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!

Try to listen to that small still voice within you, be still and take your attention inside.  Sometimes God speaks to us in dreams, in our waking experiences, or in prompting us to call someone, or in a person we meet. God is working in our lives all the time in the spiritual realm and in the natural world. 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 opened you up to being either emotionally or physically wounded. You may have taken on ancestral 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, it’s possible to keep striving for the truth and the hope to experience life with more joy, in spite of the trauma of the past. That desire, need and action will lead you to find healing and ways 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 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 going through difficult times, it is so easy to plummet into negative thinking and an important thing to do to bring back positive feelings is to find things to be grateful for and write them down.  It may be as simple as a pillow to put your head on and a blanket to keep you warm, a friend you can call or finding a dollar in your coat pocket. There is such a thing as a law of gratitude, the more you express gratitude, the more things to be grateful for, are attracted to you. The best you can do when things are bad is to find things to be grateful for, it works like a dream. There is much scientific research citing the benefits of gratitude including, increased life satisfaction, resiliency to health issues, and better sleep quality, in addition to lower levels of burnout, and reductions in stress, inflammation, and depression.

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 to a zero. 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.

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,