Over the weekend, I was sharing with friends that I had just discovered a new life mission: to experience spiritual joy at every moment. In the past, I had spent years figuring out my life mission, and in the end, I always came out with something to change the world or that involved making some unique contribution. Those are all very well, but as I think about it now, they smacked of arrogance – which suggests that I had not reached beyond the ego in coming up with what I’m here to do.
Spiritual joy is, to me, the most sublime of human experience. Some qualification is needed for the term, and I begin by making clear what it is not. It is not about feeling happy all the time, or looking cheerful by putting on a big, smiley face. Rather, spiritual joy is a deep emotional experience that takes you far into yourself and expands your sense of beingness in the Universe. You can feel spiritual joy even when you are sad or undergoing some emotionally tough experience. This type of joy is akin to opening a big book containing sacred knowledge about life; it is enlightening and it fills us with wonder.
If I focus my experience on feeling spiritual joy, then the roads and doors to spiritual joy must present themselves to me. It might be through taking certain actions that are life-changing or world-changing. But I am more interested in making use of every moment as an opportunity to experience spiritual joy – to sense the perpetual flow of movement in every moment, especially in my own growth.
What I’ve gained from learning to appreciate spiritual joy is that there really is so much to enjoy about life. In focusing on spiritual joy, it’s taught me to transcend low-level struggles and to see the larger context. Joy is a powerful, moving energy that can erase all self-doubts and inadequacies. After all, we doubt ourselves and feel inadequate in reference to a limited world which we have constructed and which isn’t the whole picture at all. When we immerse in spiritual joy, it takes us out of the box and into the space where everything is possible. The more we experience spiritual joy, the more we break down the old programming that is hard-wired into our system and change our whole experience of life.
Paradoxically, indulging in spiritual joy does not make me all floaty and airy; it makes me feel more grounded. Although it takes you ‘out there’, it does so by expanding your presence rather than by displacing your energy. Meaning that your energy remains firmly rooted in the ground as your consciousness expands. As your consciousness expands, you are filled with more presence. As your presence becomes more solid, you are more aware of your earthly surroundings and the connectedness between all things. Your existence isn’t displaced but enhanced.
This gives a new flavour to the term ‘life mission’. For me, it is quite liberating to now look at my mission as simply to feel spiritual joy rather than to bring about some changes to my environment. Regardless of my environment, I can still feel spiritual joy. It teaches me to appreciate every moment and to exercise my power of choice in how I experience my world.
Having a ‘beingness’ as a life mission allows us to tap into the part of us that is in control – the part that makes the choice whether to experience something in one way or another. When we focus on and look out for something that is readily there, we experience it. This is true for most things in life, including feelings of abundance and excitement.
So, if the life mission or life purpose you have carefully crafted no longer inspires you, it may be worthwhile to re-examine your place in your world. If you have evolved to a more freeing way of being but your ego is holding on to old attachments, it may be time to let go of them. Only you have the power to let go of things, it cannot be done for you – and in so doing you will open up your world to greater joy.