Every morning I wake up to an email from The Universe. (Notes From the Universe -- I highly recommend you subscribe!) The notes are inspiring, funny, sweet and so thought-provoking.
This morning I woke up to a note about joy. It talked about thinking back to a time when I truly felt free and full of life, not worrying about the past or future. A time when I simply felt and experienced joy.
Then at the end of the note it read:
“The only difference between joyful moments, and others, is you.”
Ohhhh that’s good.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately -- experiencing joy at any given moment -- because my life has felt like a series of transitions for a while now. Some days I’m perfectly human and get caught up in the overwhelm, the stress, the anxiety of not having things “settled”, but other days I remember that I have a choice. I can choose joy and presence at any given moment, even if that choice feels really challenging.
I’m currently anticipating a move in the next few weeks. It happened pretty quickly, and I have a long to-do list of things I have to get done within 2 weeks and thinking about it causes me to tense up.
When I feel the tension start to creep in though, I choose to remember the underlying joy in the move: a fresh, bright space, a new adventure with my boyfriend, a chance to have fun decorating (I love home decor!), and so much more.
And then I’m able to breathe freely and let the tension go.
I think it’s part of our human nature to seek out the problems in a situation so that -- from a very basic perspective -- we can “survive” and move forward. This problem-seeking instinct is absolutely good and necessary in certain situations, but in modern day-to-day life, it’s important to remember this:
We have a choice in every single moment how we want to experience that moment.
The default might be to do a mental scan of what’s wrong or could go wrong in a situation, but gently practicing shifting back to joy can be so powerful.
Seeking and feeling joy isn’t about dismissing feelings or what’s going on in our lives, though. It’s about choosing joy among everything that’s happening, when you feel it’s appropriate for you. Of course there will be times when it simply doesn’t feel “right” to be joyful (like in heavy emotional situations), and that’s OK too. It’s all part of the human experience.
Joy doesn’t have to be this big, overwhelming feeling we have all the time, either. In fact, for me it usually comes in the form of a quiet joy that makes me smile or feel at peace and floats on in.
One of my favorite exercises is to take a pause in any part of my day and seek out joy. Right now I’m writing this in my PJs and sipping on tea, so that’s bringing me joy! I’m also looking at a framed print above my desk that says “just breathe” next to a colorful llama figurine, so of course that’s bringing me joy, too. Again, this doesn’t have to happen all the time, but practicing this can help make positivity more of a natural reaction.
Do yourself a favor right now and take 30 seconds to think about: What’s bringing you joy? What can bring you joy? Lean into that and let that feeling permeate throughout your body. Remember that feeling, and if it resonates, keep coming back to this practice.
I’d love to know: what’s bringing you joy right now? Comment below or email me!: firstname.lastname@example.org