5 SIMPLE STEPS TO CULTIVATE JOY
5 SIMPLE STEPS TO CULTIVATE JOY IN YOUR LIFE
by Jennifer Longmore
Today’s culture has positioned us to believe that we are “less than.” Media contributes to this illusion by showing us the image we need in order to be perfect, and therefore accepted. It is very easy to overlook the gifts in our lives when we are spending precious time and energy examining what is wrong with us and seeking ways to correct our imperfections. Disillusionment and discontent can often set in, leaving us riding dramatic highs and lows in our self concept, relationships, jobs and others aspects of our day-to-day lives
Although it is natural to have highs and lows in this three dimensional world we call life, the key to living life to its fullest is to get off of the roller coaster and ride the wave. Life as we know it is still going to happen no matter how hard we attempt to control it. For example, we will still lose loved ones, have financial issues, and have conflicts with friends and family. So, in knowing that the tide will come again, why not choose to live in joy as much as possible as you ride the wave?
The great thing about this journey on earth is that we still have the freedom of choice. Therefore, we choose our responses to people and situations. We can choose joy or we can choose fear, boredom, apathy, resentment, anger, guilt, jealousy and so on. Emotions are temporary. Life is a gift. Are you choosing to be a passive participant in your life waiting for joy to find you, or are you choosing to be an active participant in the gift of life by creating all of the things you wish for and that bring you joy? Joy lives within you. Searching for joy outside of yourself is an un-fulfilling, never-ending journey
As you read this many you probably are saying, yeah but….. . The reality is that the choice in how you live your life is yours and yours alone. I can appreciate that we often have many factors in our lives which make this more challenging, yet joy is still achievable if you believe it to be. Here are some simple steps to get you started in developing faith that having joy in your life is possible:
*1. Keep a daily gratitude journal. Begin by listing at least 5 things that you are grateful for each day and build your list up to 25 things. Trust me, this works
*2. Reflect back on the activities that brought you joy as a child (ie. singing, dancing, baking, building things, etc) and make time to re-introduce that into your life. Sing in the shower, play in the sand (at the beach), play air guitar in front of the mirror. Every small step is a step closer to the joy within.
*3. Try laughter yoga, rent comedies, do something silly, play Twister. Laughter is the best medicine
*4. Practice tai chi, yoga, or any other movement meditation. Mindfulness practice is a guaranteed way to create and sustain inner joy
*5. Heal yourself. Whether you choose counseling or alternative forms of healing, releasing the blockages that hold you back clears out what you don’t need and makes room for what you do need…..more joy
Creating and maintaining joy releases the struggle that exists along your path, making room for an abundance of anything that you wish to create. Joy leads to grace which leads us to all of those magical experiences of synchronicity on our path that we hear others talking and writing about. What do you choose to create on your path?
© Jennifer Longmore, Soul Journeys™