Updated: Aug 17, 2020
Welcome, readers! To my first blog post! My motivation for this and future blog posts is to share information about experiences, relationships, realizations, and such -- on an educational level as well as a personal one.
I want to contribute different topics that pertain to some personal experiences about my relationship joys and heartaches, some things I wish I would've learned earlier in life, how humans can be super complex, and how we can become better people by learning more about ourselves.
My thought is through sharing stories and wisdoms, we can learn new things that we want to implement in our individual lives. We are all humans -- here to learn from and support each other, as well as ourselves.
Now for the "about me".
My name is Christine. I live in Colorado. And I have a counseling practice that I have named "Find Your Joy Counseling".
I am currently learning and exploring all kinds of new things about myself. And what I have realized is this practice of learning will never stop, unless I choose to no longer pay attention to the lessons that my days bring. Life is about continued progress, not perfection.
I am as open a book as I can be. Ask me a question, send me a comment -- anything that promotes constructive and helpful communication. I do ask that if you are not going to be nice, please refrain from any discussion. No unhelpful comments allowed. Thank you! :-)
So, first topic -- what does the phrase "find your joy" mean?
I named my business after it, so it must mean something, I suppose. At first, it started out as a play on words. My middle name is "Joy", and I wanted to incorporate an actual part of myself into my business name, and make it "cute-sie" at the same time.
Next, I started researching what finding joy actually meant.
And honestly, I could write all day about where and how humans find joy. It's such a huge topic! The overall message that I found is that finding the concept of joy means finding meaning.
When you believe something is meaningful, it reflects with your true nature or core essence. When you feel something lacks meaning, or is meaningless, it does not necessarily resonate with your true nature or core essence (Pattakos, Dundon).
So when you think about your own journey, where is it that you find meaning? Is it something tangible or intangible? Is it something you can see or something that you feel? What is a motivation that keeps you going everyday? Don't worry, there is no one right or wrong answer -- and that's the awesome part! It looks different to absolutely every person.
Dr. Viktor Frankl suggests "the search for meaning is the primary, intrinsic motivation of human beings. We don’t really create meaning--we find it". And we can’t find it if we don’t look for it.
There are so many great reasons to find joy in everyday life. It boosts your optimism, which means feeling happier throughout the day. Feeling happier improves overall self-esteem and confidence levels. And, the feeling of joy is "contagious"; when others see you more optimistic, they want to mirror that. So why would you not want to make this an everyday practice?
Think of this concept as a cornerstone to finding overall better feelings throughout your day. Joy, comfort, satisfaction -- these are also known as leading "the good life".
"Joy involves a greater sense of self-consciousness, whereby one experiences becoming more truly oneself, not losing the self" (Johnson).
Be deliberate about Finding Joy
To share a personal example, I find joy in laughter -- from myself and from others. It might seem so simplistic. Maybe while reading this you're saying to yourself, "Really, Christine? That's the example you choose to share?". But it's true. Like everyone else, I've had my share of major ups and downs in life so far (stories for other days). And in all of my different situations I have had to find the joy, the laughter. "Many of us have faced times like these—situations that bring us to our knees, sobbing into a pillow late into the night. In these moments, joy seems like a distant dream" (Roman).
It's easy to find joy and comfort during the up times; during the down times it becomes necessary, just to get through the "muck". I know it sounds a bit cliche -- when you're laughing you're happy, right? It seems so easy! And this may be true for a lot of humans.
But for me, the energy I get from laughter is literally a life-saver. My natural tendency is to sink down into sadness -- it's a comfortable place for me to be. But in the past I have tended to stay in that "comfortable" place for far too long -- to the point of feeling lost in a place I thought I knew pretty well.
So for me, laughing = survival.
"It is well known that humor, more than anything else in the human make-up, can afford an aloofness and an ability to rise above any situation, even if only for a few seconds" (Frankl).
Now, (disclaimer!), saying all of these things is not a guarantee that the one time you find joy/meaning in your life that all your days will suddenly mean you break into a musical number, or the birds will sing and chirp at your presence, or the flowers will bloom at your arrival.
Finding joy is an everyday effort.
It’s important to find those brief moments of lightness where you can (Roman). You must recognize those things that bring joy to your day. You will start to find new things that bring you that feeling of joy. And then, I can guarantee that your days will seem brighter. But the effort comes first.
I will say that as I have made the intention and effort to find new things that bring me joy and meaning, I have hope that I will continue to find even more of those things. And, it takes mindful awareness. So if you don't always "find your joy", it's okay -- just mindfully bring it back into your awareness.
So I ask you now, where do you find your joy at this moment? Today, I have found joy in you reading this post. :-)
And now, the recap:
- this is my first blog, so thank you for reading :-)
- finding your joy means finding your meaning (that is personal to you)
- it takes effort on your part
- look for those things throughout the day -- maybe it's a hug from someone you love (when we're allowed to do that again), or a bike ride in your neighborhood, or a fabulous sunset at the end of a day. You get to decide where you find the joy.
If you feel like you learned something after reading this, I hope you will share with others, and enjoy future posts! For the next topic, I would like to write about gratitude. Because being grateful brings its own kind of joy, right?
Everyone enjoy your day!
Frankl, V. (1946). "Man's Search for Meaning".
Johnson, M. W. (2019). "Joy: a review of the literature and suggestions for future directions". https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17439760.2019.1685581
Pattakos, A., Dundon, E. (2014). "Finding Joy and Meaning in Everyday Life and Work". https://completewellbeing.com/article/finding-joy-and-meaning-in-everyday-life-and-work/
Roman, K. (n.d.). "Your Step By Step Guide to Finding More Joy Everyday". https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/how-to-find-joy-when-life-is-hard