A Beautiful Breeze for Having Deep Fun
The 4AM air was oozing a fresh scent that energized my steps. The moon was a smiling halo suspended in the sky. I lifted my face and smiled at it. My smile number 3. The one that shows up when am joyful; when joy is dancing in my heart. Not pleasure, but joy.
So what’s the difference between joy and pleasure? Stay tuned. You are about to find out.
The houses on either side of the tarmacked road were the same ones that I saw every time I ran or drove on this road. Previously, I had barely noticed them. But today, their mere sight pumped joy into me. I was so aware of the houses that they instantly became like friends running next to me.
I even noticed a papaya tree growing in one of the compounds to the right. I had never seen it before. Yet it had always been there. I hadn’t noticed it because whenever I ran by it, the stream of thoughts in my mind blocked such sights from view. I simply wasn’t present enough to see the papaya tree and numerous other features along the road.
What a lovely papaya tree! I thought as I ran past it. Two other trees, to my left waved at me. Although they were simply swaying to the rather intense 4AM breeze, I was so present that it felt as if they were literally waving at me, cheering me on as I ran. I was so aware of their presence that I decided to stop and engage them for a moment.
I could feel this tree whispering two words 'Have Fun.' Photo by DJ Bwakali
I heard these words. I heard them in my heart and not through my ears.
As the two trees’ branches swayed gently; as the 4.15AM breeze caressed my sweaty cheeks, these two words reverberated in my heart – have fun.
Not the fun that is rooted in pleasure, but the one that is rooted in joy.
Joy is like a mountain stream – it wells from deep within and isn’t dependent on external replenishment. Pleasure on the other hand, is like the water tap in your kitchen – you have to open it for the water to come out. That tap is just a conduit of the water; it’s not the source.
Clinging to pleasure is like clinging to the tap, forgetting that what you really need is the water, not the tap.
When your fun is rooted in joy, its more wholesome, more fulfilling and lasting. But when it’s rooted in pleasure, it ends as soon as the 'fun activity' ends. That’s why two people could be in a club drinking and dancing; having fun. But for one, let’s call her Nasike, that partying is rooted in joy. She is not using the partying to fill some emptiness within her but because the joy in her heart is so full that it occasionally spills over into the fun of partying. But for the other person, lets call him Ken, the partying is filling a void within him; he is escaping from the stress of work or family life. He is momentarily having fun, but because it’s rooted in temporary pleasure, he will be miserable the moment he walks out of that club.
Have fun. But let it be the mountain-stream kind of fun. The fun that is rooted in joy. If you adopt this perspective and essence of fun, every day will be fun even when it doesn’t feel like it.