For many years I felt lost and unfulfilled. I’ve always been a positive person, but deep down I wasn’t content or joyful. I felt an aching emptiness and didn’t understand why. And though I tried hard to “fix” myself and to force myself to just be happy with my “good life,” it didn’t work.
What I realized after a long period of time is that joy is an inside job. It doesn’t come from things, events or other people. Sure, different people, situations and “stuff” can make you feel happy for a time, but if you want sustainable joy – a deep contentment that weathers the ups and downs of life – you need to access it from within. It’s a practice. And it’s so worth it.
I uncovered and began to practice what I call keys to joy, and they changed my life. I’d now like to pass them on to you to help you connect with joy much sooner than I did. I’ve written a free ebook called 5 Keys to a Joy-filled Life, and it’s my gift to you. It’s packed with inspiration, helpful tips and simple steps for experiencing more joy in everyday life.
Here is a sneak peek at the 5 keys:
Live in the Moment
Focus on the present moment instead of where you’ve been or where you’re headed. Notice – really notice – what’s happening right in front of you. That way you won’t miss out on the great “small stuff” in life, such as light shining brilliantly through storm clouds, the pure joy in a child’s laugh or the chance to lend a helping hand.
Practicing daily gratitude can change your life. Really. When you acknowledge how fortunate you are and are specific about why you’re grateful – even for the smallest good thing – you take your focus away from things that are frustrating or upsetting, and attract more good into your life. A great way to practice gratitude is to keep a gratitude journal, where you write down one thing each day (or more, if you feel inspired) you’re grateful for. When you’re having a tough day, it’s amazing to look back on your journal and can really shift your perspective.
Embrace Your Awesomeness
You are awesome, right now, exactly as you are. Yes, you. But that may be hard to believe if your inner critic (or monkey mind as it’s sometimes called) constantly fires nasty messages at you. So a fun and empowering exercise you can do is make a Personal Awesome List (“I am awesome because…”) where you list your amazing qualities (kind, creative, helpful, funny, trustworthy, etc.). Fill up as much of a page as you can. Come back to it later, add more qualities to it and read it often.
Rekindle Your Childlike Wonder
Children are amazing. They see life as a big playground and imagine the most incredible scenarios. And they don’t limit themselves with words like impossible. We can learn so much from that.
“A grownup is a child with layers on.” ~ Woody Harrelson
Take some time to peel back the heavy, burdensome layers you carry. Give yourself permission to imagine what you’d do or try if there were no limits. What were activities you loved doing when you were a child, ones you could do for hours without realizing it? Maybe it’s possible to incorporate the “flavour” of those activities into your life now.
Seize the Day
It’s easy to get stuck in the monotony of the same-old, same-old. But you don’t experience joy when you’re on autopilot. It’s time to feel alive again, to bring some fun and adventure back into life.
There are many simple ways to do this, which include:
Do things differently: Something as basic as driving a different route to work can result in something interesting and unexpected happening.
Embrace everyday adventures: Instead of letting practicality drive your actions, try letting your heart guide you. Say yes to a fun chance to step out of your norm, rather than saying no.
Embrace silliness: We often take life – and ourselves – too seriously. Balance it out by lightening things up a bit. Think of something fun, strange and out-of-the-ordinary you can do this week. Maybe do a happy dance down the sidewalk or serenade someone! Let your imagination run wild with possibility. It’ll feel strange, but that’s the point – you’ll definitely feel alive! Have FUN with it!
I’m so grateful for every moment of this joy-filled life and the lessons I’m learning along the way.
And let’s be honest. There are times when I stop allowing joy. Not on purpose, it just happens. I get busy and forget to look up every once in awhile at all the amazing things around me. I forget to live in the moment. But once I realize what’s happening, I come back to these five keys and reconnect with joy.
If you’d like to connect with joy on your own journey, download the free guide here. Enjoy!
I’d love to hear how you bring joy into your life! Please share. I’d also love to hear about your favourite tip from the ebook!