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Being Mindful of Joy

By following the simple, creative exercises in this book, it’s easy to train your brain to listen for and seek out the little bits of joy in your life, interrupting the anxiety of your daily routine.

| June 2016

  • “Joy in Every Moment: Mindful Exercises for Waking to the Wonders of Ordinary Life” by Tzivia Gover
    Photo courtesy of Storey Publishing
  • The captivating, original paintings in this book could make it the perfect reminder for busy people to take a break and take a breath.
    Photo by Olaf Hajek

What if happiness hides in this routine moment, just waiting for us to see it? This is what Tzivia Gover, professional educator and leader of retreats and workshops, addresses in her book, Joy in Every Moment: Mindful Exercises for Waking to the Wonders of Ordinary Life (Storey Publishing, 2015). Her belief and her practice is that you can uncover joy in any part of your day, even when you’re completing  the most mundane tasks. Listening for and being mindful of this joy can improve mental and even physical health, and capturing this peace can minimize the stress the day brings. With full-color, original paintings from Olaf Hajek that are perfect for a pick-me-up, within these pages might be the calming force you need to live in the moment and find life’s ordinary joys.

Modern Times

The image of Charlie Chaplin as The Little Tramp in the iconic film Modern Times may seem quaint now, but the accelerated pace of work and our desperate attempts to keep up are not so different now from what they were in the Industrial Age that is comically portrayed in that classic film. In fact, as technology improves, it seems more difficult than ever to foster a healthy relationship with time and to resist the ever-growing pressures to produce more and more at absurdly escalating rates of speed.

In addition, technology has caused a blurring of lines between work time and personal time. The Internet tempts us into distractions during the workday, and smartphones and electronic tablets set up the expectation that we will be available around the clock for business.

Ancient wisdom, however, provides the antidote for the frantic pace of our lives in these modern times. The Sabbath, a time-honored call to refrain from worldly pursuits one day a week, is still something we can adapt to our harried lives. In addition, meditative and contemplative traditions from various faiths teach us to quiet our minds and find a timeless realm of peace and serenity within, no matter what is happening in the world around us.

It is our challenge then to combine today’s technology with ancient wisdom to help us use the gift of time consciously and to set priorities that support and strengthen our intentions.

Exercises for Joy at Work

Break Time
Take brief breaks every 45 minutes at work. Frequent short breaks have been proven to increase productivity. They make you feel good, too. So set an alert to remind you to get up, gaze out the window, or make a cup of calming herbal tea at regular intervals.

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