Are you Happy?
Are you Joyful?
Do you think there's a difference?
I chose Joy as the word in my book for the letter "J". It was a pretty easy choice. I believe at the heart of everything we are looking for in life, there is something about it we believe will bring us closer to Joy.
I actually tend to believe Joy is available now, regardless of your current situation, and is one of the few constants in life. We say we want to be happy... what we can seek instead, is Joy.
There are many definitions for Joy out there, as well as for Happiness. You may have your own, or you may consider them synonymous. I will give you my ideas on the two, and then in the comments below I would love to hear from you. Give me your definitions! I'm curious.
OK here we go. This is my take.
I believe that Happiness is a temporary emotion, that is dependent on:
your mood, your situation, the people around you, or if everything is "going right" in your life... you will be Happy. (And since the nature of this world is things will not always go right, it is unlikely you will experience non-stop happiness.)
I believe that Joy, rather, is an underlying feeling of peace and well-being, deeply beyond happiness. (Happiness is a wave. Joy is the ocean.) Joy can be experienced even in the midst of a sad event. Joy is a sense that all of life is working for ultimate good, and that we are all connected. Joy is delight in just being alive. Joy is gratitude for the simple beauty of life, even when it seems so complex, uncertain or messy.
I used to think it was a cheesy word. I guess I would just picture a bright clown face with a silly over-sized grin and big eyes and hands wide stretched... "JOY!!!" Now days, however, I get how deep and meaningful life becomes when you open yourself to experience Joy in every moment. When something is not going as planned, or just not working right, it's difficult to stop, take a breath, and say, "Wow, I'm so lucky just to be here doing what I am doing right now"... but I believe that is the secret.
Another aspect of Joy, for me, is the Joy of doing something you are meant to do. Aligning yourself so clearly with your purpose, that you can get lost completely in what you are doing. Time stops. You are in the zone. You are fully living. This can be ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING. If you feel connected and alive, that's your Joy.
My challenge to you today is to find your Joy.
Find your Joy, and keep it close by.
Here is an excerpt from my new ABC book. This is the page from "J is for Joy".
I hope it brings you......... JOY. ;)
Remember, leave a comment below this article, and let me know... how do you define Joy, and how do you define Happiness? Let's keep this conversation going!
With an Open Heart,
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In my ABC book, (click to find out more here)
J is for "Joy", but it could also have been for "Journey".
A is for "Abundance", but it very well could have been "Adventure" instead.
This art piece was a watercolor that didn't get used in my book, and mainly because I just didn't like it as well. I decided to try and play around with some permanent markers I had, very fine tipped, and vibrant/bold colors. I just started working and kept going. The finish product is something I'm quite proud of!
When I showed it to my cousin, Gene, he said, it looks like a map to somewhere.
Aha! Thank you Gene. Yes. This is about a journey. An Adventure. This piece went from an experiment, to the NO pile, to a risk, to a project, to an exciting inspiration to take a leap, and finally to be a donated original art piece for a school fundraiser. That's a journey, just in the life of this piece of paper.
How much more complex are the ups and downs, ins and outs, twists and turns of our lives?
The challenge, it seems, is to see life as an Adventure.
So on the back of this art piece, I wrote:
"Life is a journey... Make yours and ADVENTURE!
Is your life an adventure? Have you run into twists and turns, and if so, how do you navigate them?
Here is my daughter, Maya, telling you a little bit about the book and going through all the letters, A-Z. Hope you enjoy! I think she did a great job, and she's pretty funny too!!!
Love and Light,
I hope you enjoy watching this video of me talking a little bit about my book, the ABC book for everyone... "L is for Love and Light".
Find out more here.
With Love and Light, and an Open Heart,
My new book is out. Have you heard? This is an excerpt of text from the "M" page of "L is for Love and Light".
M is for Mindful.
Below you will see the full text that accompanies the other side of the page. I believe this is something we can all be aware of and increase our attention to in our daily lives. We get so busy, and we just rush from one thing to another, without even being present to what is really going on around us.
Let's slow down. Let's do one thing at a time. (At least try to sometimes?!) We think we are being heroic by doing so many things at once, but I think the people around us are really craving some focus. If I could make this page even longer, I would say something like:
"Look at people when they are talking.
Sit on the couch with no TV on and just talk with someone.
Feel the feel of the grass between your toes, or the sand between your toes, or the wind in your hair... just feel a connection to nature in some kind of way today.
Notice when someone is kind, and make sure they know that you noticed. You would be amazed how far this connection will go."
I could go on.
For now, here is the page from the book.
Have some fun today. Find some quiet time today. Feel how it feels, just being a human being!
And let me know how it goes.
With an Open Heart,
Sara Page, Founder of The Open Life
Sara Page is an Artist, Writer, Speaker, Openness Coach, and creator of the new ABC book. ("L is for Love and Light") The book encourages the child in all of us to stay true to who we are, and follow our dreams! As the Founder of The Open Life, Sara's mission is to Live Life Open, and inspire others to do the same! Sign up for email updates and start living "The Open Life"!