Are we joyful in our everyday lives? Or do we allow the clouds of our day to day living bury our delight? The source of all joy comes from Spirit, so we always have it. Just like the sun is always shining above the clouds, our joyfulness is always with us.
But many believe that the ordinary moments of our lives, the daily grind, contain no joy. However, this is a lie from the ego. We have to be aware of the small and simple pleasures in our everyday lives.
This awakening can occur when we are more connected with our souls and with others. Because we realize that searching outside ourselves for joy isn’t required because it rises from within us. Every moment of our lives has the potential to be joyous if we open our eyes.
The question is not what you look at, but what you see. ~ Henry David Thoreau
What Are We Paying Attention To?
Where our attention goes, so does our awareness. If we focus on the negative aspects of our daily lives, then that is what we see, and it creates an unhappy life. But if we choose to concentrate on the positive, we can build a blueprint for living a joyful day.
If we wake up on the wrong side of the bed and don’t readjust our mood from the start, then we will attract more negativity into our day. Why, because it will blind us to any good that occurs.
Everywhere there are simple joys for us to observe if we pay attention. The feel of a cozy Sherpa blanket, the smell of freshly ground coffee, the sound of children giggling, the painted sunset on the ocean, and the feel of an embrace are all joyful moments we take for granted.
The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend. ~ Henri Bergson
Is Negativity Overtaking Our Joy?
Are we giving other people’s opinions more weight than our own inner voice? We’ve all done this at some point because of a lack of self-confidence, or we knew we needed to find an expert to help us with something. But we need to remember that we know what’s best for us. And only we live with the consequences of going for our dream or regretting that we didn’t take a leap of faith.
Are we allowing fear to keep us stagnate? When we allow the egoic mind to keep us in a fearful state, we take no action, and therefore we wallow in self-pity and unhappiness. We know the ego’s job is to protect us, but protecting us from not trying to achieve a goal or dream is actually harming us. Moving out of our comfort zone allows us to grow. This growth moves us forward towards our dreams. Even if our attempt wasn’t as successful as we liked, we learned from the experience.
Are we selfish? Suppose we are focusing on ourselves by wallowing in our sorrows or complaining about our lives. In that case, we are attracting more negativity. The fastest way out of this self-indulgence is helping others. Acts of kindness remind us of the connections we have with others and how they bring joy to our lives.
We don’t see things as they are. We see them as we are. ~ Anais Nin
Are We Over-Scheduling Ourselves?
It’s hard to see the simple joys in our lives when we feel so busy. I used to do this and then feel crummy for not completing my to-do list. I also think that if I was busy that I was working towards my success. But being busy doesn’t mean that we are making progress if we don’t have clear goals or vision.
Are we so busy that we are neglecting our relationships? Any connection we have with others needs nurturing. And the only way to foster them is to give them time – time to listen, time to show our concern, time to build trust.
Are we getting our alone time? I love my time alone. And I am at a point in my life that I know I need to take the time away from others to recharge. Otherwise, my relationships suffer because I am not my best self. This self-care routine is vital and should be on our weekly schedule. This time also includes our daily reflection, meditation, journaling, or prayer, which are fundamental for us to commune with our souls.
If we feel too busy, we cause ourselves stress over something we control over our schedules. Time management skills are learnable and help us overcome the stress we cause ourselves when we put too much on our calendars.
On the face of it, the easiest of all activities should be seeing what we see. In reality, it’s the hardest. ~ Charles Movalli
Are We Avoiding Responsibility?
Blaming others for the outcomes in our lives keeps us joyless. If we blame others, we avoid responsibility for our choices, and we will always be in some place we don’t like.
I did this because my mother was responsible for my childhood trauma, but every choice I made afterward was mine to make. Her actions may have influenced me, but I was responsible for what I did and how I reacted. Until I took responsibility for those choices, I gave up my power to heal.
Taking responsibility for our part in disagreements is crucial for us to have authentic communication in our relationships. If we pause for a moment and think about the arguments, we’ve had with those closest to us, many of them we can’t remember what we were arguing about. Obviously, the subject matter was unimportant. We need to apologize for the role we played in the dispute so the relationship can heal and grow.
We also need to let go of grudges that the egoic mind remembers. The ego sees the people of the world as potentially harmful, but that isn’t the case a majority of the time. Therefore, holding onto resentments only harms us by taking away our joy in the present so we can stew about the past.
All of us are watchers–of television, of time clocks, of traffic on the freeway–but few are observers. Everyone is looking, not many are seeing. ~ Peter M. Leschak
Are We Ignoring Something Important?
When we don’t pay attention to something important, the Universe will keep trying to get our attention. And the longer we ignore the signs, the more harmful the signs become.
For example, I’ve had an upset stomach for years, which I thought was because of my anxiety. Then it got awful for two days. On the third day, I went to the doctor because my husband forced me. I waited too long. I had appendicitis. As I was getting a CAT scan, my appendix ruptured—emergency surgery, a week in the hospital followed by peritonitis, which almost killed me.
While I was receiving IV antibiotics at home for three weeks, I realized that my body was trying to tell me to deal with my fears because it was causing me to be sick. The Universe will force us to listen if we ignore the signs and clues it’s whispering to us.
When we aren’t paying attention to those things in our lives, we become ungrateful for all we have. The ego thinks we need more stuff when we need to refocus and see the blessings all around us. We see the abundance in our lives and move our attention to see the positive, creating a joyful life through gratitude.
To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle. ~ George Orwell
How to See the Joy in Ordinary Moments
It’s easy to find joy in our lives. It’s merely a matter of opening our eyes and noticing them because they are everywhere. As already mentioned, gratitude changes our every day into joyful times. What other ways are there to recognize the joy in the ordinary.
- Daily Rituals. Morning meditation, prayer, and journaling are the rituals I use to ground me, so my day begins with peace. Pick one or two things that resonate and try them tomorrow morning to help refocus the day on calmness. I’m sure there will be an improvement in overall well-being throughout the day.
- Take Time to Play. Children are generally joyful. Why, because they play a lot. The act of play is essential for us to have a balanced life. Play comes in many forms, a creative outlet, relaxation, or stress reliever. Play is about having fun. Adults still learn through play, which helps prevent memory issues as we get older. So, turn on the music and dance, or get out a good romance novel, whatever we enjoy- do it!
- Spend Time in Nature. When we are outside on the beach or hiking in the woods, we feel balanced, clear, and creative. Scientific studies show that spending time in the great outdoors increases well-being, gives us more energy, decreases stress, provides better sleep, increases self-esteem, and we become more productive. We don’t have to hike every day. Still, something as simple as having our morning tea on our back deck can skyrocket the joy in our lives.
Seeing is a gift that comes with practice. ~ Stephanie Mills
How To Joyfully Live With Others
Doesn’t a bear hug from a loved one feel fabulous? Or holding hands with our spouse? Simple things we get great joy from but take for granted each day. Physical contact with loved ones helps increase our immune systems, improves trust, and makes us feel safe. It also decreases the stress hormone cortisol in our bodies.
Did you know that we release oxytocin when we meet someone and shake their hand, making us feel calmer? The friendly touch promotes trust and connection. Even petting our beloved dog or cat releases oxytocin and makes us feel better.
Be Kind. When we look for ways of helping others, we increase our own joy. Smiling at someone, opening a door, giving a compliment are simple ways to pass along the kindness. In doing so, we feel good, and so does the other person. It’s contagious because even others who witness kind acts are more likely to do a kind act soon after the event occurs. Being kind helps us feel connected to others and more optimistic about life.
Laugh with one another. Laughter has many benefits, from releasing tension to improving our health, so laugh at the silly joke. Humor neutralizes tense situations, and we all love to be around someone humorous because it feels good to laugh.
Life just seems so full of connections. Most of the time, we don’t even pay attention to the depth of life. We only see flat surfaces. ~ Colin Neenan
Allowing Joy to Rise from Within
When we forgive ourselves, we open ourselves up to joy. Because we are hardest on ourselves, the egoic mind turns our joy into criticism quickly. But being compassionate to ourselves allows us to reframe the story we tell into one that is empowering. Notice the self-talk and be sure we are speaking lovingly to ourselves. Using positive affirmations can help us deal with negative mindsets to reframe our thinking.
Staying in the present moment means we are open to feeling joy because it can only be felt in the present moment. If we are feeling anxious, we are in the future, and if it depresses us, we are in the past, both places we can’t feel joy or peace. Breathe to bring us back into this moment.
Get quiet and listen to the soul’s voice. When we live from the heart and not the mind, we enable joy to be a part of our everyday lives. From this heart space, the ordinary becomes astonishing. Our self-imposed limitations fade away as we see the infinite possibilities that our lives can take. And joy bubbles to the surface consistently.
Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakens. ~ Carl Jung
Moving Forward with New Eyes
Like the sun shining above the clouds, joy is always present in what we call our ordinary lives. But our life is anything but commonplace once we open our soulful eyes and see the miraculous all around us.
The real voyage of discovery consists of not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes. ~ Marcel Proust
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Do you need support to help you see the joy in your life? Do you want a strategy to help you overcome the ego’s limiting beliefs and live a successful life? If so, please contact me, and we can put together an action plan for you to create the life you desire.