Dance of Joy

Tommy Franklin
Tommy Franklin

Dear Seamus,

For much of my life I believed that suffering and struggle was normal. I thought it was required as a way to earn your stripes as a human being. The bigger the challenge you had overcome and the more miserable you felt, the more credibility you will have. You battled on against the odds and came up trumps. You are a ‘survivor’.

Over the past few years I have discovered that life is actually about being happy. It is not about merely surviving your experiences. Life is be enjoyed and not just endured. It’s about living your happiness and feeling your joy. I used to struggle to be light because often everything felt so heavy to me. There were plenty of reasons to be miserable and if there wasn’t an apparent reason, I could most definitely find one quite quickly. A friend had done wrong by me. A guy I was seeing had not returned my call in what I thought was a reasonable time frame. The manager at work was taking my pound of flesh and demanding I hand over another. If all was peachy in my personal life I need only watch the news. Flashing across the screen was plenty of reasons to be disheartened or angry with the world.

Yet, inside us lives the most supreme joy. It waits patiently in the background for us to see it, not for the first time but instead with fresh eyes. We can get a reminder of this joy from time to time in many different ways. We can fall in love. We can take a bungee jump. We can hold a newborn baby. We can be reminded of our own joy by watching another expressing theirs.

Last night, your Daddy and I were watching one of the many talent shows that are available on television at the moment. I had deliberately wanted to see it as a man I was familiar with was auditioning. When he presented himself on stage, the camera cut away to some audience members exchanging curious looks. A tall, wiry man with a long unkempt ginger beard stood before a filled auditorium and explained that dancing made him feel incredible joy. Silence fell over the crowd as they waited for the music to begin. He started moving to the music. Before my eyes, as I had seen on YouTube clips, this man became so engulfed by his joy that he became the music. His blissfulness was raw and his happiness became palpable. Your Daddy was dancing in his seat with a huge smile on his face. The television audience jumped to their feet and I felt my own joy rising up inside me.

This man, Tommy Franklin, was being the physical demonstration of his joy. That joy reached out to others as a call to find their own joy. That seems to be his mission; his message; and now this television show has given him the platform to reach many others, to “change the world one smile at a time”.

Seamus, when you are living your joy you will show others the way. They will feel your joy with you and that will encourage them to live their own. That is an incredible and powerful gift and you need do nothing more than have the courage to be yourself. Your authentic, incredible expression of joy is the way to change the world.

I look to the dancing man from Byron Bay who lives his joy through dancing. That is when I believe that our society is heading in the right direction. Success is only achieved by being yourself. Feel your joy darling, in whatever way that may be.

Don’t just dance with your joy, let your joy dance you.

“The journey to true happiness and to happiness now is not a journey of physical distance or time; it is one of personal “self-recovery,” where we remember and reconnect consciously to an inner potential for joy–a paradise lost–waiting to be found” – Robert Holden, Happiness Now


Published by

Melanie Rose Killick

Melanie Rose Killick writes to her baby son Seamus about life, death and the amazing gift of cancer.

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