Have Joy?

Mountain Stream - Photo by Robert Hebert

Mountain Stream – Photo by Robert Hebert

How Often Do You Feel Joyful?

Do you recognize joy when you see it?  I have found that most people go through each day the same way:  existing.  Occasionally, I’ll meet someone who exudes joy, whose very presence in a room brings pleasure and who literally lights up the room.  It’s then I most often think of the old cliché that says:  “Everyone who enters here brings joy; some when they arrive, some when they leave.”

I once worked with someone who was a very nice person—to me.  She was knowledgeable, proficient, intelligent and willing to offer the benefit of her expertise anytime I asked.  I liked her.  But.  She generally had an air about her that was negative, and when she entered the room, it was as if a very ominous thundercloud had blown in.

Now, I have to admit that there was a time in my life when I was that very thundercloud.  It was during a time when dealing with my daughter’s medical issues were literally breaking me down every day, and I could barely function at all.  I probably should have been hospitalized, but I truly didn’t have time for the luxury of a “nervous breakdown.”  I had a lovely daughter to care for, and there was no one to do it if I couldn’t.

But back to my co-worker, whom I’ll call “Julia” (because I’ve never worked with anyone named Julia).  Julia was unhappy:  with her job (she’d repeatedly been passed over for promotions), her finances (she had topped-out at her level and had not received a raise in years), her love life (there was none), and her home.  And she carried that unhappiness—a huge portion of it—everywhere she went.  Upon her entering the office, the very air changed, and a blanket of oppression settled in.  Until she left again.

I believe it’s important to recognize whether you’re bringing joy upon your arrival or your departure, and to strive for a welcome arrival.

 How Can You Find Joy If It’s Missing In Your Life

Children are born with JOY.  In observing babies, you’ll find that many things make them laugh, and they are prone to smiling and giggling and discovery that just creates delight to watch.  Somewhere along the way, many of us lose that JOY.  Recapturing it is a process, and requires that one refocus on things that actually bring you joy, which is different for every individual.

One of the best ways to discover what brings you joy is to sit somewhere (preferably outdoors enjoying the glory of Mother Nature) quietly and give thought to the times in your life that you felt absolutely, exuberantly joyous.  What activities bring you joy?  What people bring you joy?  Are there people who are an automatic “pick-me-up” for you?  I realized years ago that I needed to keep a list of those people close at hand for my darkest times.  A simple phone call with them could brighten a very difficult day when it was most needed.

I suggest that everyone keep a list of things they love, even very simple things.  Here are items from my own list:

  • Fresh-cut pink roses
  • A good book
  • Meaningful conversation with friends
  • Clean sheets
  • Listening to 70’s music (I have James Taylor radio on Pandora on, for a delight, click here)
  • Writing
  • Sitting in the woods or beside a lake/ocean/water fall
  • The beach

So, if you’re missing JOY in your life, make your own list, and make a point of enjoying these things on a daily basis.  You may be surprised how much it lifts your spirits.  More information on recapturing your JOY can be found in my ebook “30 Days To More Joy in Your Life” (which can be found here), I have put together exercises that helped me recapture the child-like JOY I had lost.

In the meantime, DREAM BIG! 
It costs the same as a small dream, and it’s much more fun!




  1. Vicki Smith says:

    Hoping your dream really does come true

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