Discovering Joy

The story "Fox and Butterfly" is in part my attempt to use the art of story to portray a moment of joy.

The morning Fox wakes up to see Butterfly greet him, he encounters an unexpected beauty he thought he had lost forever. That's when he realizes the things he needs the most and bring him the most happiness will always find him at precisely the right moment.

That moment of joy for Fox comes from being present, grateful and humble when Butterfly returns to him.

Choosing to Be Present

The more I choose to be fully engaged with my current moment the more I find I can enjoy myself and my own company while enjoying whomever and whatever is with me. My most anxious moments come from trying to inhabit a moment that hasn't arrived yet.

Choosing to Be Grateful

To me gratitude is choosing to focus more on what I have with an open heart and dwelling less on what I don't have. The things I want but don't have are just what hasn't been given to me yet. Dwelling on what is lacking, missing, lost, or out of my control can cultivate fear and insecurity. However, giving thanks for what I have and noticing all the many gifts I have is an easy way to enjoy my present circumstances and experience joy. I can even pursue the things I want but don't have with gratitude for the very experience of hard work as well as the rewarding feeling I'll have when I obtain it!

Choosing to Be Humble

True humility isn't thinking poorly of yourself. This is actually a form of pride. True humility comes from the realization that you may still have a lot to learn from those around you. That you really control less than you think. Humility helps you remember that you actually owe a lot to the many loved ones who have helped you along the way. Humility allows you to acknowledge the bigness of the universe around you and how small but important your part is in it.

Presence, gratitude and humility are difficult skills to master but I've identified these practices as a source for real enjoyment in my life.

-Jack Nicholas


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