be with what is. Please share with me in the comments. And have a really good day!