Joy is not a one time event, it’s a long term commitment.
Do what makes you happy. Find joy in the little things. We’ve heard this over and over again, slapped on self-help books, motivational memes, and feel good posts on social media. Everything we do, or strive for is for the sake of happiness, joy, contentment, elation; that happy PLACE.
We often equate joy with major external changes, big dreams rather than what’s happening in the present moment.
For years I searched for the the big joys:
Receiving my degrees, getting my first real job, traveling to new and inspiring places, creating big art projects, taking and giving yoga retreats, throwing big parties, and the list goes on and on. All those things gave me joy, but all too often after the joy or newness was gone; I found myself seeking joy like some junkie looks for the next good fix. I tried to find it in other people, in pleasing others, in involving myself with the next fun adventure, but in the end the joy didn’t stick.
The fix wears off.
We get addicted to external joy and happiness in the same way we get addicted to the feeling of a drug induced euphoria ; we hope we really HOPE it will solve all our problems, BUT when the euphoria ends, the problems and the sense of emptiness remain.
When we are faced with the herculean task of finding and generating our own joy, the little things gain importance. The little things matter. I have been to countless coaches, healers, therapists and spirit guides, and the one thing they all have spoken about is finding your own inner joy. This however is not a quick fix scheme. It takes work, it takes effort, it takes… COMMITMENT… (yeah that one). And in the end we still don’t know if we will get the return on our investment.
With that perspective in mind; moments of joy can be treated as deposits in our own personal well being, that eventually will reflect back to us what we have given. If you are a miser with your joy, life will be a miser back. If you are stingy with the way you see the world, it will repay you with the same currency. Denying moments of personal joy because of circumstance, or financial worries, or “situations” eventually rob us from our personal quality of life. So here are my 10 + 1 list of Joy Tokens
10+1 Joy Tokens for everyday:
- It’s a fine day — pick an inspiring place and go for a short walk. (It’s free)
- Wake up or go to bed a half hour earlier and read something that inspires you or motivates you.
- Make a small, simple meal out of maximum 3 ingredients.
- The sun is out- sit in it for 10 minutes in silence, no phone or book.
- Listen to your favorite song, artist, album all the way through like you would the first time
- Look up!
- If you have a cat or dog give love… receive love. Same goes for plants!
- Spend one hour taking care of your body (stretch, exfoliate, take a long bath, paint your nails, shave, moisturize, etc.) Self care helps calm the parasympathetic nervous system and gives us a sense of calm. GUYS TOO!
- Give joy to someone else — give someone (even a stranger) a compliment, give a hug, make someone laugh.
- Walk barefoot in grass, sand, or in nature.
- Write down what gives you joy and share this exercise with others.
Try these or your money back!
Share some joy, in these trying times we all need it, but most importantly, much like energy; joy is neither created or destroyed; it’s amplified. Feel free to share, comment and pass this post on.
If you want to go back and read part of my 27 post challenge check the posts below.
- A New York Story Part 1.
- The Miseducation of America
- “return to normal”
- Easter at a distance
- Quarantine Diaries: A strange quiet in the Air