Practice Joy!

Emily Threatt – New Blog Post from the author of Loving and Living Through Grief

I can hear you now. “I am grieving. There’s no joy in my life.” I can understand you feeling that way, but that’s not how you have to feel.

Right now, our country, and actually the world, is consumed with fear, despair, disease, and confusion. Where is the joy there?  We seem to have hit bottom, but let’s not stay there. The more we surround ourselves with the bad news, the more overwhelming it becomes, and the good news is, you are in control of what you focus on.

Today, right now, let’s focus on what is good in your life. Give your attention to that, and only to that all day. No news on tv. No newspapers. No negative conversations.  This is easier than you think. Turn on some great music that makes you feel good instead of the tv. Smile at anyone who starts a negative conversation and say, “How about we talk about something that makes you happy today?”

Now that you have eliminated negative distractions, let’s find some joy for you. Years ago, I found myself negative much of the time. That is where all my focus seemed to be, and it was pretty miserable. I consciously decided that I didn’t want to live that way. How freeing that was! You can do this too!

Try starting by doing a peaceful meditation. As you meditate, when you breathe in silently say love, and when you breathe out, silently say joy. Do this the full time of your meditation. When you finish, take a nice deep breath, smile, and open your eyes. Keep that smile throughout the day.

Now get out your journal or something to write on. Set your timer for ten minutes and start writing everything in your life that has brought you joy. Don’t stop to think about it, just write. Write anything and everything that comes to you. Don’t worry about spelling. Keep writing without pausing to think. Here’s the start of my list as an idea:

“When Ron first kissed me, when I bought my first home, my children, my house I love now on Maui, living on Maui, the dog I had as a child “Taffy,” my friends, tamale pie, the birds that sing in my yard, sunsets, toddlers laughing, puppies, walking on the beach, marrying Jacques, marrying Ron, writing each of my books, teaching others to write, my setting intentions group, Soul Sisters, Jazz, baroque music, Stephen Colbert, reading, writing . . . .”  I could go on for pages!

You may find when the timer goes off you want to write more because it feels so good to focus on all these wonderful things!  Keep writing for as long as you want to. And if you only write a couple of things, focus on them. Whenever I would start to feel down or distracted, I got out my list and read it, usually adding more things as I thought about them. Now, every day when I write in my journal, I write something that brought me joy that day.

As you focus on what is positive, as you only allow true, loving words in your presence, your joy will build and build. You can breathe easier. Everything will seem brighter, more beautiful. You discover yourself releasing negative feelings and memories and using you time to focus on what is already a kind and loving life.

Welcome to joy!