I get asked this question a lot — What is joy?
My short answer?
Joy is a commitment to showing up in this moment, as yourself, and with gratitude.
Joy is pausing after long night of tending to your little one, opening your face to the morning sun, and saying a tiny prayer of gratitude for having survived another sleepless night.
Joy is the heart and patience to be kind to our fellow humans in the day-to-day interactions, as we all go about our complicated lives.
Joy is listening deeply to the call within yourself and taking action towards the kind of world you want to live in.
Joy is getting vulnerable with your emotions, your undercover fears, your bright light and trusting that connection made from these truths is potent medicine for your soul.
Joy is allowing yourself to laugh loudly. To take a stand. To slow down. To pause. To kiss with full attention. To relish stillness. To find flow.
Joy is unhitching from the need to be seen as perfect, the need to make it all look easy, the need to carry the world’s burdens all by yourself.
While happiness is dependent on external circumstances (and thus wildly out of our control in many ways), joy is a way of deliberately engaging with life.
My joy practice can be summed up simply.
- Be present
- Be authentic
- Be grateful
When life feels extra painful or stacked against you, it doesn’t work to distract yourself with “happy.”
When you are in the throes of messy, you must dive deeply into your joy practice, asking yourself — Can I be with joy now? And still now? And how about now?
And the answer, dear one.
I’m not saying it’s easy. I’m not saying I’m perfect at it.
But I am saying that joy can change the experience of your life, and from that foundation of presence, authenticity and gratitude, anything is possible.
To joy in a messy world. Now and forever.