The art of finding Joy

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.
Featured Image by : Eric Snell Design- Find him at

Day 14. Motivation

Day 14 of 27

What gets us up in the morning? What excites us and motivates us to keep going even when times are tough and life gets in our way? I’ve been pondering motivation, inspiration and what keeps me going, especially during these very unmotivated winter months. There are things that I want to and strive to do every day, in order to keep going, keep creating and keep moving forward towards my goals. These things may vary for each of us but for me; these are my top three.

  1. Exercise/ Yoga/ and Meditation– This has been one of the top on my list ever since I was a young dancer. Movement, exercise, mind body connection keeps me going through very tough mental, emotional and spiritual difficulties. We all face our proverbial mountain of shit, we all deal with worry and stress and unfortunate circumstances, but I have an escape, a release and a way to let go of what my body can hold on to at any given moment. The release and comfort I feel when I practice yoga, meditation and dance all stems from the satisfaction that if all else fails I have my body and mind intact.
  2. Writing/ Creating and Art– My movement and dance performance days may not be what they were when I was younger, but I have moved my passion for expression in space, to expression on the page. It always seemed to be a part of my life. I either moved my emotions and expressed myself through movement or I wrote about it, and as of late writing has become an integral part of my daily, weekly and yearly contribution to something artistic.                                                                                    (One day I’m going to publish a book — I promise!)
  3. I am a yoga teacher and a massage therapist (feel free to book me any time!) and what I love doing more than anything is helping others find their bodies mend, get stronger and spread their wings. In every aspect of my life I’ve been seen and described as a healer, by others who knew more than I. I have never called myself that and I can’t say when this came about, but if I am going to be useful I would rather be able to serve these practices at the best of my ability and guide others to their self healing. This gives me great satisfaction and purpose.
  4. This is a bonus extra motivation… If I’m able to help another person become unburdened by their situation in some way big or small; this gives me further motivation to be more aware of other people’s needs and desires in connection to my own.

What what keeps you inspired ?

What is your motivation?