We’re starting to get some hints here in Indiana that Fall, harvest, and transition are upon us. While I’m grateful to have a snowbird plan out of the cold, gray winter, I’m also grateful to live in a four-season climate with its quarterly reminder of the passage of time.
Year 2022 will soon come to a close. Before I know it, I’ll be writing fresh goals, selecting a new guiding word and writing a mantra for 2023.
The Book of Joy
When our neighborhood book club chose The Book of Joy for our September read, you might think my guiding words for 2022, “Joy and Fun,” or my mantra, “Follow Joy,” would have immediately come to mind. Didn’t even dawn on me until I was halfway through the book.
Whatever I’m reading slips into my consciousness in a profound way, especially a book like this one, a glimpse into a sweet friendship between two spiritual leaders that rises above the differences in the traditions of the religions they lead.
The Pillars of Joy
I internalized the teachings of The Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu on compassion, gratitude, and generosity–all “pillars” for which joy is an immediate by-product. Each chapter was singing my tune. Dancing my dance. Speaking my love language.
The biggest take-away in this book, for me, was a short discussion on aging and dying. An optimist at heart, I loathe to be maudlin, but realistically, even if I live to be 102 years-old like my Grandma Princess, I am well over half way there. This has been on my mind recently, so when I read The Dalai Lama’s words from The Book of Joy, page 166, I ran into our home office where BF was working and exclaimed, “I’ve just found my mantra for the rest of my life!”
He immediately put down what he was working on and said, “Well, let’s hear it.”
The notion of behaving like a guest, being respectful of our planet the way I would a friend’s home to which I’d been invited, speaks to me. The reminder I’m here for a short time is paramount. In these years of wisdom, I must be mindful of how I choose to use my days. And finally, I do want to make the world a better place. Always and for everyone.
I don’t have a definitive plan yet for how I will implement my new mantra, but I’m excited about having one that includes making the world a better place, and it goes right along with this year’s mantra, “Follow Joy.”
This whole following joy and making the world a better place . . . to me, it’s a chicken/egg question.