What do you do when you’re standing on the shore of a bay that was recently polluted by an oil spill, and suddenly you see a pod of dolphins leaping and diving before you? Are you thrilled to be in the presence of such apparently jubilant animals… or do you grieve because their habitat is so terribly compromised?
Are you being irresponsible when you relish being outside on a beautiful, mild afternoon… but it’s February and you know that climate change is wreaking havoc on the seasons?
The Radical Joy for Hard Times practice of finding and making beauty in wounded places means you don’t have to choose. You do not have to judge yourself for delighting in beauty or joy that touches you in the midst of what you know very well is a problem. Nor do you have to justify your pleasure by denying or downplaying the gravity of the situation.
The ability both to face hard times and bring beauty into them entails making room in your life for both, knowing that both are the reality of the moment, in the world and in yourself.
The practice of Radical Joy is about going to damaged places, opening up to the grief and anger we feel about what has happened to them, sharing stories of what they mean to you, getting to know the place as it is now, and making a simple act of beauty for it.
In this simple practice we exchange gifts of beauty and compassion with the Earth.
Grieve. Open. Receive. Give. Receive.