The world of marketing and advertising is exciting and full of colour and creativity; it is a multimillion-dollar business to support large and small brands of products. The messages are witty and colourful, often with a catchy tune.
We are bombarded daily with products we need to buy to feel better, look better or how we can make a change for the better. This moisturizer, that car, or even those clothes, will instantly change your life! We are told that ‘we are worth it!’
I do not doubt that we are worth taking care of ourselves, to enjoy life and strive to be happy. To live life to the fullest is an art most of us need to develop. Most of us become good musicians, painters or writers by diligent practice. Sure, having some talent helps, but it is the practice that makes the difference; endless scales, writing and rewriting before we publish, or whatever practice is needed to improve our skill.
Recently I pulled one of Anselm Grün’s books of the shelf. Anselm is a German monk who writes books and leads retreat. This particular book is about ‘joy’ (vreugde) – the joy of life, what inspires us, what makes us happy as an individual?
He says you cannot make joy; you have to experience it. To live a fulfilling life, we need to work out what brings us joy and delight, and a zest of living. What makes us get out of bed, what spins our wheels? Anselm invites us to revisit our past. What did we enjoy as children, followed by what is meaningful, or what gives meaning to your life?
To discover what makes us tick, what supports our spiritual well-being is the foundation of our zest for life, our joie de vivre. Whether you are ‘a bon-vivant’ or an introvert, to discover your spirituality, your desires for life and the bare necessities for living that life, we may need to look at what gives us pleasure and delight outside our regular chores.
For some, the ground of their spirituality lies in prayer and meditation. Attending church services on a regular base is enough to feed their spiritual hunger. There might be a time when that is not enough—a time when God feels at a distance.
Anselm suggests reminding ourselves of the delights of childhood may help us reconnect with our spiritual source. For me, that is about water. As a child, I could sit at a river or lake for hours at a time, watching the movement of the water. Water, especially flowing water, has given me a sense of connection with the Divine. Walking along a beach, feeling the sand between my toes is heaven!
Another way I reconnect with the Divine is through creativity. To create and be creative, to sing and dance or paint and write, whatever gives us joy is the bases for a spiritual grounding.
What brings you joy and delight?
Seek Peace. Find it within.