It sure has been a week of contrasts for me. Over the past few days, I have spent time with people who are really struggling and also with other people absolutely full of joy. And yes there were plenty of others who were somewhere in between.
When I was with those who were really feeling down I as torn between wanting to give them the space to express their feelings and wanting to light a match under them (metaphorically speaking) and sparking their joy.
By contrast those individuals who were full of joy sought out and found the joy in even the most mundane of situations. They seemed to have a magnet to attract joy to their lives.
Now I know that I have written many times about the idea that what we focus on expands. And so yes, it seems logical that if we focus on the joy then we will experience more joy. That does not mean that we don’t ever experience sadness but rather that we have embedded a habit that seeks to find joy and this habit finds a way to support us through challenging times.
What struck me with the individuals who were in tough places was that their ability to find the trigger that would spark even a momentary joy was limited. And so our conversations ended up including helping them to identify just one action each day that would make them smile and give them a little joy and laughter. We really were trying to identify the things that would spark their joy.
There is no doubt that most of us will have periods in our lives when we are challenged to find joy. However if we have a well-developed awareness of what feeds our joy and have a consistent habit of engaging in activities that feed that sense of joy on a daily basis, then our resilience when we are challenged will be all the stronger.
So my challenge to you this week is to take some time to write out all the things that give you that “full of the joys of life” feeling. Then look at your day to day routines and see how you can develop the habit of ensuring that every day you feed you “joy” feelings.
I am already seeing a lot more comedy and mischief in my future