Living in joy, and being connected to your joy, is about bringing conscious awareness to all that you do and all that you are. It’s about looking at your life in a different way and operating from a different place–your heart.
You notice that you have thoughts but you realize you are not your thoughts. You become the awareness behind your thoughts. You live according to your intentions; you embrace lovingkindness. You also embrace the present moment. You are grateful for every breath. You bring all of your self to every encounter. You show up for life.
Joy is knowing that your being here serves a purpose and adds value. Identifying with the joy inside you is how you express your reverence for life.
We are spiritual beings having a human experience. Whether you believe your spiritual self gets one shot at a lifetime on Earth or several, the point is to make this particular lifetime count. You have lessons to learn, fears to outgrow and a consciousness to expand; this is not a burden you share with the people around you, it’s a privilege! Being joyful as you move through life is your way of paying forward the great gift that this life is for you.
Joy is internal; you feel it regardless of what is happening outside of you.
Joy is a state of mind, or rather, a state of being. Being joyful carries you through the happy moments as well as life’s unexpected tragedies and challenges. Joy transforms all situations. Living in joy means you approach life with gratitude and awe. You learn that every encounter offers amazing opportunities for growth, meaning, and connection.
Joy is personal; how you experience joy is unique to you. You don’t have to change who you are to be connected to your joy.
There are quiet and shy joyful people as well as exuberant and outgoing joyful people. The point is to be genuine, and uniquely you in all that you do and with all those you encounter.
Your job in life is to define joy for yourself and then cultivate your connection to it.
Put on your joy feelers–little antennae that are always on the lookout for the things and people and types of connections that make you feel alive. Is it reading? Is it feeling sand beneath your toes? Is it walking your dog? Is it sitting beneath a strong, shady oak tree? Is it prayer? Is it your first sip of tea each morning? Is it holding your partner’s hand or looking into your child’s eyes? Immerse yourself, daily, in these little things that make the joy feel so great inside you that you wonder if you might just burst from all the goodness. As you experience this joy inside you, you experience your connection with the divine. With practice, you begin to connect with your joy, your higher self and with God (or Source) in every moment—even the ordinary ones!
Living joyfully is something you do on purpose. You must be clear on exactly what it is you want for your life and then set an intention to live that way, every moment of every day.
Living joyfully is living consciously, which means you are engaged in the moment, aware and embracing life. You have to be really clear on exactly what you want from life and how you want to engage life. You set intentions, you make commitments and you show up and do the work. You operate from lovingkindness regardless of the other emotions or thoughts that might be coursing through you.
Being connected to your joy requires constant care. Tend to your outer life; make sure it is a fair representation of the goodness you have identified inside you.
What I mean by this is that as you become more aware of the light inside you, you also become more aware of what aligns you with that light and joy and what constitutes an obstruction. Your awareness leads to action; simply put, you begin to make small changes in your life so that the joy inside you can shine out into the world all the time. When you realize gossip brings you down, you refrain from participating in those conversations. When you realize drama brings you down, you stop engaging in it. When you realize nature makes you feel connected to God and the universe, you spend more time in it. When you realize meditation or prayer keeps your mind still and helps you live from your heart, you make it a daily practice.
Final note: joy begins with a simple intention. Repeat after me, “I live my life with joy. Everything in my life is infused with joy.”
Simply waking up each morning and stating this intention out loud will elevate the quality of your life. Repeat it throughout the day for maximum benefit. Your life will change, your perspective will shift. You will soften, you will say yes to the moment, you will breathe easier. Struggle and strife will fall away.