>The third phrase of the meditation I am learning has evolved into, “May I live with joy.”

The older I get, the more I realize I am a struggler. I don’t allow things to come easily. I argue with myself over ideas and only after a good argument do I find acceptance. (Maybe I should have been a lawyer…)

The third meditation phrase my teacher presented was, “May I be happy.”

Simple enough, eh?

Not in this mind! As soon as I was given permission to change the phrases so they resonated more strongly with me, I went to work on that third phrase.

At the time, I was in the middle of reading “The Happiness Project.” If I were willing to accept Gretchen Rubin’s I’ll-know-it-when-I-feel-it definition, I might’ve been able to live with repeating “May I be happy.”

No. Happiness feels to me like a state of being that relies on outward circumstances being Just Right. Can I be happy and in pain? Not in the way I think of happiness.

Joy, on the other hand, is a deep attitude that can last for moments or a lifetime, irrespective of outward circumstances. I can feel joy and pain simultaneously. (Childbearing springs to mind. Come to think of it, so does child rearing!  )

One of my options was to use “May I feel joy.” That works for me, but saying, “May I live with joy” seems more of a commitment. I am choosing joy as my internal constant.

Like life itself, I will have to choose it again and again, each day, each hour, each moment.