Following Your "Joydar"

Strange as it may sound, I never thought all that much about joy until fairly recently. I grew up singing songs about it: “Joy To The World” . . . “Joy Unspeakable” . . . “Tidings of Comfort and Joy” (I know that’s not the title but the song applies) . . . Certainly I understood the concept and recognized it as a desirable experience.

Still, it’s only been since I really started asking questions about how to feel better that joy has come to occupy center stage, to be the main idea in most if not all the paragraphs of my life. Joy has become my thesis—and so more than ever, I wonder about it . . . I notice its presence—and its absence . . . I actively court it and of course, I ask about it.

So many teachers have spoken of it in one way or another as a beacon . . . a journey . . . a mechanism for moving toward our dreams . . . Surely someone somewhere in the world must be quoting Joseph Campbell every ten seconds or so when he said, “Follow your bliss”. Esther-as-Abraham-Hicks was the first I heard describe joy as the real point of our existence—as well as the means by which we come to experience our lives most fully.

So I asked The Shower Team about joy. What’s the big deal? Why am I suddenly so aware of it . . . and what part does it play in whatever “guidance system” I have that can dependably direct me toward my bliss?

The Emotional Guidance System or EGS, if you’re acronymically inclined, is flawlessly engineered and the real perfection of it lies in its simplicity. You know you’re heading in the right direction when you feel good. You know you’re not when you’re not. Joy is always the signal calling you forward, Joy—or “joydar” as you’ve aptly called it–is the beaming back to you of the perspective you have when you are being who You really are. Joy is how you feel when you and the You you really are, are seeing from the same point of view. Joy is the homing device that tracks all that you have asked for, all that is waiting to be received by you, all that you are becoming as you become who You really are . . .

Full-bodied as your languages may be, they are often limited in their capacity to convey the real depth and breadth of meaning behind a given term. You think of joy, sometimes, in smaller and more limited ways than it truly exists within you and around you. Or you minimize it by classifying it as only one of the many fine, upstanding emotions that your life experience can offer you.

What you often have difficulty seeing or believing is that joy, in the broadest, most expansive sense, is the real point of you—the real purpose behind your decision to come forth as you, to have the experience of you. From a broader, nonphysical perspective, joy is all there really is . . . and on the most deep down level you all know this—it’s why you get so pissed when things don’t go well. You also know that part of the joy of your physical experience is the experience of all the variety through which joy can emerge. You know from this broader perspective that there are no limits to the joy that is available to you or that you can create.

But as you begin to sort through all that variety, over time, and as you begin to observe more and more the things that you do not like or do not want or the things that do not produce a joyful response . . . your “joydar” often gets dulled . . . you start to give more and more of your attention to the sad or unhappy or scary or tragic stories that you hear others telling . . . You sometimes even begin to believe that joy is overrated. Or that it has become obsolete . . . that “joydar” is no longer a viable system for navigating such complicated and menacing terrain as your life experience.

The beauty of even this unfortunate scenario is. . . you can’t escape it for very long. You can shut yourself down and plug your ears and cover your eyes and run as fast as you can . . . you can eat or drink or drug or screw yourself into a stupor . . . you can argue until there’s no cheerleading optimist left standing . . . and joy will still find you. For a very few, you may even have to kick the bucket first . . . but then guess what’s waiting the minute you transition back to nonphysical . . . Oops there it is!

We would so much rather see you come to an appreciation of this perfect system that you are part of and that is part of you BEFORE you withdraw from your physical eperience. We would so much rather see you recognize and use the “joydar” that is your guidance . . . to simply pay attention to how you feel in any moment, at any juncture, relative to any question or topic . . . And then to see you move in the direction that joy is calling you toward. In other words, we really wish that you would let joy lead you.

Recognize the simplicity of it. Appreciate how perfectly easy it really can be. Joy is not hiding. Joy is not some buried treasure you need to dig up. Joy is not some puzzle you have to first find the pieces to or some riddle that you have to spend years contemplating . . . Joy is not a joke that’s on you . . . Joy is not seasonal or conditional . . . Joy is your gift. Your guidance. Your only real way of being able to tell when you are being who You really are. So you may as well get used to the idea because whether you like it or not, where joy’s concerned—in the long run–you’re pretty much stuck with it.

Okay, they had me at “joydar”. I always was a sucker for newly minted terms—and for simplicity, even though I tend to pride myself on my presumed complexities. Lately I’ve noticed that, among the ever-swirling mix of musings that occupy my mind, there is an increased desire for just more joy in general.

Curiously, I can’t remember spending much time in the past just wishing I was a happier person. But lately that feels like an increasingly important desire to satisfy . . . at least as much as any of the more specific wants that continue to populate my wish list. I find myself wondering what sort of life a happier me would be living? What would I still want if I was just more joyful—apart from any of the individual wishes my genie of a Universe brings to me?

It feels worth the wondering. It feels like “joydar” up and running . . . sending a stronger and stronger signal back to me . . . and that feels like steps in a happier direction, toward a me who is more Me and who is in that respect, for the moment, more complete.

This article is posted at The Law of Attraction Blog Carnival!


About Dan

Published novelist, poet, essayist, copywriter, photographer and college educator. Visit me at

Posted on July 19, 2007, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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