What brings you joy?
Joy is an under-utilized emotion. Most times it is felt with caution. Words associated with joy are delight, happiness, felicity and desire. A moment of joy can be induced by simply receiving a hug from someone in your life. Sharing an embrace can bring about great connection. Insight into your ability to allow this emotion to be felt fully is how you hug. Do you enter in with great abandon and fully feel each moment or are you less aware of the experience and just going through the motions while waiting for the release of embrace and moving on to the next part of the interaction?
We experience a heart opening with joy. It’s a moment of happiness and this can feel dangerous for some. Many of us treat joy as if there is only very little of it in the world and we have to conserve it so there is some for later. Or we feel joy and then the fear comes in suggesting something bad will happen. Waiting for the other shoe to drop during a joyful moment does not allow for the full embrace. Worrying that joy is followed by catastrophe keeps you armored up. This relationship can be very subtle if you’re not paying attention or being mindful of your process.
There is an unlimited amount of joy to be experienced for all of us. The best part is the more you embrace and allow it in, the more there is for you. It’s created by your allowance of it. The more you release the fear around it and relax in to the idea that life can be what you choose it to be in the moment then that is what you create for yourself. Trying to hold on to joy is the opposite side of the same coin. This has a fear energy as well. Simply allow joyful moments to be experienced like a cool sip of water on a hot day. There is no need to hold on because there are many more to come and they arrive in many different shapes and sizes. Posing the question of what would bring you the most joy several times a day is a great way to practice. It may be a long stretch before you get out of bed in the morning or maybe to take a short stroll outside during a work break. The possibilities are limitless when you bring the choice of joy to the moment.
Bridgette DeBoer M.A., is a licensed alcohol and drug counselor, marriage and family therapist. She can be reached at 450-6632.