My mother tells me I was a joyful child. I rarely cried. Whenever she woke me from sleep, I would have a smile on my face. So I couldn’t help but wonder, what the heck happened? How did I drag such a serious, over-thinking nature through adulthood and why was I sporting a perpetually furrowed brow? When did rest and play become things that had to be earned?

Perhaps some of it was my upbringing. Having two military parents might do that to you. Perhaps some of it was my natural wiring, my insatiable need to figure things out. But I’m guessing a lot of it was lessons that were learned too well. Once I managed a bit of success with some method, I would then try to control and perfect the life right out if it.

What I’ve discovered is that joy is our natural state, often revealed to us when we finally get out of our own way. It is at once energetic yet serene, powerful yet subtle, engaging yet mysterious. Most notably, it has a lightness to it that I like to describe as internal laughter. So go ahead and relax those relentless, self-imposed demands of yours for a moment…and have a giggle.

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