It has been a busy fall and winter and I have not had time to finish the Eight Pillars of Joy Series from Desmond Tutu and the Dali Lama’s book, The Book of Joy. Maybe you are asking, why would I choose to write about these pillars in the first place?
As a psychologist and author who specializes in personal growth, I believe it is important to invite the whole person to the therapy hour. We are spiritual beings, as well as emotional, physical and soul beings. Our soul includes more than our personality, mind, and our feelings. Our soul is multi-dimensional and complex. Our spiritual self is the part of us that reaches out to a power greater than ourselves and developing a relationship between the soul and spirit becomes necessary for us to live fully meaningful lives.
For instance, let’s look at a short piece of poetry by Rumi:
The Guest House
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
How does the poetry awaken you? What images, thoughts, and feelings come up? What does the poem invite you to do?
Compassion for self must be invited into our humanness with all of its thoughts, desires, whims, emotions, failures, and success. This poem embodies the invitation of compassion to come and sit with you so that you can be guided from beyond. For me, this poem is the perfect blend of soul and spirit, never trying to label but to invite you to go deep within and experience self-acceptance. As we accept, all parts of ourselves, then and only then can we truly experience JOY. As we work with the eight pillars of Joy, which are Perspective, Humility, Humor, Acceptance, Forgiveness, Gratitude, Compassion and Generosity. As you practice the poetry of the words above that stir your soul, your heart will open and unfold into the pillar of Generosity like you never imagined before.
Please scroll through earlier blog posts to find the other six pillars. Generosity will be in your mail box next week, so send these on to your friends who will appreciate these reflections and may 2019 open new doors for your soul to cultivate and your spirit to dance among the mysteries and miracles of life.
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