By Jackie White
They say “Choose Joy” and I say what are they talking about? In my quest in trying to understand what joy is all about, I have examined poems, songs and books and have found that these two words feel overly complicated. It begs questions like:
Is choosing joy it a religious thing?
Is choosing joy for naive people who don’t have a clue what life is all about?
Is choosing joy only for kids?
Is it even possible to choose joy?
What else in the world could possibly explain what “joy’ means? Listen, don’t even Google it! It becomes more confounding. So, if we can’t wrap our heads around what it means, how can we possibly choose joy?
Seriously, it’s two little words that we should be able to grasp. Right?
So, Let’s Define Joy in Easy to Understand Terms:
Here’s a good two-part definition of joy:
CHOOSING JOY PART ONE: GIDDINESS: The first way to define joy is something you feel that is a stronger feeling than happiness. It’s almost giddiness. When you were a kid, you could easily access joy because kids are not inhibited. Kids laugh out loud when something ”tickles their funny bone”. They don’t care what people think, in fact, it is likely that doesn’t even enter their minds. Kids are great examples of being joyful in the moment!
Guess what? We are still allowed to be joyful in life! We might have to dare ourselves to let go of the fear of what others might think and just be joyful in the moment. Here’s the deal if you didn’t know: it’s none of your business what others think about you. It is also very likely that they aren’t even thinking about you, so just do your thing! This is where you can choose to be joyful! A-ha! It is obtainable! It’s just your choice. Dang!
CHOOSING JOY PART TWO - CONTENTMENT: The second way to define joy is that it is a result of living a content and happy life. When you are happy, you are seeing the world through a positive lens. That positive lens makes it easier to focus on other happy and joyful things in life. An example of finding joy in everyday things is noticing a small flower growing in the crack of the sidewalk, noticing how beautiful the sky is, noticing that your friend is really a great friend or it could be noticing that people are kind. This kind of joy fills you up with happiness and contentment. And in case you didn’t notice, this kind of joy is about noticing and taking joy in what is right in front of your eyes. It’s about seeing the beauty in your world. Just take the time to really notice what joyful things are going on around you and then choose joy. Amazing! There it is again!
So, choosing joy really is a thing. It is just up to you to make the choice! Let’s review the options for choosing joy or not:
If You Choose Joy: If you choose joy, you can be filled with happiness, laughter and even giddiness at times. You can really see the good in the world and more specifically your world. You can feel lighter, hopeful and more positive everyday if you choose joy.
If you do NOT Choose Joy: You can focus on the negative and feel that life is just work. You can judge others who are joyful as someone who isn’t really in touch with the reality of each day’s bleakness. You can stay on the wrong side of fear and not step into the joy that could be yours.
Is there really any reason that you should avoid choosing joy? Nope. This is your invitation to changing your mindset and focusing on the good in life. When you choose joy you will choose to change your life in the most positive way. So, now when you hear “choose joy”, you know what to do. Just step into it and breathe in the joy that life can be.
Erika Fehrenbach Prell is passionate about inspiring and educating, others on their path to complete wellness-mind,body, and soul. This desire led Erika to the helping profession of nursing, and she obtained her Master's Degree as a Nurse Practitioner in 2007. Erika specialized in cardiac surgery, largely influenced by her personal experience with heart disease. While she loved working with this population, her heart's desire has always been to impact lives on a larger scale and from a proactive, not reactive, place. The universe answered when her path crossed with Jackie and SoulShine was born. Erika finally feels she is walking in her purpose and is excited for this journey to unfold.