Finding Joy

Where do you find joy?
Why does joy often seem so elusive?
What is joy?

“Joy” and “happiness” are not the same. Happiness is a response to something. We experience feeling happy when we’re having fun, spending time with people who make us smile, watching a funny movie, taking a vacation in a place we love, or even completing something successfully.
Joy is different.

Joy is inside you. Joy resonates within your spirit.
Joy isn’t as temporary as being happy.
Joy fills you up.

I’ve said for many years that my desire is to walk through this life with joy and grace. I mean that. I want to live a life filled with grace and joy. I want to be joy. I don’t always succeed, but I’m going to keep on trying.

To experience the peace that comes from being joyful, you first have to figure out what’s important to you. It’s not that what matters to your children or partner or parents or friends is unimportant, it’s simply that you have to make what really matters to you a priority. If you don’t do that, you are less well-equipped to “be present and joyful” for anyone else.

Be aware that if you don’t feel right with God—or the name you call your Higher Power—it’s really tough to be right with other human beings.

Give yourself permission to feel good, feel happy, and feel okay even when the rest of the world isn’t on the same page as you. This is especially tough when people you love are in pain or crisis, or what’s going on around you creates anger, fear and discord—like violence in our world, or a presidential election.

Be willing to, figuratively, fall flat on your face and not let those be the moments that “define you”.  If you keep rehashing the times you “fell”, that negative energy is taking up space that could be used for new, positive experiences. Take what you’ve learned and run with it.

Chase a dream. Kurt Vonnegut said, “of all the words of mice and men, the saddest are, ‘It might have been.’” Following a dream allows the magic of thinking big to enter your life. Please don’t ever shut that door.

Have a sense of humor and don’t take yourself too seriously.

Understand what brings you joy, inside your home, outside your home and most importantly inside you. This is really different from what you think should bring you joy. Glom onto what makes you smile, laugh and feel a little lighter in your step.

Give up what isn’t working. Whether it’s hanging onto a hurt, a friend who doesn’t honor you (that person is not a “friend”), a bunch of clutter that’s suffocating you, or tension with people you live with, let it go. Clearly, this is easier said than done, but that’s why it’s important.  Don’t consider it personal failure. Consider it personal growth. Getting rid of what’s toxic makes room for what’s healthy.

Look at life as a glass half full, instead of a glass half empty. When we choose to take joy in what’s right and good in our lives, it mitigates what’s less than ideal, and that frees you from the prison of “would have, could have, should have”.

Take care of yourself.
Forgive yourself.
Grow from the where you’ve been.
Be an active seeker of joy—which leads to a peace-filled you, which creates a peace-filled home, that blooms into a peace-filled life.

©2016 PeaceFullHome™/intentional living

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