Joy is one of my favourite feelings.
There’s a subtle difference between joy and happiness; a simple attitude towards finding joy instead of simply being happy. Happiness can be hard to choose at times. So often our lives are filled with busy, fast-paced decisions, littered with stress and indecisiveness. Joy is something that organically unfolds inside of yourself. It’s formed by looking at the small, unnoticed things in your surroundings and choosing to bring attention to those things. It is about embracing the small aspects of life that make it beautiful and sacred.
Joy is all around us. Joy can be easy to find, but sometimes hard to see.
When we are surrounded by a cloud of our stressors and hard decisions, joy can be hidden by long to-do lists and work meetings. But joy is still there – waiting for you to see it. Joy is patient. And exciting. And though I can realize in my hard times that it is still there despite my inability to feel it, I know when my mood has shifted I can embrace joy more fully.
Because that’s what joy is – an inner spark of intense feelings. And happiness is just a state; a mood.
I find joy in seeing beautiful sunshine after a long week of cloudiness. I find joy in a quiet afternoon in a coffee shop, where I get to people watch and also write by my lonesome. Joy fills me every time I see a small baby lock eyes with me and smile – as if we’re speaking in our own secret language.
Joy is all around us – at all times. It is in the small things and in the big things, but it takes us having the ability to actively look for it when we go about our day.
Here is my challenge to you: Find joy in your day. When you’re driving somewhere, find joy in the next song that comes on the radio. When you are walking somewhere, find joy in the trees or the sidewalk that lines your steps. Looking for joy creates an inner sense of gratitude that helps us to appreciate the present moment, let go of the outside stressors that are taking over our minds, and lets a little smile creep through (the most delicious side effect of finding joy, I might add…)
And if this challenge has you feeling particularly inclined to – write down your joys on a piece of paper, in a notebook, or someplace you can look at it often. A simple reminder of the joys in our life is a great place to head to when we are forgetting just how joyful our lives truly are…
I would love to hear some of the things that bring you joy.
**Photos taken by the amazing Hannah Brooks – www.hannahbrooksphotography.com**