Path to Joy: 3rd of 12 – Words
Make yourselves nests of pleasant thoughts. None of us knows what fairy palaces we may build of beautiful thought — proof against all adversity. Bright fancies, satisfied memories, noble histories, faithful sayings, treasure houses of precious and restful thoughts, which care cannot disturb nor pain make gloomy, nor poverty take away from us. John Ruskin 1819-1900
According to neurosurgeon and spiritual teacher Don Miguel Ruiz, each of us live in worlds built by our words. In 1903, James Allen published a pamphlet using Proverbs 23:7 as the title, “As a man thinketh.” The little book opens with, “A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts. As the plant springs from, and could not be without, the seed, so every act of a man springs from the hidden seeds of thought … Act is the blossom of thought, and joy and suffering are its fruits.” Over a century later, Allen’s little book remains among the top five reads for those who motivate and inspire. Download a free copy of As A Man Thinketh.
This Post’s Featured Art, “Words,” A Visual Meditation.
What I like best about the art:
The blue rings that build what I see as a cone-shaped beehive.
Why I like the image:
I like the serene blue structure because it represents the mind, which can be a beehive of activity. According to Laboratory of Neuro Imaging at the University of Southern California, the mind generates about fifty thoughts each minute or 70,000 per day. I like this beehive because it shows loving, uplifting [butterflies] thought-words rising to the surface.
What the picture teaches:
Though the golden planet Saturn travels through cold, dark space far from the sun, its fascinating rings teach me to:
- Set limits on words, spoken and thought, especially about myself and
- Establish boundaries for the influences of others
The insights gained:
Yes, life has its shadows. African proverbs and Winston Churchill are credited with saying, “If there is no enemy within, the enemy outside can do us no harm.” Author and teacher Sally Kempton adds, “It is hard to fight an enemy who has outposts inside your head.”
Joy is a word composed of concepts like happiness, peace, satisfaction, contentment, lightness of being, brightness, smiles, embraces and engagement in nurturing, nourishing, uplifting activities. When these kinds of words and actions are part of life, they pave a path to joy.
These ‘Paths to Joy’ are adapted from The Treasure Chest, an old book I found years ago. Page 117 contained “The Twelve Rules of Happiness.” Of special delight is using paints markers and ink to illustrate meditations inspired by this wisdom. The technique is adapted from the book Visual Journaling, Going Deeper Than Words, by Barbara Ganim and Susan Fox.