Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Day #7: Joy.

It occurred to me today, that I have been using the word "joy" quite a bit lately. I've used it to describe my feelings, my life, my work, and my family and friends. It has provoked a physical and emotional response for me. I get this very warm fuzzy feeling in my core which produces a huge smile on my face. It just makes me feel so wonderful. This is why I've been pondering today why the use of this word has been so pronounced for me these past few weeks.

Joy is apparently defined as the emotion of great happiness. David Lykken was a well-know behavioral geneticist who developed the self-point theory of happiness. He proposed that one's sense of well-being is half determined by genetics and half determined by circumstances. His research suggests that a person's baseline levels of cheerfulness, contentment, and psychological satisfaction are largely a matter of heredity. Of course, many have disputed his theory, and I must say, I have my own arguments with it as well. How disheartening to think that the ability to be happy is largely influenced by genetics.

There has to be more to it than a double helix. Joy is a state of mind; the ability to exhale and find yourself in a place, where one's life is abound with happiness. I'm just thrilled to say, that this is where I have finally found myself. I am finding joy in the simplest of things...hot coffee in the morning, the cool breeze at 6am, warm flannel sheets, my cute little kitty cat curling up with me...all of this brings me joy, and all of it so incredibly simple. I'm starting to realize that this is what life should really be about. It's not about titles, or money, or acclaim, it's about finding joy in everything you encounter and do. Even writing this blog brings me immense joy, and I write from the heart.

I've also noticed a considerable attitude shift that has accompanied this recent enlightenment. I look and approach the world from a completely different place. I'm learning to not let petty and insignificant things bother me and kill my joy. My joy is way to precious to me to allow it to be squashed. Melba Colgrove once wrote that "joy is the feeling of grinning inside." I'd also like to think that is like a warm blanket that envelopes you and melts away all the distress and fills you with light.

So, to all of you out there, practice joy everyday of your life. Shakespeare had it right..."joy delights in joy." Remember that joy is within each and everyone of us. So start grinning and sing a joyful noise, and before you know it, you too will experience that warm fuzzy feeling from you head to your toes.

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