“When you make the present moment, instead of past or future, the focal point of your life, your ability to enjoy what you do – and with it the quality of your life – increases dramatically. Joy is the dynamic aspect of Being.”
– Eckhart Tolle –
It will come as no surprise to you my darlings that I have a bit of a crush on Eckhart Tolle at the moment, and I can’t see that waning any time soon. Not a crush in the sexual sense, but a crush in the sense that I have an insatiable appetite for his wisdom, knowledge and teachings at the moment, and the more I read and learn, the more I wish to share.
I’m currently reading his latest book ‘A New Earth: Create a Better Life’ and I read a particularly interesting part of it just the other day and wanted to share it with you.
Despite the fact that I am only about a third of the way through, I actually skipped to the end of the book, which I never do, and read his conclusion. I have no idea why, but it felt right in the moment, so I did.
He summarises the book by explaining that there are three ways in which consciousness can flow into what you do and thus through you into this world. Acceptance, Enjoyment and Enthusiasm. I have already written a fair amount on the importance of Acceptance, letting go, surrendering to what is, and I will probably write more posts in due course.
However, I wanted to write about Enjoyment today, because it is particularly salient to where I’m at in this moment.
I’m in the process of writing a book on branding and at times I know I can take myself and the process too seriously. And furthermore, I can actually get so stuck in the seeming stress of writing a book, that I forget to enjoy the process. Which kind of totally negates writing the book in the first place! So this post, is a reminder for me to focus on the joy, as much as it is inspiration for anyone else out there forgetting to be joyful in what they do.
I also decided to look up the etymology (or origin) or the word enjoyment too.
According to etymonline.com the word ‘joy’ originates from around 1200 meaning the ‘feeling of pleasure and delight’.
The word ‘enjoy’ comes form the late 14 century from the Old French enjoir ‘to give joy, rejoice, take delight in’.
And the word ‘enjoyment’ is ‘enjoy’ + ‘ment’, with ‘ment’ originally from French and representing Latin ‘mentum’ which was ‘added to verb stems sometimes to represent the result or product of the action’.
And so in this day and age, according to dictionary.com, enjoyment is:
1. The act of enjoying
2. The possession, use or occupancy of anything with satisfaction or pleasure
3. A particular form or source of pleasure
And I think sometimes, we can start to engage in an activity with the intention of it being enjoyable, and actually end up turning it into a chore without meaning to.
So the key is to focus on the enjoyment of an activity in every moment. In fact, you can even turn a chore into something enjoyable, if you so wish.
For example, I’m not the biggest fan of washing up (Darren will tell you this) and we don’t have a dishwasher at the moment. So when I need to do the dishes, I will turn it into a fun activity by sticking on some of my favourite music, cranking up the volume, donning my rubber gloves and enjoying every moment of the washing up.
And if we can start to find joy in simple tasks like washing up, or even waiting for a bus (sometimes I’ll strike up a conversation with someone at the bus stop, or read a book), we can start to spread joy into other areas of our life.
Eckhart Tolle says in ‘A New Earth’, ‘Expansion and positive change on the outer level is much more likely to come into your life if you can enjoy what you are doing already, instead of waiting for some change so that you can start enjoying what you do . . . begin enjoying what you are doing now.’
And this is what I need to focus on for my book. I really need to enjoy the process of writing it, rather than being scared by it, or thinking that it is going to be difficult, hard or arduous. I just need to ensure that I am fully present.
Eckhart goes on to say ‘You will enjoy any activity in which you are fully present, any activity that is not just a means to an end. It isn’t the action you perform that you really enjoy, but the deep sense of aliveness that flows into it. That aliveness is one with who you are. This means that when you enjoy doing something, you are really experiencing the joy of Being in its dynamic aspect. That’s why anything you enjoy doing connects you with the power behind all creation’.
So, my thought for the day is ‘Focus on the joy now‘. Make a list of activities that you engage in every day, especially those that you would normally find boring. And whenever you are engaged in those activities, set the intention to enjoy every moment of doing them. You will then start to find that by focussing on the joy of the moment, rather than being stressed or irritated by the tediousness of them.
“Find joy in everything you choose to do. Every job, relationship, home. . . it’s your responsibility to love it, or change it.” – Chuck Palahniuk
Inspiration for this post
Eckhart Tolle’s ‘A New Earth: Create a Better Life’
Image reference – stephaniecorfee.com