This article was written by Gini Grey, who is a Transformational Coach, utilizing a powerful blend of coaching, counseling and spiritual energy tools in her individual sessions, workshops, books and CD's. For more information go to www.ginigrey.com.
Have you ever woken up with a sense of inner excitement for no apparent reason? Gone through your day beaming from the inside out? Felt a sense of ease and peacefulness no matter what the circumstance? This is what true joy feels like to me.
We all get glimpses of this state when things go our way; when an ideal job opportunity is offered, a perfect gift is given, money is building in the bank account. But what happens when a customer is unsatisfied, a loved one forgets our birthday, the bills are higher than the income? Our joy usually gets sucked right out of us and is replaced by frustration or disappointment. This is because we were getting our joy from external events instead of from within ourselves.
When we tune into the essence of joy within us and bring it wherever we go, we stop feeling like a yo-yo being bounced around by external situations and people. We carry a light of warmth to blanket any situation we encounter. We have an inner smile and giggle that tells us the Universe is not conspiring against us.
Underneath the layers of masks we wear, roles we play, and defenses we carry, we are in a natural state of joy, love and amusement. The core of our being doesn't take life half as seriously as our egos do. Our true self knows that life is a journey to be experienced, and what we bring to it is just as important as what we get from it.
* What does joy feel like to you? How would you describe it - does it feel like love, playfulness, confidence or...? Does it feel soft, strong, robust or gentle? Does it change over time?
* Reflect over your life to notice the times you felt joyful. What was going on? Was it because of external circumstances or for no apparent reason or because you were in a peaceful centered state?
* What knocks the joy right out of you? What brings it back? How often would you like to feel joy? What will it take to feel joy on a regular basis?
* Tune into the state of joy by remembering a joyful time or just touching into the essence of joy within you. Let this feeling fill your whole body from head to toe and down into the cells. Turn up the volume on it until it is shining outward from you and you are beaming with a smile on your face. Know that this is yours to have whenever you want.
* Set your intention each day to be in a state of joy. Get it flowing within you at the beginning of the day and cue yourself to return to it throughout the day (with post-it-notes etc.). Notice how much more energetic and healthy you feel during the day.
* Whenever a setback occurs in your life, notice your disappointment and any feelings that arise. Once you have processed these, feel underneath for the essence of joy and let it blanket and support you, reminding you that you're okay and that an upswing is just around the corner.
"Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy."
Thich Nhat Hanh
Written in December 2006