Recently I was asked me to speak at a local retreat on Joy. I went away from the meeting and the request excited for the opportunity, but a bit skeptical and thought “me talk about joy?? What do I really know about joy?, Can I really do this?” Then, as if out of nowhere, I began to see signs of “Joy” (literally) all over the place, seeing the actual word written in front of me.. in shops, on Facebook and even in my own home so I knew I absolutely had to do it. I threw my hands up in the air and was like “ok universe, I am in, show me!” Then, like a bolt of lightening, I got it! and thought, laughing to myself. wow…I am perfect for this… joy is the exact opposite of fear and fear is something I knew a lot about! I realized through my journey out of fear, I found joy. I have the roadmap and now I can share it with others — well played, universe, well played!
So, I bet you are all interested now since I have the roadmap to joy. For me, I often see joy being confused with happiness but they are really not the same thing at all. In fact, happiness is so conditional and fleeting and external that it is almost impossible to compare the two, but they are both higher vibration emotions for sure so that is one great thing they have in common. So many of us suffer from (and I really mean suffer from) “I’ll be happy when syndrome.” I’ll be happy when this and that and the other. How long will it be before your next Happy High? It is like chasing a chicken but when is it actually attained or is it saying that it will come that makes us happy enough to accept the mediocrity of not fully having it. Joy is deeper; joy gives us the freedom to enjoy life in a different way. It is an internal surge that takes over, causes blubbering tears or a deep feeling of inner peace. It is a release instead of a contraction and it is always available to us. There is no chasing JOY.
As women, in particular, we seem to be most guarded against our own happiness, guarded against loving ourselves and treating ourselves kindly. We jump in and help others out in a heartbeat but with that and no refueling after a while we can be left feeling defeated and depleted. Where is the joy in that?
Our resistance to our own joy is mind boggling to me. However, if you love yourself the mind chatter stops. The higher your vibration, the less likely you are to believe your own stories. We stand in the way of our own joy. Sounds crazy, right?! The more I study human behaviors, the more odd we seem as humans! Fear seems to be so much more attractive and alluring to us and we usually hang out with fear a whole lot more than joy. Worry, too. We seem to be in love with worry or maybe addicted, either way it is meeting out needs and shoving joy out of the way. Then there’s self-sabotage. That is a sure sign fear is driving. Fear is the polar opposite of joy and we all know you cannot walk in two directions at the same time.
So the roadmap! I have two tools in my own life that have given me the greatest, fastest, easiest path to joy. If you implement these tools into your own life, it will absolutely, 100% change how you look at things and help you experience joy in your own life immediately. Guaranteed!
Now the key is implementation….. The saying “knowledge is power” is not entirely true — the true power comes from the application and implementation. Knowledge is actually only potential power. You cannot not get results from what you do not implement. Today you can start consciously choosing joy. Choosing joy makes you the CEO of your life. You might never be able to control life (although we think we can), but we can control how we feel about it. That was one of my most freeing lessons from my coach and mentor Tony Robbins. He said “you have two choices, you can change the situation or change how you feel about it.” It’s simple, effective, and doable for everyone. Our choice is our superpower!
So what are the tools?
- Random Acts of Kindness
- Gratitude – “what you appreciate appreciates”
1. Kindness to me is a way of life, I started a group online three years ago called Project 365 where my family and I did a kind act every day for 365 days…. It was life changing and addicting! We continued after the 365 days were complete and my sister took over and got her friends involved. This year we have several families doing it — the ripples are expanding and the kindness is reaching more and more people. The vibration of the planet is being raised and people are having their beliefs changed and challenged with this amazing project. Was it easy? No, but it was very rewarding. Doing something for someone who has no ability to reward you, pay you back, or do anything for you does something to your heart. It takes you outside of yourself and not in the resentful way of “doing for others” but in the joyful way. I cannot tell you how many tears of joy I have cried since this project started. The adrenaline of speeding off after I pay for someone’s lunch behind me at Panera or at the Toll bridge. It is truly touching. There are a million ways you can help someone and just thinking about how mischievous you can be raises your vibration, notching you closer and closer to joy. There are people out there who are lonely or sad and may have lost faith in humanity. There are people who need a smile or a hand up. There are people who just need you to be you and not a version of yourself drawing in fear and anxiety or stress. Maybe that person is or was you at some point. Being kind to others is free and is the gift that keeps on giving.
2. Gratitude – When we enter a room we are so often programmed to look for the negative or what is not right. It’ too hot, too cold, too crowded, too loud, whatever the case may be. What is wrong is easily and always available to us, but so is what is right! Gratitude can actually change the software in our brains to shift towards looking for and seeking out the positive in the room and in our life. It raises our vibration. Where our focus goes, energy flows. It is universal law. Gratitude is an easy choice, we can always find something to be grateful for.
So think for a moment: Do you have…?
- A roof over your head?
- Food in a refrigerator?
- A Toilet that flushes?
- Money in a bank? Even $1
If so, then you are richer than 75% of the world!!!!!
That, right there, is something to be grateful for. We are abundant beyond belief! Yet we are trained to look at what is missing, what could be better, what we are not getting and even finding fault with how we look.
Why is actually feeling the gratitude so important? It’s because our feelings create our experiences. Our feelings are our internal guidance system. They tell us where we are off track in the form of lower and slower feelings and where we are on track in the form of higher vibration feelings that feel good in our body. Our feelings also do the attracting of experiences into our life so if we are to take a really honest look at where we “live” most the time we get to see what we are attracting. Living in the vibration of joy is like a short cut to manifesting whatever you want and can help you create a life you absolutely love. It is a personal vortex of dreams come true really.
“Feeling and owning our feelings is empowerment. Choosing our feelings is freedom!”
As I mentioned earlier, you cannot get results from what you do not implement, so in order for you to align your feelings with joy you must do the work. I recommend doing a gratitude journal for 30 days. Write 3 things a night right before you go to sleep and keep going for 30 days — if you want to give it up, then fair enough, but you will see some changes. Also, do as many kind acts as you can do, as a family or individually or maybe even in your workplace. Just get started somehow and it will be so exciting you will want to do it all the time!
Here are some simple ideas that you can implement as part of the stepping stones to Joy:
- Pick Up Trash on your way, on the beach, at local parks or even offer to take out the trash for an elderly neighbor
- Select toys or books to donate
- Make a card for a friend, family member or even a simple card that says Have a Nice Day to give to a stranger or the cashier at the grocery store.
- Donate old clothing
- Make a List of things you love about someone and give it to them
- Compliment others — if you pass somebody who looks like they could use a kind word, say one. 🙂
- Pay for someone behind you at a toll
- Leave a dollar in change at a vending machine
- Let someone go ahead of you in line
- Hold doors open for people
- Smile at everyone, you never know who needs a smile. It is the only gift you can give and receive at the same time
- Clip coupons and give them to people at the grocery store
- Donate food to help the hungry or to the Humane Society
- Buy a random gift for someone
- Stay late and help someone at work so they can get out earlier
- Make tea for someone
- Donate to charity
- Bring coffee for your workmates or just to surprise someone 🙂