Live a Little: Make Time For Joy

Each week I am sharing tips for how I Live a Little more deeply. This week my tip comes from something a friend shared with me two weeks ago. She said,” Hold on to the joy, don’t let the joy bubble go.” Living my life with JOY brings a deeper sense of happiness.

Live a little joy

Focusing on the joy in my life helps me feel happier. It makes sense. When I think of something joyous my whole being emanates with that energy. Likewise when I think about sad things my energy takes a
dive.

living joyfully

Joy By: Alice Popkorn

Since Susan told me to hold on to the joy, I have made a more conscious effort to focus on the joy in my life. Throughout the day I make a list in my head of things that make me feel happy that day. I think of things that are a blessing in my life and things I feel grateful for. The more I focus on joy, goodness and gratitude the more I feel it in my life.

We choose our thoughts and how we react to things in our life. I could focus on the rough spots. (There are certainly some of those in my life.) Instead I find myself singing song lyrics or recounting a special moment of real joy. I smile more in joy moments and I feel a deeper sense of happiness. I’m holding on to the joy bubble, are you? Join us at Skimbaco Lifestyle and share how you Live a Little.

Joy in Every Day

As a freelance writer with a flexible schedule, one would imagine I’d have a lot of time to find joy in my life. Not so; with transitions in my life in the last four years joy had been a commodity I’ve had to learn to look for. The first thing I’ve come to realize is that JOY is in every day.

Joy opens our heart.
Think about something that brings you joy. Cuddling with your dog? Snuggling on the couch with your child? Maybe waking on a day off and knowing you can make coffee and drink it while listening to some music? Joy might be smelling lilacs or watching the moon rise. Joy is in our every day moments. Joy is what brings a smile to our face. Joy lights up our hearts.

A Park Bench with flowers

Yes, there are million ways to defer joy
We can spend all our time worrying about every responsibility we have. Will we feel joyful doing that? No, we will feel stressed out and cranky. Trust me, I’ve done that. I’ve been there and I’m not going back. It’s not worth it. Surviving a short sale is not something I ever expected to experience. It cost me emotionally and financially. I will be paying off a couple debts for a while from that period.

I choose now to find joy.
I choose to focus my life in a direction that bring me happiness and joy. I made hard choices. Choices are heartfelt, they are different for each of us. In the end mine have been choices I felt were right for me. Simplifying life is where I started.

The First Steps
Downsizing from the belongings and items that smothered me from my father’s death and estate was a big step. I kept the furniture and treasures of dad’s that I most love. The rest I shared with family, friends and donation centers. In the end I gave away enough to fill a normal house. I chose to purchase a smaller home and that is how I ended up in a short sale situation. My father’s house, large and specialized took three years to sell. Three years of struggle, stress and anxiety for me. If you are in your own financial struggle, your own feeling of gasping for freedom from your financial struggles, I understand.

My Best Advice
Cut your losses and move on. I wasn’t ready for that. My dad’s home held too much emotional feeling for me to let go. Not being able to let go cost me emotionally and financially. It was my lesson and it took time to learn and heal. So how does this relate to joy? Joy is a bi-product of my experience. In releasing myself from what I experienced and accepting my life, I am finding more joy.

Simple Joys
I’ve rediscovered joy in a walk with my dog Tanner. I smile every time he greets me. His joy is infectious. His love and fun are a blessing. Gardening and walks bring joy to my soul. What makes you feel joy? A week or two ago as I worked at my computer I noticed a squirrel outside my window, in the flowerbed. He was eating, watching me and just enjoying the warm sunshine. He knew something valuable. He knew that joy and fun are just as important as being responsible. Yes, he gathers food and provides for his family but he also knows how to find joy. Pay attention next time you see squirrels. They dash up and down trees and chase each other wildly across yards. They know how to let loose and feel joy! That squirrel was the reminder and nudge I needed. He reminded me that feeling joy is a part of every day.

What Joy Does for Us
I’m not a Dr but I would guess that every time I feel joy it does something wonderful for my body. Every time I take a deep relaxing breath and look at the green of the trees and the sun glinting on the grass I feel a measure of joy. Yes, big things feel joyful. But every day moments add up in teaspoons and cupfuls to fill our lives with joy too. We can be way too serious. Sometimes it’s as simple as stepping away from our tasks and spending five minutes reading our favorite book, kissing our kids or hugging our loved ones. Joy is in every day. It’s time to see it and feel it. Feeling joy opens our hearts and allows us deeper happiness.

Inspirational Quote of the Week

Happiness
is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.
Mohandas Gandhi Indian Leader