You were Born a Bundle of Joy!

You were Born a Bundle of Joy!

—and you can reclaim your birthright, right now

by Cindy Teevens

          “Standing in a print shop, waiting for my order, I stood with what I knew could be interpreted as a “stupid grin” on my face. Things got a little busy there and it took some time, but I could have just stood there in joy indefinitely.

          About six people busily moved around the room, either in apparent mundane or stressed states. Nobody was smiling. Watching this, I felt like I was going to burst—I felt like a kid with an enormous secret. If they only knew that they could be doing what they are doing in a state of joy! They are doing what they are doing anyway!

          The grin on my face seemed to draw people. I was approached with offers of help by matching grins several times. I grinned wider and in gratitude replied, “I am already being helped, thanks.” When the person helping me returned, the interaction was joyful, playful, and peppered with hilarious, spontaneous jokes. The connection was awesome.”

Happiness is my predominant state now, even when driving, doing laundry, doing dishes, and even when running in the rain. Whenever I “wake up” from a less joyful feeling and remember the options, a smile begins to spread the awakening of joy.

Why would a grin be interpreted as “stupid”? Perhaps because it is not the “norm,” not the way people usually go about their business. Society has handed down “rules” about how one “should” be in any given situation, and feeling joyful has not been the norm in most situations. If you have a “stupid grin” on your face, it is generally thought that something exceptional has happened to you. Notice the assumption that something that happened to you, that something “outside” of you, was the cause.

I guess something exceptional has happened to me. I have learned that we can experience joy (or any other feeling) whenever we want to, for no reason other than we can, and that it is NOT exceptional! We were all born with this ability. Ever notice how quickly a baby can switch from crying to giggling? That’s before they learn the “rules,” society’s rules, and later their own rules. Before they learn to attach their feeling to outside events, children play quite joyfully on their own for the pure joy of joy.

Then something happens. Adults, who feel and notice joy while watching this, react to and with the child (thinking the child is the cause of their own joy), and then they play with or even materially reward the child for this response with sweets or gifts. The child experiences this reaction repeatedly, begins to think its joy comes from that, and this is the beginning of forgetting the cause and power of joy itself. At some point, it becomes all about getting outside attention, approval, and reaction, even though that is not the source of joy. Attachment and then need form.

Even though the innate ability and power to feel good is still always there, it stops being practiced and becomes confused with the outside. Even before a child has words to explain inner joy, they have learned to imagine it comes from the outside. Thought and belief begin to cloud it over.

Gradually we are taught to think and feel like the others before us; we acquire the unconsciousness, the belief that we only “get to” feel joy when we perceive love or acceptance from others outside (whether or not it is actually there). Or when we get something new: some toy, ice cream, and later bigger toys, cars, lovers, houses, children. These are the “assumed” rules. The rules practically everyone lives by.

Of course at some point, the toys don’t get any bigger. And they become old, and break down, and therefore so does the feeling. So getting outside things, which are mistaken for feeling good, becomes an addiction because things don’t last.

But the joy of being, of life, of aliveness, remains, and can even grow with your awareness of it itself, independent of what goes on around you. Become an adventurer and question your hand-me-down assumptions about life and experience—especially about what and where joy is, how much you can experience, and who or what has this power over your life.

Of course, there are also numerous “rules” for how, when, where, and why we “must” suffer. There is a lot of “bad” news out there to suffer over, and sometimes we choose to do just that. Reality is massive, infinite. There is always something to celebrate at the same time as there is something to suffer over.

With these two polar opposites always available, a choice is made, although usually unconsciously. At this time in society, for most people how they feel drives their experience and their behavior. How do you act when feeling bad? How productive or useful is that? Suffering is unhealthy for the body-mind, for others, and the earth. How do you act when feeling good? What happens then? Life can be fun, joyous, and light.

I propose a new rule, not to live by, but to play by. Here it is:

There are no rules! There is only choice.

How you choose to feel during or after an event is how you will experience it. When I say “feel,” I literally, actually mean feeling—not thinking about something to figure out how you “should” feel about it (more thought rules!). This feel is really an action, a change of your interest, and a movement of your attention, which has been out of your conscious control since childhood.

You can actually access good feeling in any moment, independent of whatever is going on around you, because it is you and the body-mind that does the feeling, not the activity.

Feel good first, and the supporting good feeling thoughts will follow.

We have been so programmed and automatically conditioned to feel certain ways about certain thoughts, that we mistake the bad thought-feeling for the “truth,” as if it were absolute; as if there were no other option. Then more thoughts about “why” we feel that way come to support it. What a backwards, totally out-of-control way to experience life!

Feel good first because when you feel bad, bad thoughts come to you easily and effortlessly. When you feel good, good thoughts come to you easily and effortlessly.

When you initially begin to take responsibility for your feeling, for your experience, it is new. At first it may seem odd. Since you are challenging old beliefs, “old-mind” and its habitual thoughts may try to send you down a slippery slope of negativity.

But you were born a bundle of joy and you still are one—if you persist with not blaming the world outside you, care first and foremost about how you feel inside, and practice The Alchemy of Love and Joy™. Then feeling good becomes your habit and it will open worlds, possibilities, and purpose for you. You will return to your natural state, to your joyful birthright. So—Seek Joy!

Warning: You can be lost in feeling good

You can become so narrowed, focused and contracted on a giddy happiness that you also don’t see or hear anything else in your reality. You can become lost. You can also eliminate much of reality, including what is “bad” (and this is how we can wear rose-colored glasses early in relationships).

Are you present; are you aware of and feeling into your body? Are you seeing with a full range of vision? Or have you become manically narrowed because of some outside event?

What is the source of your pleasure? Is there an “object” of your pleasure? This would mean that you are still attached to the outside. Take ownership of every feeling, even the good ones!

{ They whose thoughts are of sensual objects are attached
to them, attachment gives rise to desires, and anger is born
when these desires are obstructed. ~ Bhagavad Gita }

There are Zen teachings that suggest that even happiness is suffering because you are unconscious, still attached, and will eventually come back down, perhaps even lower. And if you do get the object of your desire (including happiness itself), it will inevitably leave or change because everything changes; everything is transient and comes and goes. The type of joy I speak of is not attached, has no object which it is happy “about,” and has no cause other than your interest and attention. It is joy for no reason other than itself. It is the joy of Being.

When you begin to take control of your experience, at first it feels odd, and since you are challenging old beliefs, thoughts will try to send you down that slippery-slope. But you were born a bundle of joy, and you still are one—if you persist with not blaming the world around you, caring first and foremost about how you feel, and practicing The Alchemy of Love and Joy™, then that will become your habit, and you will step back into who you really are, back into your real power in life. It will open worlds, possibilities, and purpose for you. You will return to your natural joyful state, to your birthright. –Seek Joy!


The Alchemy of Love and Joy™ is a book, a story of suffering transcended into joy, and a simple practice anyone can do that will create a life full of constant joy. There are “Alchemy” practice groups and gatherings, and The Alchemy of Love and Joy™ practice is available free online, for anyone to learn and live.

Comments 4

  1. We are born, pre-wired for joy. As infants we live in awe of everything around us–everything is new, interesting, and exciting. When you enter a room with a baby in it. the room is transfixed–the whole energy of the room changes–all eyes are on the baby–not just because we are intrigued by mini little adults, but because they live in a state of joy and awe, and as they look into our eyes, they see all there is to know about us, and they accept it. Their young hearts are pure, as are ours–we just need to access our own– however we experience joy. And we need to broaden our definition of where Joy can be found–like a baby who finds it in each new face that meets his gaze. Each new profile, each wrinkled brow, each stubbled chin, each toothless grin.

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