July 13, 2016 Blog No Comments

Sunapee llightsWe had another joy filled weekend. We invited family from near and far, along with a lively assortment of friends to celebrate my husband’s return to health. It involved, of course, a party with excellent music by our talented friends.

Why does it seem we do this so much and what happens as a result?

In my soul searching studies over the years, one of the things that jumped out is the idea that life is meant to be joyful. I was stunned. We are so conditioned to think differently. Why am I just learning this later in life?  This became part of my wake up call, as I wrote about last week, to look at life differently and most of all, to live differently.

I’d like to review the change process that I think occurs when you set very clear intentions to seek joy, create joy and live with joy. It’s not magic, it’s not about being lucky, it’s a deliberate decision.

SEEK JOY

Like most of us, I was raised to work hard, deal with hardship with dignity, be grateful when good times come and never take them for granted.  The thought that life is meant to be joyful never occurred to me. It suggests a whole new way of looking at and approaching life. It implies that you know what brings you joy, and from there you know exactly what to seek to bring it to you.

So what makes you happy and what do you want? Many people aren’t sure of that answer. It becomes the interesting starting point to identify your source of joy. Think about it. Are you doing, being, or engaging with what brings you happiness?

I realized that some of my sources of joy are in the natural world, the creative energy of music and art, and being with loving people I can share these things with. When I became clear about this, it was much easier to seek it.

Creating a deliberate mind set to seek joy started with a process of reconnecting with my child-like wonder. When you look at the world with fresh eyes, you are not looking with suffering and pain, but with the brightness of awe and delight. When you seek what you actually love, the excitement creates an automatic lift in your energy level. It starts the process to bring joy to you. The simplest of things can bring surprise and amazement.

Seeking joy is simply a thought – a perspective that brings automatic reward.

CREATE JOY

Be glad when the good times come –enjoy it while you can – you don’t know how long it will last – right? Doesn’t life get a little stale and unsatisfactory when you take this approach?

Do you want to be the creator of joy in your life or wait for it to come to you? It’s the equation within the Law of Cause and Effect. By taking responsibility to create the joy we seek, we are causing things to happen rather than waiting for it to happen. Joy doesn’t just occur, it has to be created by putting yourself in situations you love, hosting things you love and training your mind to notice the joy all around you.

It’s a deliberate process, creating the intention and looking for ways to satisfy it. That’s the Law of Attraction in action; the more you put your attention on something you love and are seeking, the more it will come to you.

Since I love music, art and nature, it is no surprise they are part of my everyday life. And since I love sharing these things, there is no surprise that my choice of loved ones, friends and activities are organized around them.

Creating joy is as simple as making clear choices to bring more of it to you.

LIVE WITH JOY

Life is not always easy, there will always be times of trials and hardships. It’s the human condition. So when your plate is full of difficulties how can you possibly find joy? It’s back to your basic assumption – if life is supposed to be joyful, you have to seek it and create it. It is only then you can live it.

By nature, we are  sensitive to each other – it can be hard to be around people who are suffering. That’s why we love stories of triumph over pain, grace in adversity, stoicism in the midst of hardship. It inspires us to lift up, to believe we can make things better.

Yes, we can make things better.  Even in the midst of difficulties there is always the silver lining from the lessons we learn and the profound bonds we experience by going through trials with one another. Having just come through some tough times, we deeply appreciated our friends and planned for the joy in advance. We sought it, created it and then lived it. It made the hard times easier.

When you live every day with joy, you always have a reason to honor and celebrate the richness of life. You look for ways to acknowledge life’s gifts. Simple rituals spread the message of joy – you can give a word of thanks, a toast of recognition, a note of appreciation, a dinner for friends, a party to honor someone. Each one of these will change the world in which you live into a more loving and joyful community.

Living with joy is an intention that organizes your actions to spread love – everyone benefits!

How do you choose to live? When you choose to seek, create and live with joy, there is no monetary or material standard that sets the bar. It is simply set by your own internal truth – what brings you love and happiness. There is no right or wrong. In the seeking, you bring others who share your joys to you, in the sharing you create more of it and soon you are simply living it. It’s a natural, organic process like the way daffodils multiply across a field. In short time, you are brightly living and spreading joy.

Does this speak to you? If you’re interested in bringing more joy into your life, my Transformational Life Coaching provides the tools to make it happen. There is more information on my website at www.spectrumtransformation.com. Click on Free Consultation to learn how it can help. I’d love to hear from you.

Written by Connie Milligan, LCSW
If there is anything I’ve expressed that speaks to you, I’d love to hear from you. You can reach me at my email, connie [at] conniemilligan [dot] com