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I'm so happy that James Baraz's AWAKENING JOY class is now available in book form. His class has been helpful to thousands of people. I plan to give it to all my clients who are struggling with creating a life of meaning and happiness. Joyfulness is our birthright. This book shows you how to reclaim it.
M. J. Ryan
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To bear adversity with meek submission to the will of God; to endure chastisement with all long-suffering and joyfulness; to appear cheerful amid surrounding gloom, hopeful amidst desponding circumstances, happy in God when there is nothing else to make us happy; he who does this has indeed made great advances in the divine life.
John Angell James
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Because of the dog's joyfulness, our own is increased. It is no small gift. It is not the least reason why we should honor as well as love the dog of our own life, and the dog down the street, and all the dogs not yet born. What would the world be like without music or rivers or the green and tender grass? What would this world be like without dogs?
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While we are sitting in meditation, we are simply exploring humanity and all of creation in the form of ourselves. We can become the world's greatest experts on anger, jealousy, and self-deprecatio n, as well as on joyfulness, clarity, and insight. Everything that human beings feel, we feel. We can become extremely wise and sensitive to all of humanity and the whole universe simply by knowing ourselves, just as we are.
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Letting go of sorrow gives you enough strength to carry happiness. Letting go of anger gives you enough strength to carry kindness. Letting go of fear gives you enough strength to carry hopefulness. Letting go of resentment gives you enough strength to carry gratefulness. Letting go of disappointment gives you enough strength to carry joyfulness. Letting go of avarice gives you enough strength to carry contentedness.
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Fear of the Dark I've always been prone to worry and anxiety, but after I became a mother, negotiating joy, gratitude, and scarcity felt like a full-time job. For years, my fear of something terrible happening to my children actually prevented me from fully embracing joy and gratitude. Every time I came too close to softening into sheer joyfulness about my children and how much I love them, I'd picture something terrible happening; I'd picture losing everything in a flash. At first I thought I was crazy. Was I the only person in the world who did this? As my therapist and I started working on it, I realized that 'my too good to be true' was totally related to fear, scarcity, and vulnerability. Knowing that those are pretty universal emotions, I gathered up the courage to talk about my experiences with a group of five hundred parents who had come to one of my parenting lectures. I gave an example of standing over my daughter watching her sleep, feeling totally engulfed in gratitude, then being ripped out of that joy and gratitude by images of something bad happening to her. You could have heard a pin drop. I thought, Oh, God. I'm crazy and now they're all sitting there like, 'She's a nut. How do we get out of here?' Then all of the sudden I heard the sound of a woman toward the back starting to cry. Not sniffle cry, but sob cry. That sound was followed by someone from the front shouting out, 'Oh my God! Why do we do that? What does it mean?' The auditorium erupted in some kind of crazy parent revival. As I had suspected, I was not alone.
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