A Joyful Revolutionary?

“Radically new or innovative; outside or beyond established procedure, principles, etc.: a revolutionary discovery.”  dictionary.com
— Does a man become a revolutionary out of the belief he’s entitled to joy rather than submission? —  Barbara Kingsolver, The Lacuna

I had never thought of myself as a revolutionary before reading The Lacuna; idealist, perhaps, but never a revolutionary. But if entitlement to joy is a benchmark, then I am, indeed, a revolutionary, albeit a fairly quiet one. I don’t pick up arms, or even a megaphone but, at times, the quill. Or, just as likely, I quietly practice tonglen (a Buddhist breathing practice of breathing in pain and suffering, your own or someone else’s, and breathing out/sharing joy, delight, peace, etc.). I gave up my license to practice psychology because the methodology and bureaucracy no longer afforded joy to me or my clients; now I practice coaching people on how to experience more joy in their lives. Never mind previous life experiences find joy in the moment, in the NOW, and the rest of it falls away, at least for as long as you maintain the practice. As with any such practice, you simply keep coming back to it, without judgment about how easily you fall out of it. Even sitting here in McDonald’s, when I look for joy within myself, I find it. And then it appears without, in the delighted voices of some children who just entered. Squeals of delight; ignited by me creating my own reality? Who can say.

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