05 Mar

Joy – What part does it play in our lives?

Photo Credit: Tom Scott

I did an experiment recently where I took all the issues that my clients had in the last 2 years and I did a graph. One of the highest rated issues that showed up was that they wanted to experience more joy in their lives.

We’re all are meant to be experiencing joy and that is something that God wants for us too! Our longings and the passions in our heart are there for a reason. They align us with our purpose and our destiny. We are supposed to feel joy!

The important thing to do to connect with what brings you joy is to listen to that small still voice within you.  Sometimes God speaks to us in dreams, in our waking experiences, or in a prompting to call someone, or in a person we meet. You can’t imagine the goings on in the spiritual realm! God is working in our lives all the time. So keep your eyes and ears attuned to all the messages you’re receiving. If they are positive they are from God, if they are negative or derogatory you can be sure they are not from God. God wants you to be in joy, He wants you to be living with a divinely inspired freedom. He wants to co-create life, your joyful life, with you.

Here’s the dictionary meaning of joy: a feeling of great pleasure and happiness.” tears of joy” – delight, great pleasure, joyfulness, jubilation, triumph, exultation, rejoicing, happiness, gladness, glee, exhilaration, exuberance, elation, euphoria, bliss, ecstasy, rapture.

Here’s the antonym: misery

I think we would all like to be feeling joy rather than misery. Sadly many are living lives frustrated that they can’t feel joy. We all deserve to be happy, though some of us have never known how that feels. If you’ve never felt joy, it may mean that you need more healing to take place before you can even access the positive aspects of who you are. There may be are parts of you crying out to be seen, heard, witnessed and acknowledged for the pain you went through. For some, the childhood years were so wrought with fear and the disappointment that it was never ‘safe’ to let go and feel joy. Letting your guard down and going to that place opened you up to being either emotionally or physically wounded. You may have taken on mom’s anxiety and fear even in the womb or you may have negative beliefs that were passed on through the generations. I get it, I really do, I experienced it, however, there was always something in me that kept me striving for the truth and the hope to experience life with more joy, in spite of the trauma of the past. That desire and need lead to years of healing and research into what worked and what didn’t to break free and to experience joy.

Are we always going to be feeling joy? Umm…. NO!!! There are times in life when we are experiencing challenges, when we are in a growth process or experiencing a plateau and we feel stuck. We lose our jobs, money isn’t coming in, we are looking after sick relatives, we are in pain, someone we love dies or leaves. We’ve had disappointment after disappointment. The list seems sometimes endless and we wonder sometimes where is God in all of this?  Even though life has its difficulties and challenges, it is still possible to have joy. And I don’t mean that kick up your heels and sing in the rain type of joy, although that is wonderful, YES! I mean that this joy can also be like you have an inner peace, an inner knowing that even though you are going through difficult times, that they will pass, things will get better, you are not alone, God is with you, loving you through it all.

When I go through difficult times, it is so easy to plummet into negative thinking and an important thing I always do to bring me back to feeling positive, is find things I am grateful for and I write them down.  It may be as simple as a pillow to put my head on and a blanket to keep me warm, a puppy I get to pat on the street, a smile from someone. The other day I saw a Forsythia tree in bloom and the first crocuses of Spring had opened. Every year I get the greatest joy to see these first flowers, every year we get to witness this miracle of life.

Here are a few questions to journal about and get you started on your journey of experiencing more joy. Take some time for yourself, maybe block out at least a half an hour or so. Put on some calming music and tune your mind into your heart’s space.

!. Find out and get to know what brings you joy.

Think of a time when you felt some of the above feelings of joy, make a list (if you can’t think of anything, then I want you to simply imagine how it would feel if you were in a joyful experience.

What were you doing?

Who were you with?

What about it brought joy?

Who were you when you were doing these things?

How did these feelings feel in your body? Where were they in your body? Describe them (such as warm, exciting, tingly, peaceful, in the zone, confident, thrilling. The color blue, yellow etc….

If you could give a metaphor description of who you were at this time, what would it be? (examples could be perhaps an animal, color, a specific character or person etc…)

How would you feel if you could do more of this?

How could those feelings inspire you in your life now?

2: Trust that doing what brings you joy is what you are meant to be doing.

How do you share it with others safely?

How could you be doing more of this in your work, free time, family time?

Make a vision board where you can either draw, paint, cut out pictures and paste them of all those things that bring you joy.

Put it up on the wall and look at it every day. Let it inspire you into creating more.

Be aware of the feelings doing this evokes in you, either negative or positive.

If all you feel is anxiety or negative feelings do EFT-Tapping to tap those negative feelings down. If they are overwhelming, it may be good to see a practitioner who can help you to discover what may be causing the overwhelm and to heal it.

Journal about it and ask God how those feelings can be used for further discovery, either about you or about others.

3: If you don’t know what brings you joy, you can find it.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells us to, “Ask and it shall be given you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you” (Matt 7:7). So do all of those things (ask, seek and knock) and never ever give up until you find what brings you joy. Keep trying new things and drop them if you don’t enjoy them and keep them and expand them if they do bring you joy.

Recently I took a Zumba class at my gym. This class is by no stretch of the imagination boring. It is great fun, there is fabulous music, I get to move my body in ways that remind me of my former dancer glory. When I danced I felt joy in moving my body, pushing it to its limits, being inspired by the music and in being able to share my gift with others. The teacher,  by sharing his joy and choreography, inspires me and all the others in the class. I feel more alive and it has given me a boost of confidence to experience this aspect of myself again. This same joy is expressed in a different way when I work with my clients and I see them break free of limiting beliefs and step into their destiny.

It has always been so important to me my whole life to do what I loved and what brought me joy, I knew that it had a what connection to my purpose and destiny. So this is me exhorting you to find your joy, what floats your boat, what gets you pumped, what lights your fire. We need more passionate, on fire with life and joyful people in this world. When we’re living our joy we are too happy to oppress others or to be depressed right? This is why it is so important for everyone to be in this joyful place with God. When we are experiencing joy, it is catching and we automatically make the world a better place.

If you are interested in discovering more of your joy, living the life you dreamed and to let go of anything that may be keeping you blocked from experiencing joy, send me an email. I give 20-minute complimentary strategy sessions. You deserve to be free and you deserve to experience joy!

With love,