Feeling Joy (Really Feeling It!)

When you hear the word joy, what images pop into your head? Are you free from financial burden, thriving in your career, living your passion? Expressing yourself creatively? Launching a new product into the world? Or maybe you're sitting on a beach, sand between your toes, mojito in hand, without a care in the world?

As you visualize what joy means to you, how do feel? Are you filled with happiness from head-to-toe? Got that must-climb-on-the-roof-tops-and-sing-it-from-the-top-of-my-lungs feeling deep within your soul?

When's the last time you felt pure unadulterated joy? It's that feeling of soul-stirring, heart-sizzling joy that we chase after day after day after day. Our actions are motivated by it every single day, from what we choose to eat, the clothes we wear, where we work, to the people we choose in our lives. We want to feel good, we want to live our best lives possible. And why shouldn't we? We deserve it, whole-heartedly.

Let me just repeat that for a second: You deserve to feel good, to be happy, to shine bright, and to live your best life. Yes, you! Now, let's move on to the back story...

A couple months ago, I was feeling on top of the world. You know, that feeling where nothing can bring you down? Life was flowing effortlessly... my relationship was the strongest it had ever been, we were planning one of the happiest days of our lives (and it was going smoothly!), my family and friends were succeeding in their lives, everyone was happy and healthy, everything that entered into my world was meshing, and damn! It felt gooood. All the things I've been preaching, being present in the moment, practicing gratitude daily, accepting myself, I was living and it was paying off. (Seriously guys - I'm not just spitting out nonsense here!) and then I thought to myself...

"This is too good to be true, something is going to go wrong."

Just when joy began to enter my life, I set up roadblocks, telling myself that it's not possible to feel that good, and pushing it out before I could begin to really savor it. 

Now ask yourself: how long did the feeling of joy last for you before doubt and worry crept in? Our entire lives we're told that life is hard, unfair, unjust, and cruel. Life's a bitch. Make due with what's thrown at you and deal with it. It's not going to be easy, it's going to be a hard, long process, and as we grow older, we come to terms with the fact that maybe our childhood dreams were just that, childhood dreams.

This age-old way of thinking has us stuck in our own back-talking thoughts, worrying about situations that we either can't control, or haven't even happened. It's stifling our happiness, our success, dreams, relationships, creativity, and our ability to feel joy.

Shift your perspective, let your mind streeeeeetch, and expand your capacity for joy. Pure, exhilarating, lift-you-up-let-you-fly joy that flows into your life with ease and fluidity. It doesn't just pass you by, it's ever-lasting. Life can be that easy. It's not about "making due", it's about taking control, choosing your thoughts and feelings, and allowing yourself to be the author of your story. If only we let ourselves really feel the joy and stopped anticipating the worst case scenerio. (Hint - you can!)

"You sustain less injury when you do not brace for impact."

If you're anything like me, the written word is like a swift kick to your core. I'm always saving quotes and passages that I refer back to on a daily basis. Let some of these words guide you and help you set out your intentions for the day.

"Some of the things you believe were never true. They were someone else's fears. Give yourself a chance to examine your thoughts. Change those that are negative. You are deserving." ~ Louise Hay

“Never stop dreaming of moonbeams and fairy dust, shiny stars and the wonder of the heavens, a happier life and a better world.” ~ James J. Gormley

“There is so much about my fate that I cannot control, but other things do fall under the jurisdiction. I can decide how I spend my time, whom I interact with, whom I share my body and life and money and energy with. I can select what I can read and eat and study. I can choose how I’m going to regard unfortunate circumstances in my life-whether I will see them as curses or opportunities. I can choose my words and the tone of voice in which I speak to others. And most of all, I can choose my thoughts.” ~ Elizabeth Gilbert

“A man sooner or later discovers that he is the master-gardener of his soul, the director of his life.” ~ James Allen

“Passion is a feeling that tells you: this is the right thing to do. Nothing can stand in my way. It doesn't matter what anyone else says. This feeling is so good that it cannot be ignored. I'm going to follow my bliss and act upon this glorious sensation of joy.” ~ Wayne W. Dyer

A little Q&A: Has this ever happened to you? How do you handle back-talking thoughts when they creep in? (We all have 'em!) What in your life lifts you up and makes you feel on top of the world? Let's get this going and strike up a conversation! I'd love to hear your thoughts.

P.S. To get involved in the conversation, and for more love-soaked words, head to Facebook and join the community.

Image via Etsy

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