Is there Joy in your Heart? When was the last time you smiled so hard that your heart felt as though it would burst with happiness? What were you celebrating— a birthday, a wedding, a promotion? Was your heart jumping for joy?

Did you know that you can be happy while still not having joy? Happiness is something that happens, while joy is felt in every moment. When a heart is joyful, difficult times are transmuted into gratitude and lessons learned. Joy brings hope.

Oftentimes, as years pass, parts of a joyous heart become hurt, and joy is diminished–bit by bit, year after year. Perhaps you had to deal with feelings of abandonment; perhaps you were involved in physically or emotionally abusive relationships; or maybe you suffered grief from an inconsolable loss; or suffered from an illness. There are many ways to lose your joy, and the relationship with suffering can become a way of life as joy slowly fades from the heart. The time is now to break the negative pattern and return to the knowing of joy in your life.

Science tells us that it’s only natural for people to dwell on the negative, to be driven by fear, self-doubt, shame, sadness, guilt, or anger. While no one is expected to be grinning ear-to-ear all the time, people who swim in the pool of negativity are draining to be around. Have you noticed the reaction of people when you tell your sad tale?

Luckily, there are ways to reclaim your joy! Restoring joy is a choice—you can choose to make a promise to yourself to reclaim the joy in your heart, even during the midst of suffering. Returning your sparkling smile and filling your heart with joy is an ongoing journey that begins with a daily practice of mindfulness. To make the shift, there are things that you can do to help as you ‘row, row, row, your boat gently down the stream.’

    • Surrender your Victim Story: Being mindful of surrendering your victim story is an important first step in returning to joy. Letting go of your victim story gives you freedom to create joy in the present. Rather than dwell in your sadness of whatever happened to you, find the lesson from your experiences and emotions so you can create space for a fulfilling future. This doesn’t mean that you’ll never feel sad again, but at least you’ll know there is impermanence in your suffering.  To release the story that you’ve repeated throughout the years is a conscious choice. One method of releasing the victim story that’s been embedded into your subconscious mind is to write it down—every word of it. Just get yourself a tablet or notebook, a pile of pencils or pens, and a box of tissues. Then write everything down just as you would say it. Don’t look for corrections, spelling, or grammar. This is your story and yours alone to read. You can expect emotions to arise, so if you feel like crying, go ahead and cry (hence, the tissues). If you feel like punching something to release pent up anger, go ahead and punch (pillow-soft, of course).  Then on day two, read your story again and release emotions as needed. Read your story again on day three, then day four. Read it as many times as necessary until you can read the story as though you’re reading it from a detached position, like someone else wrote it. Generally, by day five, you’ll no longer feel the need to tell your story from the perspective of being a victim. Once you let go of your victim story, you become the hero of your life. For a short while, expect to feel yourself sighing more than usual. Know that with each sigh, negative emotions are being released as memories of happier times begin to take precedent. Joy smiles.

 

    • Forgiveness: You’ve released your story so now you’re ready to forgive. It’s important to understand that forgiveness is for you, not the person who hurt you.  This doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen. It happened. This doesn’t mean you don’t seek justice; pursue legal advice when necessary. This doesn’t mean you need to tell the person he or she is forgiven—you don’t. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you stay in an abusive relationship—get out now! To Forgive is for you and only you. Forgiveness empowers you to restore peace to your soul.  Once your heart forgives, there is an undeniable freedom to the path of restoring joy. Joy empowers you.

 

    • Gratitude: To awaken joy, begin each day with gratitude in your heart. When was the last time that you were grateful for all the miraculous things that your body does 24/7? Do you give thanks to the earth for all that it provides? Do you give thanks to the beauty of nature and to its animals? Through the act of being grateful, you’re actively training your brain to expect positive emotions. These positive emotions automatically release the natural ‘feel good’ chemicals of the brain, dopamine, and oxytocin. So, whenever those moments of negative thoughts creep into your awareness, by being grateful for the incidental gifts of your life, you’ll be able to quickly regain your positive emotions.  Joy blossoms with gratitude.

 

    • The Law of Attraction: To maintain Joy, remember that the well-known Law of Attraction is a fundamental law of manifestation. This Universal Law is simple: The more positive you are, the more you attract positivity into your life. So, when you focus on the positive, are grateful and gladly share the joy of others, it’s only natural that you’ll attract more joy into your heart.  As you attract more positive thinking people into your life, not only will you be uplifted, but you’ll also make others feel better, so it’s a win-win. Being with people who are positive goes together with letting go of your past. As you release the past, you must also be willing to accept and release the toxic people in your life—the ones who cause you to doubt yourself, make snide remarks, and are manipulative. It will take courage, but freeing yourself from their toxicity is like cutting yourself free from the line of an anchor stuck on the bottom of the seabed that’s preventing you from moving forward. Joy is freedom.

 

    • Be Positive: To help maintain joy, speak with positivity.  Saying affirmations goes under the heading of ‘fake it till you make it’: “I AM happy.” “I AM loved.” “I AM lovable.”  Since your subconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between the truth and a lie, the subconscious eventually believes what you repeatedly say and thereby reduces negative thoughts. Saying daily positive affirmations requires patience and commitment—to rewire your brain from negative thoughts to positive facts takes an average of anywhere from 22 to 66 days.  The key to effective affirmations is that they need to be in alignment, and consistent, with your values and willingness to let go of old limiting beliefs and blockages.  Joy is truth.  The Ho’oponopono statements are especially helpful to raise your vibrational frequency and bring positivity and joy into your life: “I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I’m sorry. Thank you.”

 

    • Body Language: Joy within your heart blends with self-esteem containing the belief in your own ability to succeed. For example, before a meeting or interview, practice a Superman pose with hands on hips for confidence, walk with your head held high with pride, and use the victory ‘V’ pose with uplifted arms to raise your body’s vibration. Joy lightens your spirit.

 

Joy means that you are present every day by being mindful of your feelings, emotions, body language, and acts of kindness to others. Inner Joy surpasses happiness as you become joy itself as it gently flows throughout your entire being like a sparkling brook.

As your energy shifts to restoring the joy in your heart, people will soon notice the difference. So, when they comment, “My how you’ve changed!” just smile and say, “Thank you.”

Author

  • Paulette Glover

    Paulette Glover, M.Ed. Mindful Seedlings Plant seeds of Light. 110 Cedar Hill Drive ~ McMurray, PA. ~ 15317 Cell: 724-787-9366 ~ mindfulseedlings@gmail.com www.mindfulseedlings.com