What comes to mind when you think of JOY? Do you ever wonder what happened to JOY, where did it go? How do you capture it and keep it? Where does your JOY live?

Webster’s defines JOY as:

  1.  the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires: DELIGHT
    • the expression or exhibition of such emotion: GEITY
  2. a state of happiness or felicity: BLISS
  3.  a source or cause of delight

Robert Louis Stevenson wrote, “Find out where joy resides and give it a voice far beyond singing. For to miss the joy is to miss all.” Remembering what we loved as a child can help us recover our joy. Music can also move us emotionally and fill our hearts with joy.

I believe feeling joyful comes from small moments intertwined together with gratitude. Sometimes, I get so caught up in everyday life that I don’t stop to appreciate small bursts of joy peeking out from behind the clouds. There are other times when joy stops me in my tracks, and I feel in awe of the emotion provoked. When I am fully present in my life, it takes very little to spark joy. Moments as small as hearing loons sing on a lake, watching a hummingbird flutter in front of a bush, or feeling the warmth of the sun on my face can bring forth immense joy. The experience of being rooted and grounded in nature sparks in me a joyful gratitude for the life I am blessed to be living.

Joy is also a choice; a choice to be open and receiving, a choice to feel gratitude, and a choice to be awake in your life, and allow joy to enter in. Robert Holden says that “People who follow their joy discover a depth of creativity and talent that inspires the world.”

Today is a new beginning. Today you can give a voice to your joy. You can be an expression of joy. Watch and listen for the simple moments in your own life today. Can you recognize joy in the first sip of coffee on your lips, an exchanged smile and eye contact with a stranger passing on the sidewalk, finding that perfect yoga pose, or hearing your favorite song on the radio? Let the feeling of gratitude for the blessings in your life bring you joy and fill your heart with delight. Say yes to JOY today!

Today affirm that I am an expression of joy. My day begins and ends with gratitude and joy.