Finding Joy - A Muscle that Needs Practice
Finding joy is a muscle we have to work daily
Two years ago, my New Year's resolution was to find more joy in my day to day life. I had previously observed that if I can feel joy, things in my life worked easier, there seemed to be less stress in my decisions, chores, and activities.
I was wondering what it would feel like to have a joyful experience. My body would feel light, ease would flow through my day and somehow, oddly enough, people around me often would seem to be having similar experiences.
Then life took over and things started to bother me, I got lost emotionally, I questioned my existence until I realized I had lost any joy. So I started to envision all over, what joy would feel and look like.
I started a gratitude journal and observed even the smallest things to find the joy in them. And I started to discover joy in details I would have never considered to be joyful before. I was even enjoying sitting in traffic, realizing that I was fine with a little downtime of listening to music without going anywhere.
Until again, I forgot to look for joy. Things got yucky. I crashed and I cried...and yes, you guessed it, I rediscovered my quest for joy yet again. I continued my journal, I counted my blessings, as the saying goes.
One important detail I learned was not to blame myself when I got off the road, when I lost my joy, or my yoga. I have come to the realization that finding joy was yet another muscle that needed practice, and that sometimes we get sore muscles because we overdo it, not listening careful enough to our bodies and minds.
Sometimes we need to even take breaks from finding our joy, we need to change our ways and our routines. But the goal is to strengthen this very important muscle. Work it. Look for what brings you joy. Follow your joy.
Meditation is a powerful tool to practice listening to your body and mind, to your spirit. The answers, as to where joy can be found in your day, will come. And there will be more joy to be found, the more you keep looking.
photo: Romy Eichner