I’ve come to realize that most of us don’t allow ourselves to feel joy most days. Special occasions may arise where joy becomes a byproduct such as a birth or wedding or promotion, but generally our default doesn’t include acts or feelings of joy.
Think about your past week: has it been joyful and wondrous? Or was it business as usual, full of busyness and stress?
If you felt any amount of joy and/or wonder, you’re likely the exception. Most people aren’t in a joyful state on a regular basis or realize that’s the case.
Let’s change that.
Joy and wonder are emotions we shut down for many reasons: it’s safe, you don’t want to stand out, it’s not allowed, we’re worried about what others will say, or you’re stressed. But wouldn’t you like to live a life of joy if not every day, at least more often than not?
We can still get a lot done, and function in society while having a greater degree of joy and wonder. In fact, I’d say our environment and those around us would greatly benefit, along with our work and levels of creativity if more joy was allowed into our lives. If we start seeing everything with wonder, life can start to fully come alive. It’s like that transformational moment in the Wizard of Oz when the scene goes from black and white to colour!
So how do we allow this into our lives? It starts by simply recognizing that we want this. Give yourself permission to lean into life and make a huge effort to notice everything within your surroundings.
Make it a daily practice. Not a daily chore to add to your task list, another thing that you should do. NO! This is something you GET to do!
Here are two practices you might try:
- Go outside and see the wonder of the world that’s constantly shifting and remaking itself around you. Look, listen, feel the air on your face, lean into the environment, touch leaves, smile at people, silently bless others as they walk past you. Feel what it’s like to be alive in this freaking amazing world. Run or dance or skip around like a kid. Be joy-filled! See the open and vibrant nature of the universe. Delight in the humanity of others! Climb a tree, do handstands. Whatever you feel like, whatever would be fun!
- Every day, ask yourself these simple questions: “Where did I see God/Infinite Intelligence/the Divine? (don’t get hung up on words at this point) “Where did I see the divine or sacred today?” or “Where did I see the wonder in the world?” This practice is simply thinking back to the parts of your day when you allowed yourself to see wonder and the divine. It could be in the face of a loved one, or a wonderful person outside. It could be in the joy you felt in winning a game or watching an incredible creation online.
Practice this daily. Practice any time and at any hour! It’s your ticket to wonder and joy.