Restore Your Factory Settings
Did you ever watch children play? They use their whole bodies, their voices, their imagination. They twirl and sing and relish in the pure joy of just being. As we get older, it seems we forget how to tap into that joyful energy or maybe we are just too busy to give ourselves the chance to. That sense of unbridled joy is still in each and every one of us. We just have to find it, and that takes some looking.
Let’s talk about exactly what joy is anyway. Joy is defined in the dictionary as “a feeling of great pleasure”. It is an attitude-a way of BEing, a choice we make to see the positive aspects in life; to dial in to something that is delightful or comforting or exhilarating to us. Happiness can be cultivated from joy, but there's a distinct difference. Happiness is an emotion that is contingent upon external circumstances. Joy is an unconditional energy that comes from within. Joy can lead to happiness but it doesn’t have to. Joy is that sense of rapture we feel from the inside out when we open our hearts to appreciate and truly hear beautiful music, relish in the fascinating details of a butterfly’s wings or feel the soft touch of someone we love.
Now, let’s talk about exactly HOW you can find joy. The good news is, when you think about it, you can find joy anywhere! It’s the warmth of the sun on your face, taking your shoes off at the end of the day, or holding a warm cup of tea. And it’s different for many of us. Joy can be distinct and personal but we all have to find that sweet spot even if we have to look in the most unlikely places.
Activity: Use this visualization exercise to help you reconnect with the feeling of joy.
Write down in your journal what unconditional joy means to you:
Imagine yourself full of joy
Recall a time in your life when you experienced the feeling of unbridled joy
What does that feel like?
Can you recreate it?
Craft activity: Make a Collage of pictures and words that fill you with an abundance of joy. Flip through magazines , newspapers, etc. and when you come across something that excites your spirit, cut it out right away (do not second guess yourself or overthink it - just do it!) .. and put it aside with the others in a pile. Then assemble them into a collage that represents your inner joy. You can frame your collage and hang it somewhere you will see it each day to remind you of your vision of joy.