Everyday we are surrounded by hundreds of reasons to celebrate. To make the most of a great day, we must allow joy into our hearts by being constantly aware of joy and nurturing it daily. Here are some small examples of nurturing joy - stare in wonder and amazement at the intricacies of a spider web, applaud the courage of a small child learning how to walk, smell the flowers, study the stars, relish in the moonlight.
As you admire and nurture the joy in these little things, you begin to show your strength in your ability to celebrate with joy. In a deeper, more meaningful way, let's discover four more delightful expressions of joy.
SMILE AND LAUGH
People are drawn to people who smile. Another person's smile makes us feel relaxed and accepted. A simple smile has great power and it is a wonderful give we easily give to other people. Greet anyone you meet with a warm smile and adopt the attitude that you love to smile.
I love to smile and laugh. Laughter is contagious - when you laugh, others will laugh as well. Laughter has the ability to block depression because it's difficult for someone to laugh and be depressed simultaneously. Laughing will distract you from worry and will lighten your load.
Healthy people laugh. They have learned great benefits in laughter. Laughter makes life feel joyful.
ADMIRE THE WONDER
In life today, we move very quickly. We're connected on a super-highway of information that is constantly flowing in and out of our daily experiences. That information captures our attention, causes us to make choices, change directions and work harder at something.
Don't forget to remember to take time to STOP and admire the wonder in things. Little things. Big things. All things.
Admire the wonderful innocence of a child. Admire the wonder of dew drops on grass in the morning as you leave for work, or the song the birds are singing. Admire the wondrous applause at the end of a concert. Admire the wonder of the coming together of many souls in one place to worship. Admire the wonder of the unconditional lovable licks and kisses from your adorable puppy.
When we stop to admire the wonder in all things, we feel uplifted. We see life through a completely different lens. We're admiring life's every moment in such a positive way and when we become experts at doing this, there is no room in our lives for the alternatives.
Adults know how to play. After all, every adult was once a child. It's often that we are simply out of practice. Play helps to lighten us by relaxing us and therefore we allow more joy to enter into our experience. Without healthy doses of play, we become grumpy people who stifle our own ability to have fun.
Always look for opportunities to play and have fun. Play nurtures joy.
Think for a moment . . .isn't there something to be excited about? Seeing family soon, that class reunion, your upcoming vacation trip, getting a compliment from the boss that you're doing a great job, your new haircut.
Everyday is filled with many things. Challenges, opportunities, wins, losses, disappointment and angst. All that said, there is always something, even if it's just one thing, to get excited about. Excitement needs to be celebrated more often because, as adults, we often fail to allow excitement to nurture our joy and our emotions. If we did this more often and complained less about the losses, disappointments, gossip, etc. it would allow us to get more energized and more enthusiastic.
"Follow your bliss. Do what you love. Find your passion." We've all heard these phrases many times before and there is much value to doing any one of these things, or all of them for that matter because they spark excitement and enthusiasm and in turn, they bring joy.
If you find ways to get excited about every sunrise, sunset, rainbow, every breath you take, person you meet, and every challenge that you encounter, every disappointment that taught you a valuable lesson - joy becomes unstoppable for you.
Your life will change, and you will intentionally begin to live, love and experience joy in all things if you have faith that despite difficult, challenging circumstances or feelings, there is always something to celebrate with joy.
Live and Love Intentionally is a series of chapters in a blog series where we explore all the ways in which we can live and love intentionally. It's through the contrast that life brings our way that we learn what we do not want and what we do want. Each day is significant and it matters how we approach it. Let's work together to make each day extraordinary, and less than ordinary. Our next chapter is Chapter Three | Pay Attention.