Hello my dearest Reader and welcome back to the blog!
Today we will be discussing the topic of JOY! I have to admit that I feel quite joyful and merry as I type this because I have been having a FABULOUS day. My husband and I went to the zoo today for our weekly date! We decide to do something bigger for our date this week to say farewell to Summer and hello to Fall!
It was an absolutely perfect day because there weren't that many people there, and we got to talk to the keepers and ask a lot of questions about the animals. The bears were active, and we were able to laugh, hold hands, and get a TON of walking in, which you know is one of my favorite things.
We followed up the date with some tacos at our local Mexican restaurant, and now I'm listening to my husband play guitar as I type. Honestly my friend; it has been a divine day.
But when I sat down to write this, I began to ponder the joy in my life and think about how we can pursue joy even if our day does not include a perfect date to the zoo. I don't believe that we can always conjure up good things to happen to us because quite often in life we have to go through miserable things simply because that's life! People die, health declines, money fails us , and we often find ourselves in the boring times of life.
So today, let's discuss how we can create more joy in our lives, how we can pursue it, and how we in general, can learn to fight the good fight of life with positivity, strength, and merriment.
1. Accomplish things
Accomplishing important things in our lives can often fill us with an unparalleled high; there is no better sense of relief than when you finish and complete something that has been weighing on your time and energy. But even more than that, we can also pursue joy by accomplishing SMALL things in life as well; emptying the dishwasher, tidying our closet, and filling up our car with gas. Getting things checked off our to-do list can fill us with a sense of confidence, even if it's a tiny victory.
2. Indulge in gratitude
I think sometimes we feel the most joy on days when we get to go on a perfect zoo date because we are often filed with gratitude for the activity, the moments, or the memories. But I think the key to joy in life is to extend gratitude to everyday life, not just the special moments. Start your day by indulging in your gratitude and list to yourself what you are thankful for. Remind yourself of everything you have to be thankful for, and in general, cling to gratitude in times of despair. Gratitude and an accurate perspective on how blessed we are can often fill us with more joy than any trip to an amusement park ever could.
3. Bless others
When you are pursuing joy, it is often a good strategy to bless others. Now, don't bless them with the hope of a thank you or even them noticing! But the very act of generously serving others and helping them can make us feel peaceful, joyful, and contented. Putting your energy into others and out into the world to make it a better place can make you forget the struggles of your life and focus more on helping other people.
4. Find things you love to DO
Finding things, hobbies, or activities that you enjoy can bring a sense of joy to our every day lives. I feel joyful writing this blog, and when I take time to cook, bake, or decorate my home. I feel joyful when I'm walking my dog, and I feel joyful when I get to spend time with my husband. I like to indulge in my hobbies as much as possible because tit always leaves me feeling excited, challenged, and peaceful.
5. Be true to your beliefs
I think that some of us can feel unnecessarily out of touch with ourselves and our dreams because we are too scared to be fully engaged with who we are. For example, when I was working my 9-5 job, I felt frustrated and stuck in life. I felt like I was not fulfilling my potential, and in short; i had a lack of joy and zest for life.
Now, I know that not everyone can quit their job and stay home or pursue their dreams, but I do think that many of us could be more honest about our beliefs, desires, and who we are. It took me awhile to come out as more feminine, traditional, and conservative, but once I did, I felt much more at peace with myself. It's okay to have beliefs that are contrary to popular beliefs and opinions, and in fact, sometimes we will have even more joy and peace in our lives by coming out with our beliefs, despite the potential loss in relationships or respect from people who condemn those beliefs.
6. Be honest about your dreams for life
I had to be very honest these past few years, as I realized that I dreamed of a more traditional life, even a life out farther in the countryside with some chickens, children, and lots of baking. I realized that the things I wanted were different from the things I was pursuing in life, and it felt frustrating and exhausting to not feel on track with my true passions.
The beautiful thing about being honest about your dreams is that it often attracts people to you who share similar dreams. Trust me; you will be a lot farther along to reaching your dreams if you are open and honest about your dreams. Be true to who you are and begin pursuing those things that you desire. Set your life up in such a way that that outcome is possible, and take a step towards your dream every single day.
7. Engage is positive and life giving content
Now, this might be different for each person, but I think that positive content can be truly nourishing for the soul. Indulge in blogs, videos, books, shows, and anything else that makes your soul feel fresh, light, and strengthened. The Bible tells us to focus on things that are noble and worthy, and I believe this includes the content we consume. Listen to positive comedy or look at beautiful art.
Indulge in incredible literature, and watch informative videos. Stay tuned with the goings-on of the world, but don't bog yourself down with too much negative news or fear mongering. Make sure that you spend more time being grateful for your life than you spend comparing your life to other women.
In total, I hope this was a helpful list! Joy and merriment can seem like a surface-level emotion, but I believe that they truly come from a balanced and peaceful heart within. So find balance with your inner-world, and remember that you can create your own joy, as long as you pursue gratitude and peace.
Blessings to you my friend.