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  • Kate Woolsey

Create more JOY in your life

What does joy meant to you? Get clear on what brings you joy and you can learn how to create more of it in your life.

At IIN, I learned that joy is an internal feeling, not externally motivated. This was such a striking concept to me because its so contrary to what we're often taught. Oftentimes, the message is things, accomplishments, achievements will bring us joy when the truth is - we will bring ourselves joy.

When we act in alignment with our authenticity, we spark joy. This can be a simple feeling of gratitude, love or appreciation. It can be recognizing the value of imperfection and showing acceptance for ourselves and others.

The best news is that if we want to see more joy in our lives, we can create it ourselves. It takes time, intention and dedication, but it is there - and it is ours for the sparking!

For me, appreciating the simple things brings me joy. Seeing fresh flowers spark joy for me because they align with my intrinsic desire for beauty, nature and wonder. Their presence evokes an authentic response and creates joy for me.

Joy is the feeling I get when reading stories with my daughter. Enjoying a meal with my husband. Connecting with my friends or loved ones. Doing yoga. Saying a prayer. Walking in the sunshine - or even the rain. Learning something new. Asking for help. Playing the piano. Listening to music. Thinking loving thoughts. Recalling a memory of my beloved grandparents. Decorating our house. Writing this blog to get in touch with my feelings and share them openly with all of you.

Joy comes from within.

For me, it turned out joy didn't come from getting the promotion. It didn't last when I got the corner office. These were exciting things that made me proud and happy - but the happiness was fleeting. It wasn't a glowing sense of joy that radiated from within, it was a cerebral sense of accomplishment. And, further, achievements that propelled stress and frenetic energy in the endless quest for more, more, more.

But, even when things were hectic, turning to the things that created joy made everything feel better. Focusing on growing my team and finding solutions enhanced joy. Finding ways to connect with myself, my family and my friends put things in perspective. Taking time to appreciate the details kept me in the present moment and helped escape feelings of overwhelm.

Ultimately, being able to reevaluate and take a step back from that has allowed me to get clearer on what really brings me true joy and fulfillment. And since learning this, I can choose to spend more time on these things and less time chasing fleeting happiness.

We all have the opportunity to shape our lives in ways that feed our passion and our authentic vibrance. It starts with small steps each day. Acknowledging feelings of gratitude. Offering forgiveness. Focusing on positivity. Feeling a sense of love for yourself. Showing kindness to those around you. Being present. Accepting imperfections.

How do you choose to cultivate joy in your life?
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