Have you lost the art of living joyfully?
Last weekend I found myself living joyfully in the most beautiful of ways and it was exhilarating.
It involved me, a dancefloor, some good old school tunes and my 61 year old Down Syndrome aunty. My sister and brother-in-law had a ‘Let’s Celebrate Life’ party, which saw family and friends come together to share and celebrate life.
As the evening proceeded and the music kicked in, my aunty, whose mobility isn’t so great, grabbed my hand and pulled me onto the dancefloor. What ensued for the next hour or so was pure joy. We moved, we grooved, we spun, we put our hands in the air like we just didn’t care – it was beyond daggy dancing and was all dancing like no one was watching.
The exhilaration in my aunty’s eyes as we cut up that dance floor, brings tears to my eyes now. She was so alive for that hour, more than I have ever seen her. She had recaptured the art of living joyfully. And even when she would stop every 15 minutes or so, and sit down to have a drink of water, I’d think she’s done, she’s got nothing left yet 20 seconds later, fully rested and replenished, she would slap her hand on the table and say ‘let’s go’.
And off we would go again.
I honestly have not felt joy like that, watching her and sharing in the joy of this experience, for quite a while.
The day to day seems to get in the way of experiencing true joy.
Sure I’m not stuck in the depths of depression, far from it, and I absolutely feel happiness every day. I am happy. But happy is not joy.
Oh no, joy is something quite different.
I was working with a client last week, and we were exploring joy in his life. He said he didn’t really know what joy was, and he is not alone in this, many people don’t know what joy is and what it feels like to experience joy. As we discussed the difference between happiness and joy, the words ‘contentment with a charge’ came to me.
And I adore that definition of joy.
When you combine a deep level of inner peace with a surge of ecstasy you experience joy. It is when you feel content that all is well in the world, so you allow yourself to let go and be in the moment and in so doing your heart space opens and you feel a charge of elating energy fill you.
That is joy.
And that surge of blissful energy that fills you, is the energy of love.
Joy’s source is love.
We all have joy within us, because at our core we have this well of love waiting for us to open to it. Yet, so many of us have blocked the path to joy. We close our heart space, suppressing that pool of love waiting to float through us and stop ourselves from experiencing and attracting joy.
Why would we do this, when it feels so good to be in this space?
Sadly we have been conditioned out of experiencing joy. We may not have seen it from our parents, or when we were experiencing joy as a child it got shut down. Sometimes, there are deep belief programs around not feeling worthy of joy or not deserving joy. Couple that with a modern day life, where just getting through the day often feels like a struggle for most people, and there simply isn’t room for joy.
And that has to change.
Because we all deserve to experience joy. And the more we feel joyful the most amazing impact we have on others. Because when you are in joy, you cannot feel anger, resentment, frustration, exhausted – all those emotions that we have become so familiar with. When we allow the joy to flow through us, our hearts are opened and we are allowing love to direct our life.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to live joyfully everyday?
It is possible, essential even!
So here’s how you can recapture joy in your life and keep it flowing.
Place your hands on your heart space and breathe deeply.
Now think about five things you are feeling grateful for in this moment.
As you feel gratitude for your life, your heart space opens.
Now ask yourself ‘what brings me joy?’ and listen for the answer that you intuitively receive.
This is your truth.
This is what you need to start doing more of.
Now write a list of five things that truly bring you joy.
Make a commitment to yourself to do one of these things every day.
And the more you remember how to be in joy in life, the more you are going to enjoy life.
When you feel true joy, like I did last weekend dancing with my aunty, you remember how wonderful it feels and like a drug, you want more.
It is yours to take!
Because it is yours to create.