Nothing By Chance Blog

Recognizing Joy

eyeJoy – For some of us this is an emotion that seems to skip over us and land in the hearts of children and other people. “Joy?” you might say. “Really? You think with all I have to do, all I have to be worried about, all the stuff in my life – you expect me to walk around with a goofy joyous smile on my face?” I say it’s up to you.

We all have our own worldview or perspective from which we take in the world and make judgments about what we witness. Our worldview is shaped by those people with which we come in contact, by our family of origin and by our “autopilot” experiences of life.

Interested in moving from a fearful worldview to a joyful worldview? Here are 3 exercises to begin to change your worldview:

Exercise #1: {Note: This is not an easy practice to incorporate into your day. Only the people who read this and are REALLY COMMITTED will be able to do it.} Three or four times throughout your day-maybe set an alarm on your phone-look around and find something to be grateful for. It might be the “liquid sunshine” (aka Rain), or a smile on a stranger’s face, or a song on the radio. As you think about this gratitude item, begin with a small smile and let it grow across your face. Really focus on it. Find genuine gratitude. Let the gratitude wash over you, close your eyes. Is this joy? Maybe not, but we’re getting close. Do this 3-4 times per day for a week.

Exercise #2: Take one of the things you were grateful for during your day and share it with someone. Tell them whatever you want and be passionate and detailed. Instead of “I saw some birds,” elaborate like this “I saw three little birds chirping and pecking and scratching in the grass trying to get who knows what, but the way they jumped over each other, and made this big racket for just three little birds was really surprising. I probably watched them for 3 or 4 minutes and it was so funny!” {Note: This will take some guts to do. Are you willing?}

Exercise #3: {Note: I bet no one will even attempt this one!} Unplug, unwind and turn off. That’s right, I’m suggesting that you turn off your phone, don’t look at Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest or even TV. Don’t turn on the radio even for background noise. Spend 30 minutes and engage with someone whom you enjoy. No distractions, no negative press, no outside influences, no worry about how many likes you got on that picture of your dog or cat. Find joy in connection. Try undivided connection and see if you don’t feel good, if not joyful.

Any emotion starts with awareness. If you aren’t aware of something you can’t react to it. So, start noticing the things in life that are meaningful, that bring joy. Done regularly this will bring about a new worldview that includes the good stuff, the precious moments, the little things that matter, the joyful moments that, in our crazy, harried world, often go unnoticed.

Please email me at Dan@NothingByChanceCoaching.com with your experiences. Have fun!