Tonight’s question for this 7th night of Hanukkah is: What seven things or experiences bring you joy?
Reb Nachman of Bratzlav taught:
“Joy is not merely incidental to your spiritual quest, it is vital.” Despite Reb Nachman’s periodic bouts of severe depression, he stressed the importance of seeking joy.”
Having a regular spiritual practice of looking for what lights us and brings us joy is crucial. Yes, there is much darkness in the world, however, there is also so much good.
Here are seven things that create tremendous joy in my life.
I would love to hear yours in the comments:
- Our dog Bo. From the day we brought him home, Bo has made us laugh. Ely and I love parenting him together. He is a light in our lives.
2. Walking in nature, especially in the redwoods and eucalyptus that surround us. We happened to land in a gorgeous part of Northern California, and just stepping outside on our porch, and seeing the majestic trees, makes me so happy.
3. Planting seeds in our garden. Because of our small space, we garden in containers. We just planted Icelandic poppy seeds and milkweed for the monarchs. It is so exciting to plant them and then wait, with patience, for them to emerge from the darkness.
4. Laughing with friends. My husband notices how much I laugh with whomever I’m talking to.
5. Knitting. Knitting brings such comfort (I’m told Michelle Obama has
taken it up too!) When I knit for friends and family, I think of them and pour blessings through my hands.
6. Teaching and learning. For much of my life, I’ve been both a learner and a teacher. Nothing brings me more joy than learning something new, or seeing an old text in a completely new way.
7. Making bread. Whether by hand or in the breadmaker, there is something so grounding about making bread.
What about you? I’d love to hear what brings you joy in the comments. Happy Hanukkah