I recently spoke at a TEDx conference about what I think is the most important space on earth. Guess what it is?
It's the space inside your heart. Can you be brain dead and still alive? Yes! But once your heart stops, that's it. Zippo. Nothing. No more life. So the heart is the most important organ in the body.
But wait -- there's more! The Institute of Heartmath has conducted many studies on how the heart influences not only the brain waves of anyone within 6 to 10 feet of us but also the profound impact it has on our stress levels and health. There is so much about the heart we don't know.
During a course I was studying called Sacred Service, we did an exercise called "drop to your heart," and we were to imagine ourselves inside the space in our hearts. I was a little skeptical to begin with, but I tried it and almost in an instant, I was in the vast space that felt like illuminated velvet! I know it sounds odd, but I didn't expect it, and it was very real. I also felt amazingly joyful and calm.
Of course, as soon as you read or hear someone talking like this, many people automatically slip into our usual default pattern -- judging. Stop it! Stop judging -- you can use judgment not make judgment.
That is the first part to the secret formula for joy -- stop judging! When you stop judging, you open your mind up to new possibilities and you open your heart to connect with others. Judging isolates and separates. Making judgments and labeling others or situations is rarely helpful. Using judgment is critical -- so investigate and try this to see if these ideas have merit!
The second part of the secret formula for joy is drop! Drop to your heart like we did in our Sacred Service class. Another way to do it is to sit quietly somewhere and imagine a little chute going from the center of your head to the center of your heart. Then imagine a miniature you sliding joyfully down that chute and landing softly in the vast, peaceful, beautiful area in your heart.
Take time to really experience it -- and notice how you feel. Your mission should you choose to accept it is to get into your heart space and stay there -- especially when you are dealing with someone "difficult" or challenging.
You will be stunned at what a difference it makes to the process and outcome.
And the third part of the secret formula for joy is to zoot! Zoots are what my mum sent me after she had stayed with me for six weeks following the death of my stepdad. She was distraught and very grateful for my help and left a note for me to find after I had taken her to the airport to go home.
In this note, she told me what a wonderful daughter I was and how much she loved me -- it was the sort of note that had me sobbing at the end of it! Especially as part of me was glad she had gone home!
At the very end, she had drawn a great big heart on one side and a great big heart on the other and a whole lot of little hearts in between -- it was my mother's way of sending me love. She called each little heart a "zoot."
So if you want to send love to someone else, send zoots to them -- either out loud by saying zoot zoot zoot to someone or you can silently send them from your heart -- it still works!
There you have it -- the secret formula for joy! Stop judging, drop to your heart and stay there and zoot! It sounds silly but it really really works. Keep your mind and heart open and try it before you scoff. Be an early adopter.
Zoot zoot from me!
Amanda Gore (www.amandagore.com) is an author, award-winning motivational speaker and joy facilitator! Her philosophy is that Joy is an Inside Job. Finding joy is the secret to more productive, creative, successful and happy humans -- at work and home. Amanda is also the director of The Joy Project. To book Amanda for your event click here or email email@example.com. Connect with Amanda on Facebook - Amanda Gore - Speaker page and The Joy Project page