Demystifying JOY

I know how it goes. We all want to reach the finish line – make it to the top,  publish the book, hear our song on the radio, sell the company.


We build this up in our minds as the moment when everything is going to be “right” in our world. It’s when we prove to everyone (especially ourselves) that we are enough, dammit! 


This hustle to chase that carrot on the string has created a very industrious (if unfulfilled) culture, and while there’s certainly great satisfaction (and ideally financial reward) that comes from completion, I’ve found the real joy is in the doing.








Think about it for a moment- when was the last time you felt pure, natural, unapologetic joy? That feeling that makes you want to sing and dance and scream out that you’re alive! 


If it’s been a few months, years, or even decades, don’t despair. Your path led you here and now you’re ready to rediscover how to generate your joy.


Joy is one of the most elusive emotions because it can only exist in the present moment. And the present moment is tricky business, my friends. Without attentive focus, it always seems to squirm just out of our reach. Our minds swing between worries and excitement about the future, and back to pastime events and people- typically landing on things we wish we could’ve done differently. Rarely does the pendulum just land on the present moment. We have to direct it there.


But this drive to get that carrot creates a conflict inside of us because relishing the present moment seems contradictory to the pursuit to success.


Nothing could be further from the truth.


The cosmic joke is that the more we can enjoy the present moment the better chance we have of attracting more enJOYment into our lives, because our present time vibration is the very thing directing our future time creations.


Conversely, if we are apathetic, stressed and lacking in the present moment, we are creating future time events and opportunities that reflect those emotions as well.


It wasn’t until I began writing, playing music, making art and jazz dancing that I rediscovered the joy of the present moment. I realized that outside of sex, surfing, and an occasional freshly baked chocolate chips cookie, my life was a hot-mess of pastime future time madness.


But in those moments of creating a new melody, piecing lyrics together, or trying to follow along in my dance class, I was expanding my vision of self past the narrow confines of what I once thought possible, paving the way for greater belief in myself and my dreams. In those moments of inspiration I’ve felt alive. And in those moments I found unadulterated joy.


Two ingredients to help you get started cookin’ up your own joy:


1. Gratitude.

It’s been said that comparison is the thief of joy. We are all on a unique journey. Nobody is ahead of you or behind you. The greatest gifts are hidden inside each moment we create. We just have to open ourselves to seeing them. The ability to recognize that everything (even stuff we don’t think we want ) is created for us to grow into more compassionate and evolved versions of ourselves, means we accept the present moment for the gift it is, making way for JOY! 


 2. Be the Beginner.

We all have something inside of us that will bring us joy, but most of us are too fearful to entertain it because what if we fail?

Being the beginner is a tremendous power that allows you to walk down whatever path lights you up inside free of fear of failure and judgment. The beginner isn’t supposed to know a damn thing, so the beginner can never fail.  When we are truly inspired by what we’re doing, we want to be present for that action, and sure enough that’s where JOY hangs! 



Is joy ever-present in your life, or do you find that you need to be mindful to cultivate it?




*featured image by feyoga!

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