As we move into the new year this is the perfect time for reflection.
There are many aspect of reflection and review, and today I’m going to talk about Joy.
When I say Joy (and yes it has a capital J) I mean something that is deeper and more fulfilling than happiness. For me, Joy is a foundational aspect of listening to and living from my heart. When I’m in that space life becomes simple and more fulfilling.
Happiness is fleeting and comes with ups and downs. Joy to me is an inner contentedness. The mind is quiet and my heart feels alive and I feel connected to things greater than myself. There is beauty in the simplicity of the birds tweeting outside my window, the wind on my face and it’s a space where magic happens.
What the mind can imagine is limited, based on past programming and a future it believes could logically happen, but that’s the opposite of magic. Magic is beautiful and rarely logical. And it’s a space that I desire to live my life from, because it’s the energy of the creator and is connected to something far greater than anything I can see touch, hear, taste, feel and imagine. And when I open myself up to magic in my life and align my energy to the space of Joy, the easier it is to live the life my heart desires and this then manifest in my life in ways far greater than I can imagine.
So how do I live my life from this place? It’s been something I have been grappling with a lot over the last 12 months. And I don’t have all the answers, but I’m going to share with you somethings I’ve discovered that work for me.
I encourage you to spend some time each night over a week or so reflecting on your life. And starting thinking about the simple things that bring you joy.
What do you cycle back to in your life that you know fulfils you? Even if the voice in your head tries to talk you out of doing them.
What are the simple things that bring you joy?
They are always simple. The heart is simple. If it’s complicated then that’s in the realm of the mind not the heart.
Here are some things that connect me to my joy
- Dancing – by far one of the things that though my life that has consistently brought me joy
- Moving my body (linked to dance, but also encompasses) yoga and breath work
- Pottering in my garden – its’ peaceful, calms me down and creates a space for me to connect with my soul.
- Connecting to nature – walking barefoot on grass, feeling sun on my face. Bush walking, touching tree trunks and breathing in in the smell of eucalyptus.
- Going to the ocean, standing in the waves as they lap at my feet.
- Exploring new things, especially if it has to do with spirituality or psychology
- Being present with my son – this one can be tricky, because the mind gets involved quickly here, and I can get distracted with life, but it’s those moment of quiet togetherness. The moments of deep love I feel when I chat with him, watch him do an activity, laugh with him, or watch him sleep.
These are some of the activities I’ve found feed my soul. They are things that, although I haven’t done them consistently, I have drifted in and out of experiencing them over my life. Some are newer than others, some are evolutions of old ones, but what underlines it all is the simplicity and the fulfilment I feel from that activity.
Over the last 12 months I’ve realised that this is the space I want to live my life from. One of peace and connection. It’s a space that is void of fear, and the pressures life – time, finances, family. And when I’m in that space life is beautiful and free from worry.
The more I do the things I know bring me Joy, the more Joy I feel in my everyday life. It’s a cascading effect. It even helps me to transform poor choices. I can get on a spiral of eating crap food and escaping into books and TV . The more I eat and read the more I spiral.
But this is the thing about doing the activities that feed your soul. The more I do them the less I do things that I know cause me mental, physical or emotional harm. I find my outlook on life changes and I make choices that nourish and nurture me rather than hurt and harm me. I don’t even want to do the things that I was doing before. It doesn’t take long for the Joy to infuse into my life, I just focus on doing the Joy activities, and day by day I can feel and see it’s impact on my life.
What are your activities that bring you Joy?
For each person it’s different. I encourage you to spend some time reflecting and journaling on your life and what things bring you joy. Remember you don’t have to be a master at any of the activities, and other people may not even know that you do them, but it’s about what brings you Joy and fulfilment, a feeling of peace and harmony. Not what you think you should do in your life.
Is it singing (in the shower or while driving a car)
Building or making something with your hands
Sitting listening to nature
Creating crafty things
Drawing or painting
Listing to music
Playing a musical instrument
There are so many things that could be on your list!
*I’m going to put in a note about reading books and watching TV - I have found that these are less about connecting to Joy, and more about escapism and that’s another whole different topic.
Look at the list you have written. Take note of the activity that fills you with the most joy above anything else. (It could be 2 activities, there is no wrong here, it’s your life)
For me it’s dancing. I can put on a song and dance around my living room, go to a dance class, do a dance class video. And when I do it regularly it transforms my life.
Now pick something form your list. It doesn’t have to be your top activity. Sometimes you need to build up the fortitude to commit to that activity.
Pick one activity that is achievable (and it may not even take much time and could be as simple as standing barefoot on grass) and start there.
Remember Joy compounds in your life the more you become conscious of it and the more you choose it the more it influences your life. It’s a beautiful gift.
I’d love to hear what you do that brings you Joy in your life!!