“Find joy in discovering what makes your soul happy.”
Joy and happiness are two very important emotions. They both add such great value to our mental health, emotional wellbeing, and spiritual growth. But, it is really important to give both emotions their props.
Last month we explored happiness in, Small Tweaks More Happiness.
Lifestyle mentor Rachel Fearnley helps us make a clear distinction between joy and happiness, “Joy is more consistent and is cultivated internally. It comes when you make peace with who you are, why you
are and how you are, whereas happiness tends to be externally triggered and is based on other people, things, places, thoughts, and events.”
I see joy and happiness like a tree. Our joy is the roots (internal) of the tree. The roots are the anchor. It feeds and nourishes the rest of the tree. It keeps the tree grounded and healthy. The roots are unshakeable. Our happiness is like the leaves (external) of the tree. The leaves are important and support the functions of the tree. But the leaves are heavily impacted by external factors like: wind, rain, storms, and the changing of the seasons. One season bare the next full. Sounds like life. Let’s get rooted in joy!
Evidence of Joy…
If you don’t know by now I’m all about living beyond the surface. Going deep asking the difficult questions. Not only asking but honestly answering. No fluff. No lying. No games. I also think including trusted family and friends in the conversation could be helpful. Here are some questions to ponder alone or with a member of your trusted tribe. Living beyond the surface is best done with lots of grace and self-compassion. So, remember to take these with you on your quest for evidence.
- Do I truly love the person looking back at me in the mirror?
- Do I compare myself to others?
- Do I fully embrace all of who I am then and now?
- Do I see the glass as half full?
- Do I fully experience the present moment and enjoy it?
- Are my relationships healthy and enrich my life?
- Am I spiritually grounded?
- Am I generous and driven by service?
- Do I have goals and direction?
- Is gratitude a way of life?
Small tweaks bring more joy
Many external and internal stressors affect our lives and can shake us. But, being rooted in who we are is the key. Take notice that true joy is contingent upon being clear on who we are at our core. This is deep living. I remember years ago putting so much pressure on myself as a therapist. This distorted notion that because I was a therapist I should be void of issues. My moment of peace came when I accepted that I am a wounded healer. This truth was foundational to my joy. This took some BIG tweaking for me. But small tweaks lead to big results, too.
Cultivating you produces joy…
- Cultivate your ideal self and start by being clear on your principles.
- Operate with integrity and make a habit of doing the right thing.
- Divorce yourself from perfectionism, send it packing.
- Correct your mistakes immediately, if you offend, make it right.
- Grant the gift of patience to yourself and others.
- Think beyond today, think long term.
- Encourage and affirm yourself, celebrate often.
- Make peace with what you can’t change.
- Leave your past in the past.
- Challenge yourself and take calculated risks.
The call from the doctor’s office in 2019 after my mammogram was jarring. Subsequent mammograms identified several masses. The years I’ve spent cultivating my spirituality nurtured the roots of my joy. This news was confronted with resilience, grace, and optimism. I didn’t know to what extent I had it in me. The doctors could not find the masses during a subsequent visit. The morale of the story is self-love and acceptance breeds joy. A joy that can face anything.