The secret to a life of joy

As the yoga class begins, our instructor suggests we set an intention for our practice. For quite some time I had been setting the intention of finding joy. That made sense to me. I liked joy. I felt a need for more joy in my life. Honestly, I figured I could always use more joy in my life. I knew that my joy was my responsibility. So I would make an effort to find joy.

But then I realized that my job wasn’t necessarily to find joy. It was to create joy. That by merely looking for joy I was still, in some ways, expecting the outside world – and others – to deliver joy to me. Instead of generating it for myself.

It dawned on me that my goal, my intention, needed to instead be to create joy. To go out – or in – and make it happen. To search for it as best as I could, but to also cause it as best as I could. To make room for joy, to make way for joy, and to make space for joy. To give myself excuses and reasons to feel joy.

And so creating joy became my mission and my mantra. And sometimes I can get quite good at it.

I can take the pretty route home from the gym and notice the trees against the sky. I can take care of the food shopping and also buy fresh cut flowers for our home. I can smile as I buy food for my daughter (who will be home for spring break in two days) and let that joy fill me. I can snapchat her a picture of the food and let joy fill her as well.

I can listen to music as I work out that makes me bubble with happiness, and radio stations in the car on the way home that make me laugh. I can watch funny movies, or movies I’ve always wanted to see (or see again). I can snuggle up and watch Dr. Who with my son when my husband is away, and The Sound of Music with my daughter when she’s home, since we both love it. I can smile at people I know in town, and strangers as well. I can be that friendly face paying it forward, giving joy and love to the world.

I can look inside my heart and mind and count the numerous blessings in my life. I can read a book I enjoy, have a cup of warm, soothing tea, or eat a delicious meal and savor the food.

I can hug my son and laugh with my husband. I can meditate or write. I can make sure to tell the people I love that I love them, and act as if I love them as well. I can remember how short life can be and how wonderful life can be.

I am rambling and you get the picture. There are a myriad ways for me to create joy in my life – and the lives of others. Day in and day out.

I’m gonna go and create some more joy.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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2 thoughts on “The secret to a life of joy

  1. Joy to the World, All the Boys & Girls. Joy to the Fishes in the Deep Blue Sea. Joy to you & Me.

    I believe Steven Covey (7 Habits) said that the way to have love is to give love – to do loving things.

    Perhaps the way to have Joy is to do things that generate Joy for others.

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