I have to remind myself of that occasionally. On these days when there is so little daylight, when the headlines are so dire, when my beloved home state of California has been engulfed in flames, joy can feel like an effort that is just too heavy.
Sometimes joy is characterized as wimpy or self-indulgent. It is seen as being something private or even selfish, with little or no bearing on the larger community. But part of what we come to know experientially through our practice is how interconnected things are.
This is a simple journaling method you can use at the beginning and end of any of our core practices - a short sitting meditation, an embodied practice, a text study - to help track the effect the practice has upon your whole being. When we bring our awareness to all levels of being, we are able to gain perspective on aspects of our current state, and connect more deeply with the core part of our being that is steady and does not change with circumstance.