JOY = Just Own You
Table of Contents
I am curious,
Have you ever found yourself asking this question, "How do I find joy in life?"
In moments of stress, did you just wish you could shift your mindset to peacefulness?
Do you feel like your everyday life is stuck in going through the motions, void of joy, love and inner peace?
If you responded yes to one or all of the above questions, then let's journey together to bring joy into our lives.
Finding joy in life begins with you. You get to be the hero who discovers and shares joy in your everyday life! It is an inside job that will change how you live and experience life.
"How?" I hear you say. Well, let's start simply - JOY = Just Own You! Pure joy is embedded in how you see and feel about yourself and life. Within you lies a well of untapped joy, ready to be awakened and expressed.
In this article we are going to learn about five simple practices that will nurture and expand the joy in your life. These practices will awaken your joyful inner knowing that YOU are enough, worthy and perfect in all your moments. Are you ready to rise like a phoenix in your own personal state of joy? If you exclaimed with a big YES (practicing that joy embodiment) then let's begin to play!
Joyful Practice #1 - Mirror, Mirror, I Am Enough...
Let's start this adventure to find joy by engaging in a simple daily practice.
In the morning or at night while you are brushing your teeth, look in the mirror. Make eye contact with the magnificent person looking back at you. Spend time truly honoring the face before you, do not look away.
Notice the immediate voice in your head that self criticizes. Isn't it amazing how quickly self judgment begins? Before you start the practice, politely ask the judgmental voice to be quiet, informing it that it is not welcome here.
Now, take a long, slow, deep breath, while gazing softly into your eyes.
First, recognize and celebrate three things you did well today (to speak or whisper out loud makes it more real and interrupts the mind chatter).
Next, share three things you love about who you are.
Finally, whisper three things you are grateful for in this moment and time about yourself.
I understand that the first time you do this it may feel awkward. Be patient, as you practice this meaningful self care process daily, you will begin to notice that you feel happier about yourself. You will realize how much you show up everyday to serve the self and others in this life journey.
I have worked with lots of clients who struggle with this intentional daily routine. However, the clients who stuck with it discovered it expanded the pure sensation of more joy, love and peace in their lives. Spending time feeling positive emotions about the self begins to shift the negative self criticism into honoring and respecting.
Joyful Practice #2 - I Recognize My Joyful Life.
Next, let's look at a way we destroy joy for ourselves. Can you be honest with me and yourself? How many times a day do you let outside experiences and people impact how you feel and think about yourself and your life? I'm willing to bet that the number is fairly high and frequent.
Do not feel alone. We are taught from a young age to judge ourselves by how others see and react to us. One of life's greatest lessons is to realize that your true well being, inner peace and pure joy blossoms when you love who you are and learn how to live out loud with no apology for being YOU.
"How can I possibly do that?" I hear you scream at me. Well, let's explore one practice to begin this journey.
Purchase a journal that makes you feel joy when you look at it. Label and decorate the first section as your Gratitude Space, the second section is for Joyful Moments and the third section is a place to Celebrate Me.
Go to your nearest mirror. Look into your own eyes and promise yourself (out loud), "I commit to take 10 minutes or more each day for one month to write in this ’Awakening Joy’ journal. At the end of that time, I will reassess its value in my life."
The Journaling Practice:
Open to the "Gratitude Space," write the date at the top and then write about all the things, people, experiences, etc.., in your life that you feel gratitude about. Do not edit, critique or force, just let it flow. When complete, move to the next section.
Move to the "Joyful Moments" section. Recall sweet little things that happened throughout your day. Such as, “having a lovely conversation with the barista at your favorite coffee shop, someone kindly letting you pull in front of them during the morning commute, your daughter/son sharing an animated moment with you, etc…” Often these little moments go unnoticed. Write down as many as you can think of. As you practice this process you will be surprised by how often you have the opportunity to feel joy.
Finally move to the "Celebrate Me" section, here you get to begin to recognize and joyfully celebrate YOU. Write down all the ways you showed up today, took care of yourself, set healthy boundaries, etc....This section will likely be your hardest when you start, but be patient. It takes time to shut off the negative self talk to hear the truth.
Take the time to do this practice when it fits into your schedule the best. Early in the morning before the house gets busy, at night before you go to sleep, during your lunch break at work, whatever time you select the important thing is to stay consistent and do the practice at the same time each day if possible.
Rules to this practice
Do not judge or criticize.
Do not edit or correct.
Let your inner self guide the flow.
Remember, there is no right or wrong!
Show up daily to engage in this committed practice. Remember, you have spent a lifetime learning how to be self critical. Daily bombardment from a society and culture that uses comparison as its greatest marketing tool has taught you how to play small and devalue your inner radiance.. Stay true to your commitment for a month, you will be surprised at how powerful it is to honor the self.
Joyful Practice #3 - I Breathe Joy Into My Life
The following practice is one of the most powerful free tools you have to shift your life. When you entered this world, the first thing you did was breathe. At the end, it will be one of the last things you do. Learning to use your breath will change your everyday life.
Here is an example to illustrate
You are in an argument with someone you care about. You can feel your body getting tight, your breathing is shallow and comes in rushed bursts. The anger is starting to build.
Before things spiral out of control, quietly choose to regulate your next breath.Take in a slow inhale, hold it briefly while recognizing what you are presently feeling. While exhaling slowly, begin to decide for yourself if this interaction serves you or not.
Take another intentional slow breath. You will feel your heart rate slow down and your body begin to relax. This time while holding your breath, decide what you want to feel and do. Such as, stay engaged in the argument, walk away to calm down, ask to come back when you can communicate more respectfully, etc.... You have many choices. The key here is for you to realize that you have the power to choose.
Once you decide, continue to use your breath to calm your body, mind and spirit.
I elected to use a highly charged interaction for this example, but you can play around with other scenarios - stuck in traffic, upset about work, stressed about a presentation, running late, excited about a new job, etc.... Each day is full of opportunities to choose how we want to feel by using our breath to shift out of reaction.
You can also use your breath to expand feelings you enjoy. To do this, in a state of happiness, inhale slowly, stop to feel and appreciate the sensation. Then as you exhale choose to keep expanding upon the joyful state.
I promise that in time you will be able to do this practice without thinking about it. You will notice that you are reacting to something in your environment, which will initiate you to inhale with awareness, stop and exhale slowly while choosing how you want to feel.
To understand more clearly, listen to the audio recording below. It will walk you through the practice, sharing diverse ways your conscious breathing can change your life. This is a recording I used for an ongoing class of breathwork.
To understand more clearly, listen to this audio recording.
Now that you have listened and had the chance to practice, let's take the time to generate and create awareness as to how often you can use your breath to create change. To help you with this, I have created a worksheet for you to use. I hope you will take the time to complete it for a few weeks. You will be amazed at how often you can choose to feel joy.
Joyful Practice #4 - I Choose the Stories I Tell...
Here are a couple of questions for you. How often during the day do you tell or hear a story that is about something in the past? Is it a positive story or one that is full of shame, blame, victim-ness? One of the common ways we literally sabotage the joy in our lives is by staying stuck in our stories. Every time a negative story is repeated with the emotional charge it was originally experienced in, it steals our joy in the present moment.
Living in the moment and choosing how you want to feel gives you your life back. Just as you paid attention to your emotions or how you feel in "Joyful Practice #3," you will now engage in deepening this awareness through selecting the stories that empower your life.
In my work with clients I noticed that repeatedly telling the same story with an emotion that was similar to when it first happened kept them stuck. There was no room for joy, love or peace when they were focusing on the pain, hurt and sadness of the story.
Do not hear me wrongly. I recognize and honor that we all have painful parts of our lives that we have journeyed through. I appreciate the need to work through and heal these aspects of the self. However, I have also discovered that when we live in the present moment and choose how we want to feel or react, we more easily find joyful inspiration in daily life.
To begin the focus on living presently, download the worksheet below to begin the exploration of your"stories." Take the time to feel good about all that you have been through, choosing what brings meaning to your everyday life and the future. Take your time with this worksheet. Give yourself permission to dig deep. As you identify your stories, choose to keep or let them go. Explore in the present moment how you want to feel and be.
When you can tell a story without feeling any negative emotions, you will know that you have moved past the stuck behavioral pattern. Using your stories to help others relate or learn from your experience is a valuable tool. As you continue to practice living in the present, your life will shift to positive emotions and more joy. Finding joy in your everyday life expands exponentially when you stop living in the negative emotions of the past. Carpe Diem!
Joyful Practice #5 - “Doing” In A State Of Joy & Gratitude.
Here we are on the last infusing joy practice! This is one I learned almost twenty years ago, shortly after I divorced. As a single mom of two young children I found myself bogged down by the "to do" list. Then I found a beautiful little book (sadly I cannot find this book on any shelf or even on Amazon) that opened up a powerful way for me to let go of my griping and complaining when it came to chores. It opened up a sense of happiness, by teaching me to focus on the "to-dos" with mindful satisfaction and contentment.
Examples from my life:
No longer was laundry a chore, it became one of the loving ways I cared for my children and self.
Doing the dishes became a positive self care act, for how lucky am I to use warm running water to clean dishes that feed the most important people in my life.
Preparing a healthy meal for myself and children after a long day at work, became an expression of love.
This practice also applies to other aspects of our lives. How do you want to feel when you are taking care of the small things that must be done?
What will shift in your relationships if you find joy in doing what needs to be done in a state of gratitude?
When you start to embody more joy because you no longer resent the necessary actions in your life, you will be surprised at how your feeling of happiness expands. This is an intense self care act, for it clears your energy field of negative vibration.
More Joy Hacks!
Before we close, here is a list of some other simple ways to rev up your joy meter .
Listen to soothing sounds such as uplifting music, waves, water flowing, bird song.
Choose to engage with positive people.
Get out into nature.
Select social interaction that inspires you.
Go walking by yourself or with people you enjoy.
Plan artist dates for yourself to play and enjoy artistic expression.
Set aside time for meditation on a daily basis.
Create connection time with the important people in your life.
Give yourself the gift to sit in silence, letting your soul guide the internal dialogue (you might be surprised by what ideas bubble up).
Thank you for joining me on the exploration to generate more joy in your life. The above 5 practices have greatly impacted my life and the lives of my clients. Learning that joy is an inside job, is a huge ah-ha awakening. Taking action to love yourself and turn off the "not enough-ness" dialogue will open up the space for joy to gurgle up from inside you.
Give yourself grace and patience as you integrate these practices into your daily life.
About the Author
Fawn Caveney is a BEingness Guide, writer and wandering dreamer. For the last 25 years she has wandered through various professions, while raising her two children. Now she is preparing to take her life on the road, wherever her heart and soul calls. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org