We remember those childlike wonders that we experienced as children or watched our children or other children experience during this time of year. We remember what it is like to feel pure joy in those perfect moments. Our relationship with God is like that childlike wonder. It is an excellent, light, and enthusiastic feeling. Sometimes, even during the holidays, we are too busy to remember what it is like to be joyful as a child. Watch a child play or play with a child, and you will remember. This experience is where pure joy, and we all have it within us.
It is Christmas. This day is the week Jesus' birth is celebrated. One of my favorite parts of this season is the music. As you sing in the car, at church, or in your home, listen carefully to the words. Singing from your heart increases your joy and energy. You feel alive.
Childlike Sense of Wonder
The more I think about joy, the more I value enthusiasm. Seeming smarter, cool, detached, or critical doesn't seem so appealing. Joyful spirit comes from the inside out and is engaging and authentic. Being warm-hearted and goofy is a beautiful, joyous place to be. I love the example I read about Julia Child. Her love for cooking and life was contagious, and after 50 years, we still feel her influence. This feeling is a real joy.
"Make a Joyful Noise unto the Lord"
Our world is filled with noise, much of it harmful or distracting. But a joyful noise is not merely noise for its own sake. A joyful noise is a passionate declaration of God and all he is. It is outwardly playful and a significant expression, but it comes from within. It is the Childlike Wonder of this glorious gift of God. Rather than focus on praising God, our focus is, "What will people think?" Enthusiasm is of terrific quality, and this is the perfect time of the year to express it. But we want to experience joy within every day all the time.
Cultivating Joy with your Inner Circle
What do you do when you wake up feeling overwhelmed, sluggish, and inadequate? When are you feeling out of control with your body, relationships, and the environment? This moment is the perfect opportunity to depend on your inner circle of support with childlike trust. My inner circle is number one, God, and Jesus. Also included in my process are a select few friends, family members, and people I find evidence in their work and the life they lead. If you go through the day with this childlike trust and dependence on your inner circle, you can find at the end of the day a sense of pure joy.
What we are doing with our inner circle to foster healing from the inside out is cultivating joy. We want the fun to run deep within us that it courses through our veins. Above all else, it is a critical element to our health and well-being. Our life will inevitably be busy, and the stress at times can seem unbearable. Joy is the key to staying balanced through these ebbs and flows. Finding deep-rooted real joy is where we find spiritually grounding, warm, safe, creative, radiant, and elevated.
What if in those stressful times you are not feeling joy. It truly doesn't feel like it exists. Trust me; it does exist. Accept your problems in this life as pure joy. When you are unsteady in life, and it seems out of control, this is when you reach out for support. It might just be a tiny seed, but with your inner circle, you can transform that little seed into a beautiful growing tree. It is a process. Do not think about how you will get to that place. Trust the process and be open to the mystery of it. When we slow down, turn inward, rely entirely on our inner circle, and celebrate that part of ourselves where joy originates.
Increasing Joy and How to Practice this Everyday
· Play with kids
· Play like kids
· Quiet your mind and find space so you can listen to what brings you joy
· Less Electronics
· Journal: Giving gratitude specifically for things that bring you joy. Start paying attention during your everyday life, and what it is that brings you joy. This 'Morning Pages' handout has excellent exercises for journalling when you wake up in the morning.
· We are practicing appreciation. It is free, and we can do it anywhere, anytime.
· Go Outside - It seems so simple. A little nature can go a LONG way in the whole "feeling good" department—fresh air, movement, a little sunshine, so simple, powerful. You don't have to become an "outdoorsy person" to reap the benefits of just getting outside on the regular.
· Connect with Your 'Inner Circle'
· Observe Your Surroundings and Environment
· Listen to Music
· Move Your Body
· Laugh out loud
· Nurture romance
· Write Your Own Set of Commandments
· SURRENDER TO GOD