Finding Joy in Your Life

Joy is, according to the dictionary, ‘a feeling of great pleasure or happiness’.

I would define Joy as definitely a step beyond Happiness.

Happiness is a state of contentment + appreciation. It is loving what you have while having what you love. It is a state, when fully experienced, that leaves you satisfied and not wanting for anything.

Joy takes Happiness a step further.

Joy is everything Happiness is with one more thing added to the formula…. Excitement!

Excitement is the anticipation of something even better coming your way.

So, when you are Happy (feeling contented with and appreciative of everything you have) while at the same time knowing that even better things are on their way, it puts a Turbo Booster on Happiness and sends it off into another level – becoming Joy.

So how does one find, or rather, cultivate Joy?

Well, it would seem that we’d use Happiness as our foundation.

At the foundation of Happiness is Appreciation – Loving what you have.
At the foundation of Happiness is also Contentment – Knowing you have enough.

So it makes sense that you begin by seeking and finding all the ways in which you already have enough in your life right now and loving it. This is gratitude.

To cultivate Joy, it is important to look forward to the ways in which your life is continuing to get better. If you don’t see something, create it. Think about what you would like to experience that is even better than this moment and plan to make it happen. It is vitally important for your Happiness and Joy to make sure that you always have something you’re looking forward to.

In summary: Happiness + Excitement = Joy

What are some other conditions that can help Joy to emerge more abundantly into your life?

Let’s find out.

When I’m happy, I love where I am when I’m there. I don’t want to be anywhere else.

This means that I am PRESENT.

Happiness is the process of accepting whatever IS in this moment and welcoming it.

To welcome something into your life is to accept it with love and invite it in.

So, not only do Happy people accept and allow things to be as they are, they invite what currently IS in that moment into their lives and love it.

In order to invite something into my life, I must not be afraid of it. I must either not anticipate that the invitation will bring me harm or not fear the harm that the invitation might bring.

This is key.

Happiness is a fearless state of being.

If I’m not afraid of pain, I am more welcoming to everything.

In order for me to not fear pain, I must know I can handle it. Part of what can let me handle Pain is the knowledge that everything is temporary. Even pain doesn’t last. Having something pleasurable to look forward to is one assurance of this.

Happiness looks around and sees what it loves and is contented with – it naturally welcomes whatever shows up. Happiness offers new arrivals its trust and the benefit of the doubt. It looks at Life with Love and without fear.

Letting go of your fear of pain can allow you to Love more.

Loving ‘What IS’ is like opening your door to the unknown and welcoming whatever arrives with open arms of Love and trust that, in spite of what initial pain or discomfort might arise as a result of this new thing, it will find its place in a new order of balance.

Knowing that balance will soon be restored allows you the patience to endure the discomfort of the imbalance caused by the arrival of the new.

Love is the organizing Principle that makes this possible.

Love for ‘what IS’, is the soil out of which Happiness arises.

Love for that which comes to expand ‘what IS’, thereby expanding your Love, is the soil out of which Joy arises.

Joy is the expansion of Love within ourselves.

So, to cultivate Joy then, you must begin tilling the soil with Love.

Begin by finding things to Love about what is currently in your world.

Practice loving ‘what IS’ and being grateful for its presence in your life.

Say, “I love that!” or even begin with “I like that!” and keep doing it over and over and watch as your feeling of Happiness expands. The more you focus upon this, the more it comes alive in your life.

From this feeling of Love and appreciation and gratitude, you can begin to open your mind and heart to welcome new things to Love into your Life. Create the excitement by planning a new experience you think you’d enjoy.

As you do this, Love expands through you and you move into a place of greater Joy.

Be Happy and Excited and you’ll feel the Joy of Life.

Every emotion is a process. Every process is a practice. Every practice is a skill.

This skill of Joy is well worth mindfully cultivating.


©2014 Trent Janisch –

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