So today we’re going to about finding joy. When I say finding joy, I mean actually seeking it out.
Oh, sometimes we stumble across something that brightens our day or makes us smile. But when you aren’t used to focusing on joy, when you constantly focus on the negative, you’re going to have to retrain yourself to seek out joy, to find it, to nurture it.
A lot of people seem to think that joy should be something big — that it has to be spectacular to make a big impact. But honestly? Sometimes simple joys of the best.
Simple joys often come when we least expect it, and when we most need it. And if you train yourself to look for the simple joys in life, you’ll find that happiness grows in your life substantially faster than the negative.
Now, you can give me all the reasons in the world why some people can’t be happy, but I am going to make the argument that just about anybody in this world can find something to smile about. Even one kind word can bring a smile or a ray of sunshine into life. Will it solve all your problems? No, probably not. But sometimes that ray of sunshine is a lifeline for the person who needs it.
Now I know some of you, having read my work and followed me on my blog for years, are probably thinking “Has Yasmine gone all Pollyanna on us?” The truth is, no. Trust me, I still see the problems in this world, far more than I’d like to, and I definitely have my share of difficulties.
But here’s my truth: I choose a happier life. I choose to experience more joy in my life. I choose to work with the law of attraction.
Working with magick all these years has taught me a valuable lesson: cluttered minds and cluttered thoughts and gloom attracts more of the same. So I choose to bring better experiences into my life. And I choose to put better experiences out.
Yes, my books are dark, because let’s face it — I’m just a shadowy type of person in some ways. But that doesn’t mean that I’m a gloomy person, or that I’m not happy.
So how do you go about finding joy? How do you choose happiness? Well, for one thing you stop thinking of it as something that people give you. People can definitely bring joy into your life, but don’t expect them to owe it to you. Joy and happiness are experiences you need to create.
I was sitting here working on the Oak & Thorns the other day, and Apple wanted his blanket. Now, Apple finds great joy in his blankie. It’s that simple. He needs security? He wants to feel loved? He asks for his blankie. And I, being the good kitty mom I am, provide it for him. I lay out his baby blanket, he crawls on it, I cuddle him while he sucks on the blanket, and he’s good to go for another few hours — or another day. That’s all it takes to make Missur Apple happy.
Now I’m not suggesting that we all buy a blanket and start sucking on it. Unless you want to, and hey — I’m not going to judge. But, think for a moment…What is your blankie? What makes you happy? What simple act can you do to bring joy into your life?
Sometimes, for me, all it takes is petting the cats. Or going outside and looking at a flower growing in my yard makes me smile. I find joy in moments where I sit and I look around me and I realize how much I love my home. Or how much I love my cats. Or even, sometimes looking at one of the faerie figurines I buy, or picking up a crystal ball, or running my fingers along the smooth wood of the coffee table and feeling the polished surface. Or stepping outside and walking among the trees, or sitting quietly near a stream. I find a quiet serenity in that, and I find joy in that serenity. I find joy when I read a book that I love. I find joy when I write my books.
My bigger joys come in knowing that I get to do what I love for a living — how special is that? I know not many people can say the same, so I don’t take it for granted. I have a loving husband, and several dear, wonderful friends. All of these things are great joys.
If you are constantly finding your days mired in gloom and doom, pay attention to what you’re saying. Pay attention to where you put your focus. I’ve had to stop watching the news and it’s not because I don’t care what’s going on in the world. But it mires me, it makes me unhappy, it makes me heartsick at times. I feel like I’m meaner, angrier—as I can attest to some of my rants on Twitter. So I’ve backed off. I do what I can for the causes I believe in, and I stop immersing myself in that energy.
I listen to what I say. When I constantly say, “What did I expect?” Or “people suck,” or “Geez, I can’t stand people,” I am creating that experience for myself. I will look for the worst because that’s what I expect.
And guess what? You find what you expect to see.
Now this doesn’t mean being careless, or trusting strangers, but it does mean being watchful over your thoughts. Because every experience begins with a thought. Everything in your life — from your cell phone to your washing machine to your car to your home to your job — first started as a thought in somebody’s mind.
Every day, I vow to look for joy. Even if it’s cuddling the cats five times, that’s fine. I’ll have five fuzzy joys. I also look for what makes me laugh, because laughter brings joy. Is there a TV show that always is guaranteed to make me laugh? What about pictures? Sometimes I go trolling the net for cat pics and videos just because they bring me out of a funk.
Sometimes I call a friend. Or I think of a way to bring joy to someone else. I always feel good when I make somebody else’s day feel better. Joy is happiness in action.
Now I challenge you:
Make a list of ten things that you know make you happy. Ten achievable things that you can actively do to bring happiness into your lives. And then, keep that list with you. When you find yourself spiraling, take that list out and do something about it.
Before anybody mentions the need for antidepressants, trust me, I’m well aware that some people need them to function. But I still believe it’s up to our own selves to take the steps to whatever we need in order to find joy.
Just like inspiration, we have to make our own joy. And the more joy we make, the more joy we seek out, the more joy we can spread and the more joy will pour into our lives. So go out and spread some joy. Vow to make the world a little bit better today, and see how much better your world becomes. Because I have found, the more I seek out positive experiences and try to make positive experiences for others, the more my life overflows with them.
And on that note, Mr. Apple is asking for his blankie again, so I’m going to provide it for him and give him a little joy.