In Search of Joy

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

“Joy” and “happy” are not the same. Happiness is a response to something you experience—watching a funny movie, playing with a grandchild, taking a great vacation or completing something successfully (a class, an athletic endeavor, an interview, even an organizing project).

Joy is deeper; it’s what your spirit experiences; it’s the essence of you.
Joy isn’t as temporary as being happy.
Joy fills you up.

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, partner, 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. And, if you don’t feel right with God, it’s really tough to be right with other human beings. So…..

  • Give yourself permission to feel good; to feel happy; to feel okay even when the rest of the world isn’t on the same page as you. This can be especially tough when people you love are in pain or crisis, or what’s going on around you creates anger, fear, and discord, but your feeling good brings positive energy to those around you.
  • 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 workingwhether that’s hanging onto a hurt, a friend who doesn’t honor you (that person isn’t really a “friend”), a bunch of clutter that’s suffocating you, or tension with people you live with. 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 experience joy in all that is right and good in our lives, it mitigates what’s less than ideal. That frees you from the prison of “would have, could have, should have”.


when we were young,
our footprints made very small marks on our planet.
the weight of those tiny steps left impressions,
but not as significant as those of our adult selves.
what if those smaller, innocent steps were more profound?
what if we could remember the joy in each movement forward?

Take care of yourself.
Forgive yourself.
Grow from 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.

Dear Reader, please help spread the word of peace full home® and invite your friends to our peace-filled conversations. I’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to comment and let me know what you’re thinking. If you comment, please check the box so that you get my response. Thank You!

Twitter: @kaymclane
Instagram: @peace_full_home

“Step By Step” From Poems & Random Thoughts About Life by Kay McLane
©2020 kay mclane, peace full®/intentional living, 2013-2020.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Kay McLane and Peace Full with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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