I have been seeing a lot of quotes, posts and articles lately about how to be happy or where to find happiness. Some say it's in the little things. Some say it is finding "true" love. Some will tell you it is having something to look forward to that will make you happy. Possibly all of that is true but how long does that happiness last? Is that all there is? We find THE happy place and we are forever fulfilled from then on? I don't think so. And who am I to say? Not an expert, by any means!
And yet here I am writing about it.
Joy and happiness are two different emotions, yes. Happiness is fleeting and momentary whereas Joy while less common can be found within. Accessible to all even in the darkest of days.
I think joy is ever accessible and present in the very fibers of your being. Finding this moment we are in to be perfect. To enJOY the moment without question, without judgment. Not looking forward or to the past, instead being here now. And most importantly, being grateful for your life and all that it is. The good the bad and the ugly.
Being comfortable in your skin and being grateful for each breath and each moment, is all the joy I can imagine. Happiness comes in spurts. It comes and it goes. It doesn't stay forever. It's not a utopia we'll reach one day when we make enough money and find the perfect partner and live in the perfect house and drive the perfect car.
But Joy can be accessed at any time.
Joy can be found in gratitude. Being present in the moment and truly realizing that in THIS moment I have all I need. I AM grateful.
I have gone through times where the world seemed really dark and hope was lost. I found that loosing hope is the death of your spirit. Despair is the opposite of joy, for sure.
My intention when making jewelry is to inspire joy in others. Another way to inspire peace, joy and happiness is to be reminded. And during a really dark time, I found that having those little reminders really did help me focus.
Over the past 20 years, my (art) mediums have changed as my style has evolved. But one thing that has never changed is my intention. To help others find joy and not loose hope!
The reason I bring this up and am writing about it today... Lately I've noticed (and maybe it's just me) a sense of cynicism in the air. When I go out, people no longer smile. People aren't saying good-morning, excuse me or thank you any more. People are on their cell phones... and eyes are empty like they are far away thinking of something else. Not present at all. Clerks ring up my order at the store and never make eye contact or say a word to me. That's just messed up. We are all on this planet together and we should be connecting more... It's okay to smile at a stranger. You wont keel over.
That brings me back to keeping Joy alive. We can work towards it and live with a Joyful intention. Remind ourselves there is Joy in this moment. And if you are up to it, send a smile out to someone else. Let them know Joy is alive. Be the reason someone smiles today.
When you are having lunch with your friend, put the cell phone away. Be there. As you are walking your dog, put those thoughts of work and bills out of your head. Be present. Feel the air on your face, notice the leaves on the plants and tress as you pass. Breathe in the cool air and look down at that sweet, innocent life looking back at you with so much love. Having a sense of gratitude for all that IS. This is Joy. This is mindfulness.
“I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, wracked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.” – Agatha Christie
If you've read this far, thank you for letting me speak my mind. I would love to hear from you! You may leave a comment in the space below.