What does joy mean to you? I remember in the past asking a dear friend, “Why don’t I feel joy?” Hmmm. At the time I felt like it had to be an overwhelming and exhilarating feeling. I remember feeling happy but not feeling ‘bliss’ except when I meditated and an overwhelming feeling of unconditional love consumed me. It brought tears to my eyes. This is what I felt joy was. I felt happy a lot but to feel ‘joy’ meant to feel ‘bliss’ to me.
Does this mean that being happy and feeling joy are different? Some people think they’re the same. Most agree that they’re both emotions. They make you feel good! Others believe that joy is an inner feeling and happiness is stimulated from something outside of yourself! I laugh at myself sometimes because I want to figure things out and in the end I realize I can overcomplicate things. Does this happen to you?
Why am I bringing this up right now? I feel that the complexities of daily living and making daily choices can be overwhelming. How do we take care of ourselves; keep our families safe and healthy; help others and still flourish and grow when there is so much happening globally that is out of our control? We feel a wide range of emotions and it can be overwhelming. It takes a great deal of inner strength to maintain balance and seek the inner calm within you when you are navigating the chaos that comes with a changing world! This moment, right now, is your life. A choice to feel happy or feel joy is yours to make in this moment.
These feelings, happiness and joy, may mean the same to you and it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you get to choose how you feel! Poet and civil rights activist, Maya Angelou, has said “We need joy as we need air. We need love as we need water. We need each other as we need the earth we share.” She reminds us that joy, love, and community are essential to living. Choose to change living on auto pilot if that’s what you’ve been doing. Live more consciously! Imagine choosing to feel joy and happiness instead of fear, anger or despair. Imagine taking a few moments each day to recall a memory and time where you felt joy and happiness. Feel it again! Remember what it feels like again. Draw upon the feeling when you feel overwhelmed! This moment is your life!
Dutch Catholic priest and theologian, Henri J.M. Nouwen, has said “Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it everyday.” This is my experience too. When I feel out of sorts more and more I remember and draw upon the feeling I call ‘bliss’ during my meditations. I also remember the joy, wonder, and fun that my 16 month old granddaughter demonstrates as she navigates her life! I remember, smile, feel, and choose joy! Let’s try something different this week. When faced with making a decision let’s ask, “Does it bring me joy?” If it doesn’t is there a different choice to make?
I hope your week is filled with joy, laughter, love, and wonder. I’m sending love to each of you and want you to know how grateful I am that you are in my life.
I’m available for private coaching and channeled information sessions at Storm Wisdom on Tuesdays from 1p – 6p by appointment. Please call Storm Wisdom, (602)334-1204 to schedule. I’m also available by phone or Zoom. To schedule please go to victoriabarna.com.