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Excerpted from Finding Joy by Charlotte Kasl. Copyright 1995 by Charlotte Kasl. Excerpted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.  All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. HTML and web pages copyright by SpiritSite.com.
 

"Joy leads us to the heart of our spiritual journey because it ignites the fire of transformation that enables us to change our thoughts, perceptions, and feelings."

  Charlotte Kasl, Finding Joy, Part 1

Joy is a source of personal power. Joy awakens as we open ourselves to the wonder of the universe both inside us and around us. As we allow the expansive power of joy to flow through us, our awareness expands and we see beyond the concrete world to a world of love, intimacy, creativity, and wisdom.

We create room for joy as we move beyond "shoulds" and "musts" to an expansive state where we accept our capacity to be both powerful and gentle, expansive and reclusive, delighted and bored, wise and confused, passive and assertive, giving and receptive, generous and withholding, frightened and adventuresome, angry and loving. As we become accepting of ourselves we are more able to reach inside and speak our truths: Yes, No, I want, I can, I feel, I believe, I see, I love. This is a form of self-love that creates unity and peacefulness within because we are living at one with our wisest self.

Joy leads us to the heart of our spiritual journey because it ignites the fire of transformation that enables us to change our thoughts, perceptions, and feelings. In doing so we are able to transcend an empty, humdrum existence and infuse our lives with vitality, awareness, and the ability to move beyond the limited boundaries of self. Finding joy doesn't mean life will always be easy, rather life becomes rich because we live near the pulse of possibility. To open the door you can start by saying, I am willing. I am willing to feel, to Know, to love, and to expand. I am willing to let the concrete walls of my beliefs slip away and move into a new level of awareness.

In his "Ode to Joy," the German poet Friedrich Schiller wrote, "By that holy fire impassioned, to thy sanctuary we come."

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