I love it when the feeling of JOY comes in. It is an amazing sensation of deep peace and great brightness. JOY is like the sun. The sun nourishes, rejuvenates, and fuels. It gives the body the nutrition it needs to grow and thrive, the light it needs to come alive and the life to go forth. As the sun does for the body, so JOY does for the soul. When JOY comes in, you receive the nourishment that gives the confidence to grow and thrive, a spark that activates hope and enthusiasm for the future, and energy that overflows from the inside out to others.
The absence of the sun can bring on winter blues/depression. In a similar way, the absence of JOY creates a life that feels slow, lifeless, isolating and dark. It becomes challenging to conjure up the energy to get up and go out. Life begins to feel meaningless and empty. Finding JOY and light seem so perplexing when they feel so absent.
Being filled with JOY is an inside job. Often, the world teaches us that JOY and “happiness” are the same and can be found in our external circumstances. So we search for “JOY” in our relationships (partner, friends, being liked, etc), our status (degrees, etc.) and accumulation of wealth (stuff). Unfortunately, instead of happiness and/or JOY, many have found the absence of both on this path. One can have all these external realities, “have it all,” yet still feel empty.
That is why it is so exciting when JOY comes in! It is like this magical exchange when the internal syncs and is suddenly activated externally! JOY is an internal experience of fullness that overflows externally on my perspective and actions toward the world.
JOY comes inside with 3 things
- Alignment with who you are. Accept that while you are imperfect at times, you are a loved and gifted person. Be content with who you are at this time and place. Have gratitude and love for yourself and others. Continue to improve yourself, enjoy the journey and remember to accept and align with the now. Be you.
- Purpose in using your gifts and talents for a reason outside of yourself. Understand you have a uniqueness that is a blessing to the world and enjoy using it as a gift to others.
- Surrender. Have a growth mindset that has goals and aspirations, but is willing to surrender to what is brought to you and how things go. Carry an abundance lens on life and the world – so that no matter what is happening to you, you see it as a gift and opportunity to learn. JOY comes when I can appreciate and acknowledge that what comes is a blessing and realize that life is about more than me and my desires.
Let’s be honest, life has challenges. Sometimes people are in bad situations. The point of this perspective on JOY is not to minimize those struggles, sometimes there are dark times in life. Eventually, however, it is possible to get back to delight and this perspective is to be a way to find and restore JOY despite what is happening, where we have been and what we might be going through. Just as the sun shines even in our dark days, so JOY can be found in challenging days.
It can be more difficult in some situations however we can continue to do our best to live in alignment with who we are (not in how others are making us feel), find purpose in each day (even if it was not what we planned or desired) and surrender to what happens (not saying what is happening is right, but looking for the good in what is happening) – which is the recipe for JOY to abound and overflow… even in the most challenging of circumstances.
I believe JOY is not only like being in the sun but reflecting the sun. When happiness comes into us, that JOY light shines out of us too affecting the lives of others in a positive way. It is a cycle that brings light and health to all we touch.
What difference does happiness make in your life? How do you feel when you are in alignment with who you are? What happens when you are using your gifts and talents in the world? When you plan and work hard but surrender how does that change the outcome of your day?