On Joy

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Joy is an intentional practice.

We often say ‘what brings you joy’ yet the deeper reality is that joy doesn’t come to us like a passing visitor or guest; it is born within us like a child.

We create an environment for joy to flourish or to wither within us based on the consciousness of our practice. 

When joy arises with ease, our cup overflows, spilling out onto the world with beautiful abandon. We feel alive, hopeful, and desire others to feel the same. 

When we feel the furthest from joy and our cup is empty, this is actually the time to lean toward the joy of others, trusting its power will restore us in even the darkest of moments. And sometimes it is our practice of courage that actually opens us up to our practice of joy. 

People commonly say that joy is damn hard to practice when moving through immense strife. I myself have felt this too, even as recent as this week. Yet joy is absolutely abundant, does not discriminate, and is accessible to us all, no matter our circumstance. Simply put, the joy within our life can run deep even when there is little joy in our life situation. 

Joy in life can actually be a great catalyst for cultivating more joy in our life situation. This is a hard truth sometimes but a deeply conscious one.

HOW TO PRACTICE JOY IN CHALLENGING TIMES

When joy feels out of reach or too damn hard, here are a few ways to return to the practice. 

  1. When in challenge, serve someone else.
  2. When lonely, spend time in nature.
  3. When bored, listen to someone else. 
  4. When hustling for joy, take a powerful pause for reflection.
  5. When anxious, witness the joy in a stranger. 
  6. When feeling far from joy, remember a time of deep joy. 
  7. When uncertain, return to the present moment. 

There are many more ways but you get the idea; any way that authentically acknowledges where we are while also reminding us of our soulful place in the greater landscape of humanity is a powerful step to cultivating more joy. 

HOW TO PRACTICE JOY IN JOYFUL TIMES

Perhaps even more important is the practice of joy in deeply joyous times. Intentional practice here holds the capacity to enrich our own joy while supporting others when their cup is barely full. Joy is meant to be shared so if our cup overflows in abundance, we can consciously choose to spill it into the lives and hearts of those who really need it while experiencing the positive effects of this joy in practice. Here are a few ways:

  1. When living in abundance, give to those in lack with no judgment or expectation.
  2. When deeply happy, smile at a stranger or give your time to them. 
  3. When relaxed, choose to complete a task that will support the relaxation of another.
  4. When calm, offer a calming ear to someone in distress.
  5. When clear, sit with someone wrestling with clarity.
  6. When rested, give time for a weary soul in your life to rest.
  7. When grateful, share your gratitude with those who contributed to making it possible.

JOY IN PRACTICE

Practice isn't about perfection; it is about progress. When we begin to cultivate our joy from within, we strengthen our ability to navigate any life weather with greater ease, deepening our conscious connection to humanity itself and our unique purpose for being here. 

WHERE ARE YOU PRACTICING JOY? 

Share in the comments; we’d love to hear and learn from you!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

An intuitive leadership and life coach for 12 years and founder of The Courage Practice, Tonyalynne Wildhaber coaches individual leaders, life warriors, coaches, and soulful entrepreneurs to make friends with their courage, integrate wisdom with strategy, step into their highest potential, and transform their success and life. Tonyalynne is a frequent contributor to Forbes and Thrive Global. She is head-over-heels in love with the Pacific Northwest, loves iced coffee in any weather, and is attempting to train a dog named Ollie.