Ingredients to Create a Blissful Life #43: Joy

Oh yes, this is the good stuff! This week, we’re focusing on one of my favourites states of being. Yippee!!

Your 43rd Ingredient to Create a Blissful Life is: JOY!

When was the last time you were in a real state of joy? What does it take to get you there? Joy can be a tricky concept for a lot of people because many of us believe that something external needs to happen to bring us into that space. Today, let’s challenge that way of thinking for a minute and see what we can come up with.

What if you could have joy every single day of your life? I know, it’s a stretch, but just follow me for a minute on this. It might just change some big things for you… It’s the choosing thing I’ve been talking about all year. We talked in a recent post about the idea that you can have two different people who are experiencing the exact same situation and one will be fine while the other is so wrapped up in it they have no ability to see beyond. Choice!

In that same way, we can choose how we’re going to allow our circumstances to affect us can’t we? If you’ve ever known someone who was very ill but refused to allow that to make them miserable, you will understand exactly what I’m talking about. I think this is closely tied to a state of gratitude, but that’s just my interesting point of view. The point is that we are NOT at the mercy of the things that are happening to us or happening in our lives. We can choose what we allow to affect us and how.

An important caveat here – I am not saying that you shouldn’t feel how you feel or deal with the issues in your world. Pushing things aside is never a good long-term strategy and you must absolutely honour yourself and do whatever you need to be whole. And maybe that’s where the joy really lives – in the state of you that feels whole. Interesting.

So if being in a joyful state is a choice, how do we choose it? Find the things that can help you shift your energy. Perspective is important, so is the ability to appreciate beauty. How many times have you seen the sun rise or set? How many times have you allowed yourself a moment to appreciate the beauty and awesome-ness of the fact that the sun is rising or setting? What an amazing thing this thing we call nature is! We’re experiencing autumn here in Ontario and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been awed by the beauty of the leaves as they change colour. Orange and yellow, red and gold and so many different shades in between. How magical!

What about allowing yourself to giggle when you hear a child laugh, or sing along with the radio in the car while dancing in your seat? Taking a moment to have a conversation with a clerk or expressing a bit of appreciation for the work they’re doing? You may be surprised at how they brighten up from just a few seconds of your time and a little bit of effort. And that, I promise, can make you feel like a million bucks.

So, if you’d like to see about this living in a state of joy and test my theory that there’s a great deal of choice in this, here’s a challenge for you. For the next 30 days – until the end of November let’s say – every single day, your job is to do one of three things. You can:

  • Be in nature for 15 minutes and find something beautiful
  • Express sincere gratitude to someone who deserves it but is not expecting it
  • Try to make someone you care about laugh – not just a giggle, a big old belly laugh

And if, at the end of November, you have done at least one of these things every single day and have not managed to experience real joy, at least you will have made some other people happy along the way right?

Take my challenge or don’t, appreciate or don’t, laugh or don’t – all choices that with just a little bit of effort might make big differences in your life. But maybe you’d rather stay in the familiar space of blah. As always, it’s completely up to you.

What do you choose?

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