What is Joy?
JOY is an innate, natural and available flow of life force that you can tap into at any moment. Joy is a state of calm, compassion, vitality, belonging and purpose.
It is experienced at any point on this continuum:
Regardless of life’s stressors, joy can be accessed and replicated. With joy as a foundation of your life, big life transitions such as loss, divorce, family and career challenges, injuries and illness you can be managed more easily.
When joy is not your foundation, these life stressors can cause illness, fatigue and discord.
Why Joy? Is Joy really necessary?
Absolutely! Our well-being depends on our ability to access our joy more frequently. Here’s what you are guaranteed to get if joy becomes your consistent way of being:
Calm, Creativity, Connection,
Awareness, Vitality, Focus, Productivity, and Purpose
When your life is uber busy and stressed or you’re in a big life transition, the actions that normally calm and give you balance often become a low priority. How many times have you gone for a walk, taken a bath, meditated only to find that the state of discontent didn’t go away for more than a few minutes?
Neuroscience tells us that our brain is wired to first notice negative feelings and outcomes as a survival mechanism. At a primitive level we are looking for danger first before we can feel safe enough to relax. If there was a bear lurking near our camp, we wanted to know before we started cooking. Nowadays our overwhelming schedules become like a dangerous bear near camp. We develop brain wiring, which forms habits that stay in our body as movements, and our mind as thoughts and emotions. With enough stress, even calming techniques don’t always work because we are experiencing life as dangerous.
Yet research has shown that the plasticity of our brain (the ability of the brain wiring to literally change) can bolster health and resilience, reduce stress and heal depression and anxiety.
Research also shows that gratitude practices and connecting our heart and emotions can also lower stress and increase happiness and joy. Many modalities throughout the ages from acupuncture to mind/body practices teach us that what is held in our body impacts every aspect of our being. Healing our heart and living with more happiness and joy can come from any one of these aspects and will impact all the others.
The Four Joys
We all have within our body, a taproot that allows us to connect to a continuum of joy; from inner quiet, deep contentment, happiness, bliss and ecstasy.
Yet like a plant whose roots need a balance of soil, air, sun, minerals and water to thrive, we need experiences of congruence between our body, our heart’s openness, the brain’s wiring and our soul’s expression to access joy.
When you stand on one leg and wobble, you are actually repeatedly returning to moments (fleeting as they are) to balance. When you change the holding habits in your body, let your heart open, change a wire here and there in your brain and practice listening to your soul you are creating a balance point.
No matter that this balance might be temporary and wobbly. However fleeting these experiences may be, your daily experience will become more joyful.
When your Four Joys are balanced, you can experience joy as a choice not just as chance. Joy becomes your life’s foundation!