Do you recall the last time you felt alive and joyful? What is joy in life for you?
So many of us today consume the perception of joy, but few are truly experiencing joy in daily life.
You can have the highest paying job, be successful beyond measure and have a wide dynamic social life and still feel like you’re on autopilot.
A couple of years ago I wasn’t sure how I felt. I wasn’t sure I was happy, I wasn’t sure if I was unhappy, I wasn’t sure I could connect to who I was.
It was evident that connecting with myself was not a priority. The fear that if I did connect with myself and allowed myself to truly feel, I probably would’ve collapsed from being exhausted.
If I slowed down and allowed myself to connect with my true feelings, it would require me to step out of the working-mom-bubble that I had put myself in. That wasn’t an option (as I thought at the time).
I chose to put my head down, not lead with my heart, only to keep striving, rather than inviting the possibility of living my life guided through my feelings and creativity, inviting the feeling of joy.
If you feel you’ve lost the fun in your life, you are not alone.
Everyone have felt disconnected at some point in their life, and it can be a bit of a journey to connect back to yourself and discover what makes you tick.
So it may feel like it’s so far away to find your way back to your fun and joy.You may not even know where to start. It may feel too big of a leap to even think about ‘fitting in a change” to your life right now.
I personally got tired of not feeling anything. Not feeling truly happy, not feeling truly sad. Just neutral.
I got SO tired of not being present emotionally in my life.
And that’s when it all started to unfold.
Here is what I learned.
Here are four personal lessons that I’d like to share with you on this topic of JOY!
1. Make space for change – let go of what’s not serving you. Invite joy into your life.
The tough reality is that you can’t go on doing what you’re doing and “add change” on top of your busy life. You’d have to make space for change instead of putting an add-on to change on top of your life.
Maybe you’ll decide to reduce the time on social media per day, or reduce the time cleaning your house, or organizing your home.
Seriously consider what you can do less of to free up time in your week.
Practically, make a list of things in your life that you can do less of and how much less time you are willing to spend on it.
For example, if you currently spend two hours a week catching up on work on Sunday nights, and you really know that is something that doesn’t make you feel any better come Monday, that’s the time that you need to free up and fill it with JOY.
So, what would you be willing to do less of and what would you be willing to expand on to create more balance in your life?
Put at least 3-5 things down including how much time each takes. Add it up. You should at least have opened up an hour of your week.
Making space in your calendar is so important. The challenge is that we don’t want to sacrifice anything, so we just keep adding on top of everything else.
[Listen up, here comes some tough love…!]
If you don’t make space for a change, the change will NOT happen. You can’t go on with the same situation and expect a change to happen.
This is truly why some ambitious, busy, driven women fail at making a change in their life towards more balance and fulfillment. Most don’t want to sacrifice anything, they just want to add on.
Without making space in your calendar (and mind), you have not fully committed, or allowed the change you want, to naturally happen.
2. Let your heart lead your actions instead of the mind.
What does this lead-with-your-heart really mean?
One of the reasons for not feeling joyful is that we’re letting the ego get in the way of our potential to live our best life every day. If you think about tit the majority of our time we are awake, we live life led by the mind.
The mind make up assumptions about our lives. We then we put those assumptions on repeat constantly, and ultimately we believe that those assumptions are true without questioning them.
The logical mind is driven by the ego and often the ego is diverting us away from our joy in life.
The ego just wants us to stay where we are, think of everything that could go wrong, and not go beyond what we know, just play safe.
When we connect with the joy that’s already within us, it’s not because we carefully planned it, it’s because we are in a state of alignment, creativity, spontaneity and freedom.
All of these qualities are qualities of the heart.
Think about a time when you felt like you experienced something for the first time?
The sense of wonder and awe are experiences that are connected to the heart, they can’t be planned and thought out in advance, they just happen naturally.
The second thing to do if you want to get back to your fun (after making space in your life for it) is to envision yourself being in the state of joy.
Let’s connect you to joy in your life right now!
Bring out your journal and explore these questions:
When were you are having the time of your life last?
What were are some of the feelings that you felt?
What was the situation, people around you, where were you?
Describe in detail, or draw a colorful picture.
Connect back to this moment of joy right now.
Your job is to immerse yourself in the feeling of this past joyful situation. Bring this vision and feeling of joy into a meditation. I bet you’ll be already smiling!
See! Joy is already there inside you!
You have access to it, you just have to connect your heart to it before your mind tells you something else…
What can you DO in your life today that bring forward that feeling of joy in your life again?
3. Say YES! No more mind rationalization, if it FEELS right – say YES to a joyful life!
What if you hesitate still? Asking yourself: Can I really get joyful again…?…and thousands of reasons to not do something different keep showing up like it usually does.
The mind is rationalizing and finding reasons for us to not making a change.
The way to experience more joy is to say YES more. Say yes to opportunities that show up in front of you, and take action on them.
But the action part is when it requires commitment and it’s sometimes where people stop.
You may recognize yourself in this description and you don’t know why or what makes you not take the action you want.
It’s just not happening.
First, stop listening to your limiting ego. Set an intention to become more self aware of what your mind is actually telling you. This is key. Start the practice of catching yourself in the moment in your everyday life.
Second, slow down and start listening to yourself on the inside. What is the voice in your mind telling you?
What are you really telling yourself when you’re making decisions for yourself, or in response to situations or others suggestions?
Is it the inner voice saying “Oh this is too complicated? how frustrating!! I can never get this right!!
Or is it “It’s not going the way I want but I’m not going to give up, I’m DOING it! Let’s give it another try”.
To really, truly, wholeheartedly get under the skin of your own thought patterns and habits, you’ll have to be willing to examine what you’re telling yourself.
Here is a tip to get started – Pick a situation at work or home this weekend with the pure intention to just observe your thoughts for twenty minutes and see what you learn. Write down the key messages. You’ll be amazed about what you learn!
4. Keep going inwards and JOY shows up!
So what do you do with all this insight about yourself?
Keep going inwards.
The perception that a joyful person is one that is constantly smiling, laughing and appear carefree is what we see and expect in many situations in life. But the truth is that a person that is smiling, laughing and carefree can be depressed.
To feel joyful is an inner job first, then the smiles, jumps and sparkles comes naturally.
Lean on your ability to go inward, to observe and catch the feeling of joy in this moment (not the thought of joy in the future, when […] is happening).
Joy is coming to you in the moment. Like lightness surrounding your heart.
You can’t plan for joy to enter your life. Allow it to show up!
You find joy when immersed in your consciousness and unique personality and wholeness, then it radiates from there.
Joy that radiates from the heart is when others feel it, that’s when others are drawn to you, your energy and want to be around you.
When you align your intention with your unique potential pure joy is emerging.
So back to where you are right now…Do you feel neutral and on auto-pilot most of the time and want to connect back to your joy?
The benefits of coaching is that you put yourself in a situation where you open up to the opportunity to shift your energy and life to what you want it to be.
Here are my best tips to access your joy:
- Make space for a change.
- Lead with the heart not the mind.
- Say Yes!
- Keep going inward.
Imagine the opportunity to access your life in feeling of joy connecting to your inner happiness and calm, and stay that way.
When was the last time you felt joyful and full of life? How can you bring that feeling into action today?