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Even though Joy is natural to all of us, and the Universe in which we live is dancing with It (and with us), we are free to sit out the Dance. We’re free to stifle the Music of Life that seeks expression through us and would, if we allowed It to, animate us in such ways that we’d never want the Music to stop. Abraham-Hicks tells us, “The basis of your life is Freedom; the purpose of your life is Joy. In your joy you will grow, in your joyous growth you will add to the growth experience of All-That-Is. However, you are also free to choose bondage or pain.” If we look at Joy in that way, i.e., as a group hug for the world, our choice to be a party pooper seems almost selfish.

Still, we’re so free we can say “no” to tapping our toe to the Joyous Rhythm of Life. We’re so free we can say “no” to experiencing the Happy Energy of the whole Universe! Deep within us our Soul feels the Joyous Rhythm of Life because we have come into existence through Its High Energy and powerful creative Vibrations. It’s not just that this Life is Joy, we are the Joy of Life. We’re the fun Life is having! Are you having fun as an expression of Life?

When we ignore the Joy we are, when we imprison It because we’re worried we might look foolish, or overenthusiastic, or too hopeful about who we are, it’s painful for us because it is Divinely unnatural for us. We remain Divine even when we’re saying “no” to our Divine Self. We are expressions of the Joy of our Creator, Divine beings of joy, peace, love, goodness, and clarity given absolute freedom of self-expression. How could we be otherwise when the Pure Positive Energy that creates worlds and keeps them spinning in space, created us?

Still we’re free to ignore our Divinity, and the part our Joy adds to the Whole of All-That-Is. We’re free to act as if we’re only human (at least while we’re here on Earth), separate from the Joy of our Source and separate from each other. We’re free to feel burdened by life, as if we’ve been given something broken that needs fixing rather than a life to simply enjoy. And, no one is going to fault us if don’t feel like dancing because, let’s face it, there is plenty to keep our mind occupied with thoughts about the world that will bring us down. It’s hard to move (much less groove) when, like Atlas, we’re carrying the world on our shoulders.

What we focus on most of the time becomes what we see most of the time, and what we see most of the time becomes our experience of Life every time. When what we focus on causes negative emotions most of the time, we don’t trust our self to let go and fully enjoy Life. We worry where our joy might take us, even though our lack of Joy is keeping us stuck. We fear what others will think if we’re too happy—happy can seem uppity or at least ill-advised in this seemingly troubled world. But the Mind of God thought us into existence, and only that Mind that knows who we are and how to guide us with that holy knowledge.

We have to let go and let the Rhythm within us move us if we want to be in step with our Divinity. When we’re moving with the Tempo of the Source of our Creation, when we’re in our Joy and with our Joy, we discover there’s no fear in being joyful. We enjoy expressing who we are wherever it leads us. And, in those moments of free self-expression, we attract others into our experience who are dancing to the same Joyous Rhythm.

Eckhart Tolle wrote, “You cannot receive what you do not give. What comes out determines what comes in.” We’ve got to let our Joy out if we want more Joy to come in. When we’re not holding back, we reap the benefits of Joy in every area of our life. We feel healthier, we feel lighter, we laugh more, we enjoy being around others, we experience more abundance, and we feel more creative. We may not feel like being joyful all the time, but when we choose Joy anyway because Its there to choose, we grow. And, in our growth we add to the growth experience of All-That-Is. But we won’t choose Joy if we’re holding back any part of our self because we believe we’re not worthy of bliss. Every living being is worthy to live in the fullness of Joy.

This human environment gives us opportunity after opportunity to discover our power of choice. Every moment of every day we’re given an opportunity to demonstrate that power, and in this world choice is everything! If we think we have no choice in some area of our life, we need to think again. Unless we deliberately choose how we want to experience Life, we’ll feel like a victim of bad news waiting to hear it! It is only because we’re free to choose that this world of challenging interactions and conflicts, where we could focus everyday on some condition, event or situation that would bring us down, serves a beneficial purpose.

We read in The Science of Mind, “Freedom and bondage, sickness and health, poverty and riches, heaven and hell, good and bad, big and little, happiness and misery, and all conditions that appear as opposites are not really opposing powers, but are the way that the One Power is used. Man has within himself the key to every situation, but he must come to realize his relationship to the Whole.” We get to choose which end of the stick we want to focus on. Both are there every moment because there’s just one stick. The Joy that really has no opposing power, but our own freedom to choose to oppose Its expression as us, would naturally draw us to the positive end of the stick if we’d let It. When we allow Joy to pull us onto the Dance Floor of Life, our Heart dances with the Universe!

Rumi wrote, “If you are hungry for joy, feed yourself with gratitude!” Gratitude is the extra ingredient that enhances and enriches our experiences of Life. Without gratitude we can’t experience life as we’re created to experience it because we’re unable to taste the Joy of living. When we’re happy to be alive things to appreciate naturally arise in our field of awareness. It’s as if things to appreciate that were already there come forward and make themselves known to us. Simple things fill up all five of our senses: The sight of the moon and stars; the fragrance of autumn leaves; the sound of wind in the trees; the taste of water when we’re thirsty; the feel of a soft warm blanket when we’re cold. We reap the benefits of gratitude because it unlocks the fullness of the Life we are created to enjoy.

When we’re not feeling appreciation for Life, it’s likely because we’re taking It for granted and missing Its magic. When we’re grateful even for small things, our Joy is so well-nourished that we don’t have to wait for a break from the mundane to experience the miraculous. Louise Hay wrote, “I find that the more willing I am to be grateful for the small things in life, the bigger stuff just seems to show up from unexpected sources, and I am constantly looking forward to each day to all the surprises that keep coming my way!” Gratitude helps us to appreciate the good that’s present in the moments of our life instead of complaining about what’s missing.

Life surprises us with more of the good that is meant for us when we appreciate the good we already have. When we’re feeding our Joy with gratitude, we reap the benefits appreciating life offers us. We have a passionate curiosity about the Life that is living in us as we live this Life. We feel enthusiastic about being our self in the world around us and we can’t wait to genuinely connect with others just for the Joy of it. And, when we’re feeling the Joy of gratitude, if there’s music, we can’t help but dance!