In turn, I asked her, “Which ones bring you the most joy?”
Now, when was the last time someone asked you what brings you joy?
All too often, I hear people playing the “comparison” game, where the word “should” is used in everyday vocabulary.
Here’s what it sounds like:
- “Look at her. She’s so successful in her career. After all these years, I should have made it by now.”
- “How are they able to go on so many vacations? I wish I could do that. I should be farther ahead with my money but I’m always running behind.”
- “He seems to always be grounded and centered. I should really be more disciplined with my spiritual practice.”
It’s not only you that may be using the “should” word, but you most likely have heard it from others who try to offer you helpful advice.
- “Yes, I know you hate your job, but you should be grateful that you have a job at all.”
- “You should be more careful with how you spend your money.”
- “You should meditate more.”
The word “should” is filled with judgment. It’s a comparison game because it says that there’s a right way to doing something and you’re not doing it. You are being judged in comparison to your own or someone else’s ideal.
Joy takes you on your own unique path.
When you tune into what brings you joy, you tap into a knowingness that joy is unique and deeply personal for you. Joy lights you up from the inside out and enjoys expressing itself, whereas “shoulds” attempt to box you in.
It’s not common for people to be encouraged to tune into their joy. That’s why the participant in my Vision Board workshop and others like her sometimes feel disoriented in the first few moments of the workshop. They realize they’ve entered a space where they feel safe enough to explore what joy can look like in their lives.
In this sense, tuning into your inner joy and living from that place of joy can be a spiritual practice.
Why spiritual? Because you are a unique emanation of Life itself, and your Joy is an indicator that you are expressing Life in its creative fullness.
Why a practice? Because it takes effort to let go of the “shoulds” of life, and it takes practice to listen to the particular song of Joy that is your heart.
Are you open to cultivating more Joy in your life? If so, here is your coaching assignment for this week:
- Make a list of at least 20 things that bring you Joy. By writing these down, you open to a greater awareness of the ways Joy already shows up in your life. You also step more fully into Joy and signal to the Universe that you are open to even more Joy.
- Choose one thing to do this week that brings you Joy. Make it extra fun by doing something that you’ve never done or haven’t done in a long time.
- Finally, journal your observation about what it feels like to live from a place of Joy. What insights are you taking away for your life?
I’d love to hear what some of the things are that bring you Joy, and what one thing you are choosing to do this week in a place of Joy. Please leave a comment below.
** Special Note **: For those of you who are interested in my Vision Board workshop, I will be hosting a workshop in Los Angeles and a vision board mini-retreat in the San Francisco Bay Area this fall. I’ll be sharing those details in the next couple of weeks. Click here to learn more and to sign up on the list if you’re interested in getting notified about either of these.
Here is to the ever-expanding Joy in your Life. Abundant Blessings, and Namaste.