Beginning of the Joy Factor Experience
What is it about joy that people want in their lives? Is it a feeling, is it a “something,” a craving? Is it the opposite of feeling sadness or fear? Is it wanting something that you think you can’t have, like straight hair instead of curly, or blue eyes instead of green ones?. I know that joy is something that I wanted all of my life, and still do! There are times that I do find joy in a delicious piece of dark, rich chocolate, but when the chocolate is gone, the joy is gone. If someone could create a chocolate bar that had sustainable, joyful feelings as one of its benefits …hmmmm …it could be the Mounds of Joy Bar, the feeling lasts long after you’re picking the coconut out of your teeth. I would buy it by the case, wouldn’t you?
Over the last 3ish years, I have been on an intentional joy journey. I now realize that I have actually been on it my whole life; I just thought I was out for a good time. And boy, did I have them – lots of them – with friends, family, strangers, clients, employers – you name it. It is about a good time. But some of the main factors of joy for me, pre-January 2006, were filled with lots of things that I found outside of myself. The list was long and I am sure that a few of my items are on your list as well; some of them still are. They are the classic examples of sex, drugs and rock and roll. Those were the early years that lasted until I was in my early 30s. It is all perspective isn’t it?
I then started getting a taste of the finer things in life: nice clothes, shoes, good food, shoes, travel to fun places; did I mention shoes? More things that I thought would bring me joy from the outside in. The funny thing was that I was also a personal development junkie, reading all of the greats: Wayne Dyer, Louise Hay, Shatki Gawain, etc. I got to see them in person, meet them and tell lots of other people what they could do to live a better life. The challenge was that I was really not walking my talk. The more that I thought I was, the more I was attached to certain things and to being controlling.
I am sure that nobody has any idea what I am talking about here. Wake up everyone, let’s get on the joy journey! What I am trying to express here is that joy is one of those things that lives inside of us, like our heart, kidney, liver and lungs. Breathe in the joy and then breathe it out. As we do our best to take care of these things in our body, it is a good thing to work on taking care of what we can do to raise our joy factor. Imagine a life filled with increased joy, being yourself, expressing yourself authentically and feeling awesome doing it! Being clear on the direction you are going in (for now), having tools to support you in being a strategic optimist – yes, there is a strategy here – don’t you love a good plan? And how about some more self-love in this yummy recipe?
If you are anything like me, and I believe that you are, then you are probably starting to wonder, “Hmmm. . .how do I get some more of this joy thing in my life? Where do I sign up?” Of course. You are in the right place at the right time. Like attracts like, you know.
What is one thing that would bring you joy today? My dog Abbey Road just crawled up on the couch with me—I love when she sticks her nose under my hand and says –“pet me mommy!” The simplicity of giving her a few minutes of my time brings her lots of joy.
What would you like to spend a few minutes doing today that would bring you joy? Is it in the garden, with your journal, kids, or on the phone with a girlfriend that you have not connected with for awhile? Start small … stop long enough to ask yourself if you plan to raise your joy factor and be a part of this joy movement, what is the next right thing to do?
I am going to take a nap.