Joy. It’s such a simple little word, and often seems so hard to achieve. And yet, opportunities to experience it are all around us every day, if we just know where to look.
Although joy is quite hard to define, we know it when we feel it (although sometimes we forget to pay attention). It means different things to different people, but these are some of the signs to look out for:
- Being completely present in the moment
- A sense of being totally connected to whatever’s going on, but without any judgement of the situation, yourself or others
- A warm feeling in your heart, that seems to bubble up from within
- A sense of playfulness/lightness and yet, at the same time, profoundness, sometimes even sacredness
- A feeling that all is right with the world
Sometimes it finds us out of the blue, while we’re doing something else entirely. We can also create opportunities for it though. Try some of these:
- Do things that put you in your ‘zone’ or ‘flow’. While you’re in it, you’re totally involved in whatever you’re doing and unaware of time passing. Everyone has different activities that put them into their ‘zone’ – it could be running, building a model plane, baking a cake, gardening, writing, or something completely different. Experiment with finding out what yours is.
- Put your expectations aside for a while, and just go with the flow.
- Get out into nature. The more of it around you the better, but even a patch of grass will do.
- Notice simple things like the flower by the side of the road, and take a moment to appreciate them. Literally ‘take time to smell the roses’.
- Feel the sun on your face, and consciously breathe in its energy for a few minutes.
- Play with a child or a pet, and notice how easily they get into joy and bliss.
- Think of something that makes you happy, and hold that image in your mind while you feel your heart expand.
- Do a good deed for someone, just because you can.
Let’s start with ourselves, finding joy wherever we can. From there, it naturally spreads out, like ripples on a pond to all those around us who are open to it. Why not be a generator of joy for your family and friends this holiday season?!