What Brings You Joy?
You know, the living wholeheartedly, belly-laugh inducing, memory-making-for-a-lifetime kind of JOY!!
Traveling somewhere new
Enjoying a relaxing family dinner
Drinking the perfect cup of coffee or tea
Or possibly just finally sleeping in…
Whatever fills you with joy, we invite you to join us on a 30-day joy-seeking adventure to discover more ways to embrace joyful living as we start the summer! Let’s take the #30DaysOfJoy challenge and try to find something that brings us joy AND shares joy each day.
Experiencing Happiness, Cultivating Joy
In the first three decades of my life, I’ve learned how hard (and necessary) it can be to choose joy over comfort and control. I’ve realized that while joy doesn’t necessarily come easily, it reaps amazing rewards. And most importantly, I’ve discovered the immense difference between experiencing happiness and cultivating joy.
Over the centuries, may individuals and great minds have contemplated the difference between happiness and joy. A simple Google search will leave you with pages of hits and thousands of results. So what’s the bottom line?
As you begin to live a joy-filled month, take a moment to consider these powerful questions:
Do you base your happiness on the external environment and what your relationships and activities give you?
Or do you seek a deeper, internal state of joy that you can access regardless of what happens around you?
When you base your happiness on external things, you give your power away to circumstance and, ultimately, risk feeling unhappy or disappointed. Psychology Today writer Sandra Brown, M.A., shares that “Happiness is external…It is dependent on outside situations, people, or events to align with your expectations so that the end result is your happiness.” So if the end results don’t go your way (because you’re still human after all!), your happiness is at stake.
Now consider joy. Harder to explain, yet easily accessible, joy can be ever-present when you are in a mental, emotional, and physical state to choose peace over control. Brown continues, “Joy comes when you make peace with who you are, where you are, why you are, and who you are not with.”
Joy is the ability to rise above circumstance and failed expectations to realign with a deeper purpose and fresh perspective.
Sounds pretty amazing, right? Let’s reclaim more joy!
Three Steps Closer to Joy
While accessing more joy in life sounds great, let’s be honest. People who exude joy can be downright annoying sometimes. Our annoyance factor is generally rooted in the fact that we just can’t understand why they are so positive. Their joy mystifies us!
So to help you begin your own journey to joy, here are three simple steps to try today:
STEP ONE: Slow down and appreciate life. Joy calls us into the moment. Instead of wishing, hoping, and even planning for something better, simply “being with” whatever is happening and finding the joy in the moment is deeply transformational. This month, intentionally try to slow down (yes, even when everything around you seems to be going SO FAST!) so you can more deeply appreciate the beauty of life and the gifts it holds when you notice and accept them.
STEP TWO: Make sense of your circumstances. While the people and experiences we encounter don’t always go as we planned or hoped, these moments offer invaluable opportunities to consider what really matters. These are the spaces that you can actively choose your perspective with positive intention, rather than become a victim to your emotions and gut reactions.
STEP THREE: Tap into a deeper purpose. When you are connected to something bigger than what’s happening now, all the “stuff” that’s getting in the way doesn’t seem as big and daunting. Consider the purpose that grounds and guides your life and use these opportunities to refocus on what matters most. Combined with a greater appreciation for life and intentional perspective, you should be feeling more joy-filled already!
Filling Your Joy Jar
Start keeping track of the moments that hold deeper meaning for you and how they help you access more joy in your life. You might even want to transform an old Mason jar into your “Joy Jar” and fill it with all the amazing things you’ve been experiencing this month. Or make it a family activity and invite your kids and spouse to participate! It’s a fun way to acknowledge all the little things that enrich and enliven our lives!
Have a JOYFUL June!