What gives you joy? In a world of fear, doubt, and a sense of chaos perpetuated by the news and media – dare to be different. Live life joyfully each day! It is a radical act, and it will set you apart from the mainstream. But you will be a beautiful vision of what is possible.
The experience of real joy follows those moments of truth when our courage prevails and we take responsibility for the way we live in the world.*
What is living joyfully?
There is no one answer to that question. It is specific to each individual and something we must define for ourselves. As a young girl growing up in the 50’s with fairy tales that ended with the princess marrying the prince and living “happily ever after”, that was what I understood as the path – to marry and live happily ever after. Well, we know those fairy tales aren’t based on truth!
So, when and how does one live “happily ever after”? Perhaps it is simply a matter of paying attention to when we are happy, defining for ourselves what makes us happy, and then choosing to do those things that make us happy. And, if not now, when?
What I have come to believe is that to live life joyfully is to choose to live fully into joy each day. I do this by choosing to do those things that give me joy, and consciously spending time savoring each experience. It transforms my day. Doing this each day means choosing to live happily ever after right now.
One Way to Get Started
Keep a Joy Journal! What do you do just for the joy of it? At the back of your Joy Journal start a list of all the experiences that give you joy. Keep it simple. Brainstorm ideas – let one idea lead to another. Talk with friends and colleagues, ask what they do. Continually add to your list.
Set up the pages of your Joy Journal with the day and date at the top of each page and the opening sentence: I did this today for the joy of it!
- Start each day reading over your list of experiences that give you joy at the back of your journal. Add more as the ideas come to you. This sets the stage to remember to engage in at least one of these experiences before day’s end.
- At the end of the day, record what you consciously chose to do just for the joy of it.
- Describe how you felt and how long you gave yourself to savor that feeling.
- Keep the daily Joy Journal for one week. At the end of the week, read over your entries. What do you notice? Read over your list at the back of the journal. What do you notice?
- Decide if you would like to continue your Joy Journal another week. Do the same the next week and continue doing this until you notice you are living fully into joy each day.
Start living happily ever after now!
Share Your Story
What did you do today for the joy of it? Share your comments in the section provided.
*Lampmann, Teresa T. The ABC Path toward True Wisdom: A Woman’s Guide to Trusting What She Knows in Her Heart Is True. “Justified Joy”, Bloomington: Balboa Press, 2017. P 69.
Teresa Lampmann completed a certificate program in women’s spirituality in 1998 and two certificate programs in spiritual direction, one in 1997 and recently in 2015. Her book, The ABC Path toward True Wisdom, offers stories, reflections, and personal rituals to engage women in trusting their heart for the truth about what matters most in their lives.
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