Seven Places You Can Find Joy
Ah! The "if onlys" of our lives! If only we had more time for the kids...if only we got more sleep...if only we had the energy to exercise... And then, the list of "I wish-es"...at some point in life, we've all dreamt of that cottage-in-the-woods or the villa-by-the-beach. The urge to chuck it all, move out, and move away to a fantasy land...a dream made more precious because it shall perhaps never come true.
Sometimes, when you sit down to think about it, joy is a funny thing. It's the touch of a hand, the sight of a face, the scent of a flower...it's in simple everyday things, and yet, it seems so far beyond our reach. Why?
Perhaps it's because we've outgrown the simplicity of childhood — with its characteristic of having us be able to laugh at small jokes, find pleasure in blowing on a dandelion flower, or chase lightning bugs at dusk.
And also perhaps because we've learnt to chase less joyous goals like money, career, and superficial beauty. Ayurveda describes this as being "object-referral" instead of "self-referral."
7 Places You Can Find Joy
- In Your Bedroom: Find ways to make your bedroom a haven of rest. Light an aroma candle, listen to soft music, or simply lie there and breathe deep. Don't chase sleep — let it flutter softly down and kiss your eyelids shut. If you have been fighting a losing battle with sleep over the past months or years, though, it is time to look deeper. For ayurveda believes lack of good sleep can be the starting point for joylessness, owing to the imbalances and disorders it creates. The Maharishi Ayurveda Blissful Sleep herbal formula has helped hundreds of people regain their ability to enjoy a peaceful night. Made from time-honored herbs like jatamansi and Indian valerian, Blissful Sleep calms body, mind, and soul — restoring restfulness to the whole being. See the Blissful Sleep Self-Care Guide for more information.
- In Your Bath: Give your body a rejuvenating massage — lave it with oil, unhurriedly, lovingly. Feel your skin come alive under the healing touch of your own hands, running gently across the length of your limbs. Enjoy the feel of warm, herbalized oil (choose from among a wide range of Maharishi Ayurveda Massage Oils) soaking into your skin tissues, cleansing the pores and making you feel joyful from within. Let the oil soak into your body for some time. Meanwhile, do something that relaxes you: clip your nails, read a book, or listen to healing music. Listen to Gandharva Veda Sitar and Shehnai Melodies to help you unwind.
- In Your Kitchen: Fill your kitchen with the colors, aromas, and flavors of herbs and spices. Bring home the freshest organic vegetables and fruits. Cook your meals using healthy methods like stir-frying, steaming, or sautéeing with spices — they will retain the flavor and the healing qualities of food and make it easy to digest. If you're new to spices like turmeric and coriander, simply bring home Maharishi Ayurveda's pre-mixed spice blends, prepared in the proportions and traditions recommended by ancient ayurvedic healers.
- In Your Living Room: Decorate this room for comfort as well as luxury. Make it a cocoon of warmth for yourself and your visitors. Just before guests come in, float some pure essential oil in a diffuser and let the fragrance fill the air. Keep fresh flowers in sight — few other things can make the heart smile as easily as flowers can. Let your bookshelf brim with a healthy selection: we recommend A Woman's Best Medicine by Nancy Lonsdorf, M.D., Veronica Butler, M.D., and Melanie Brown, Ph.D.; Freedom From Disease by Hari Sharma, M.D.; and Heaven's Banquet by Miriam Hospodar.
- In Your Garden: Get close to the earth. There's something about holding a handful of earth in your hands that connects you intimately to the very universe around you. Don't fret over creating the perfect emerald lawn. Plant butterfly-attracting colorful flowers or a potpourri of herbs. If you're short of space, plant a container garden, which is portable and easy to maintain.
- In the Company of Friends: Few joys rival that of sharing a cup of tea and cheerful conversation with a friend. Add a teaspoon of health to this joy by opting for herbal tea: Maharishi Ayurveda's herb teas with their inviting names (Worry Free Tea, Be Trim Tea and more) are not only flavorful, but also immensely beneficial in balancing mind and body.
- In Your Heart: Every heart that beats will find an echo in the words of Mirza Ghalib, perhaps the greatest Urdu poet to have walked the earth: "My heart is filled with desires — each one to die for! I have fulfilled thousands of them, and yet, I've fulfilled too few..." Fulfill one of your heart's desires today — no matter how small. It will make you happy to be alive, happy to be here, happy to be.
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or e-mail us for the number of a physician in your area. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.