I love that word.
More importantly, I love the concept of it.
I was blessed to be given Joy as a middle name. Now I don't think I'm outwardly joyful each and every day of my life, but one thing I do know is that I've started to see the blessings in the concept of 'joy' - and I am thankful to my parents for the daily reminder!
It's so easy in our busy, crazy, chaotic lives to feel upset and worried, overwhelmed and exhausted, heavy and weary. These emotions usually show up in some way or another in our bodies as pain. For me it's usually extreme fatigue and a headache - anything from a mild ache to a full-blown migraine is my pain of choice (well not really, it's just what my body does when my stress or overwhelm levels get too high).
But what I've noticed is that if I focus on those objects of joy around me - that from time to time I have ignored or forgotten about - I am much less likely to feel upset or worried, weary or exhausted. And the plus side? My overwhelm levels go down and my head doesn't hurt as much. So it's got to be a good thing right?
So how do you focus on joy when everything around you seems to be less-than-joyful?
Well firstly you make a decision to focus on it.
I know that might seem overly simplified and way too difficult at the same time. Maybe you're facing some serious life challenges and focusing on joy feels like the last thing you want to do, or even have time to do. I know your life is busy and you may not feel like there's time to fit a small bit of joy into your already busy schedule.
But really you do.
All you need to do is make a choice to focus on the joyful moments in your life and you will start to see a shift in your energy, your focus, your clarity of thought.
You will become gentler with yourself and those around you. You will start to see people and places and items you've never seen before, even though they've been there the whole time, and start to feel the joy in them.
You will start to know what feels good for you and want to bring more of that into your life. The old will fall away, making room for the new, and your happiness will increase.
So what could you do to bring joy into your life? What could you do today to get started?
Would 100 ideas help?
Use these ideas a little like a 'choose your own adventure'. Pick one, perhaps two, and try it today. Choose ones that resonate, leave the rest, and start to create your own list of joyful things that are uniquely yours. Integrate them into your day and see what happens!
Joy through nature
1. Watching the sun set
2. Breathing in the sea air
3. Waking up to bird song
4. Watching the sun set
5. Having a picnic in the park
6. Walking barefoot on the grass
7. A blanket, the beach and sunset
8. Wriggling your toes in the sand
9. Watching the sun rise on a new day
10. Planting seeds for your summer garden
11. Taking time to stop and smell the roses
12. Seeing a double rainbow after a huge storm
13. Bringing freshly cut flowers into your home
14. Sitting on the grass, breathing and grounding
15. Leaning against a tree and taking in its energy
16. Growing flowers in your garden or a pot on your window sill
Joy through your body
17. Letting go
18. A belly laugh
19. A lingering hug
20. Crying it all out
21. Staring into space
22. The wind in your hair
23. Moving your body to music
24. Receiving a long hug in the morning
25. Holding hands with someone you love
26. Nurturing yourself when you know you need it
27. Stretching, to create space in a stiff sore body
28. Waiting in anticipation for news you can't wait to hear
29. Water running over your head in the shower, drowning out all other noise
Joy through your home
30. Sleeping in
31. Clean sheets
32. A full coin jar
33. A clean home
34. Sunday brunch
35. A surprise visitor
36. Gorgeous stationery
37. A vase of fresh flowers
38. A clean kitchen bench
39. Freshly folded washing
40. Falling asleep on the sofa
41. A delicious home cooked meal
42. A fluffy pillow and a good book
43. A warm blanket on a cold night
44. A warm cup of tea on a cold day
45. Waking up to cuddles and kisses
46. The smell of freshly baked biscuits
47. Playing a board game on a rainy day
48. Fresh washing blowing in the breeze
49. A nanny nap in the middle of the day
50. A handmade blanket infused with love
51. Family and friends laughing over dinner
52. Eating vegetables fresh from the garden
53. Decorating your home in a way you love
54. Opening the door onto your own beautiful sanctuary at the end of a long day
Joy through your heart
55. Saying "I'm sorry"
56. Jumping in puddles
57. An unexpected gift
58. Believing in yourself
59. Creating with your hands
60. Listening to your intuition
61. A sleep when you really need it
62. Drawing a love heart in the sand
63. A sad movie and a box of tissues
64. Phoning a friend when she's down
65. Giving up your seat for someone else
66. A photo that "takes you back to when"
67. Helping your neighbour when she's sick
68. Paying for coffee for the person behind you
69. Looking in the mirror and saying "I love you"
70. Whiling away the afternoon with a good book
71. Taking time to listen to what your heart really wants
72. Seeing old friends and instantly falling back into that safe space
Joy through action
73. Helping others
74. A foot massage
75. Living authentically
76. A simple meal with people you love
77. All the washing up done and put away
78. A bubble bath when everyone else is busy
79. Sharing what you have with those you love
80. Doing that thing that makes your heart sing
81. Travelling to a place you've long dreamt about
82. Donating your unwanted items to someone in need
83. Giving, to help make another person's life more fulfilling
84. Saying hello to your new neighbours when they first move in
85. A new recipe you made perfectly the first time (and tastes delicious!)
92. Inside you
95. A deep breath
96. Being yourself
97. Loving your life
98. Living with grace
99. Simple pleasures
101. Believing in yourself
There's literally thousands of ways we can bring joy into our day! I'd love to know which ones of these resonate with you, or what you do each day to bring joy into your life.
Helen Joy Butler is an Intuitive Professional Organiser, Elemental Space Clearer® and creator of Joy Bursts who helps busy women connect with what's important to them - with the help of their home. By shifting the physical and energetic clutter in their homes as well as in themselves Helen helps her clients make real change in their lives, to move closer to the life they want and deserve. You can connect with Helen on Facebook and sign up for a free copy of the 'Your Heart, Your Home, Your Sanctuary' ebook on her website.