Finding Joy Within

True joy cannot be found outside of yourself. You may find some happiness there, in the people or things around you, but it will not be lasting. People will change, things will go away, and you will be left again with yourself. For real, true joy, you must go within. Get still and awaken the flame in your heart. There joy is. 

I used to put a lot of stock into how successful I could be. I thought if I made good grades and built a great resume, then I could be happy. I was always making plans for myself in a vain attempt to find happiness. Of course, I could not be happy that way. I still had healing to do. I learned to go within, where I could heal. That is where I found true joy. 

You are equipped to feel that joy because you were created in love. Follow the thread of your heart. It will lead you to that place of joy. You can be there. You were born to be there. Turn off your mind, get still, and you will find the path. Your heart connects you to God. Your heart will lead you to joy. 

Have a joyful day!

Moving Towards Joy

What makes you feel joy? What sparks that feeling for you? What makes you smile? Whatever it is, do that more! Even if it is something small or if it seems insignificant. I believe feeling joy is one of the big reasons why we’re alive. Feeling joy, happiness, and contentment is a sure sign that you are aligned with your soul’s purpose. 

As a child, I knew what joy felt like. I fell into a joyful state relatively easily, if memory serves me correctly. There seemed to be so much light and peace, and things were safe. As an adult, it takes some practice. It’s easy to get caught up in my day to day life. Jobs, family, finances, stress all end up in the forefront of my mind and leave little room for joy. It can also seem selfish to feel joy in a world that can have so much suffering, but the goal is not to stop you from feeling joy. It’s to make it possible for more and more people to be in a place to feel happy.

It doesn’t have to be hard to find this simple happiness. Some things that easily bring me joy are nature, gardening, my family, spending time with friends, and writing, to name a few. What brings you joy? Think of at least five things that help you feel that happiness, and try to do at least one of them every day. 

Finding Joy in the Mundane

Most of our lives are taken up by very mundane, even boring, tasks. Some of my more mundane daily tasks include making beds, cleaning up toys, making breakfast, making lunch, commuting to work, doing paperwork, bathtime, and bedtime, to name a few. Sometimes these tasks seem far from my experience of connecting to God, but I know that they are a big way that I can stay present and be of service to the world.

Connecting to the divine doesn’t mean we stop participating in our daily lives, we just approach them differently. As the Zen quote goes, “before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.” Once we have an experience or knowledge of our oneness to the divine, our outer lives don’t always change. We still must participate in the life of the body, and the life of this world. 

I try to practice breathing and being present as I do these tasks. Sometimes I even find them relaxing and satisfying – especially making the beds. I love being able to create a safe home for my daughter, which includes trying (and often failing) to keep the house peaceful and clean and orderly. I also love the chance to practice being present in my body, especially since smart phones are such a distraction! I can’t look at my phone while doing these daily tasks, and I’m glad for it.

Doing mundane tasks is a huge part of our lives on earth. These tasks, while perhaps a little boring, keep us rooted in our realities. If we approach them with love and an open heart, they can be a source of joy and even freedom.