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What is Joy?

Joy, as with other feelings, looks and feels differently for different people.

For one, their joy may be so obvious as to be undeniable by anyone who meets them. Their exuberance and zest for all things may spill out of them at every moment, lighting up every room they walk into. The joy they feel and exude may be practically contagious as it's shared with every person they see. Before they even speak you know they are filled with joy and hold it for all to see.

And right next to them is the quiet, reserved person, who doesn't exude or draw much attention. They too may be filled to the brim with joy for life and all those in it; nearly bursting at seams with it. Their joy may be more still, held close to their heart; more tempered and contained. The kind of joy that others only see when they feel like sharing, when those around them are quiet and still too.

Joy, however it shows on the outside, is a spark on the inside that lights you up, that gets you going, that gives you purpose.

Joy is a deep breath, a warm hug, a good book, a long walk, a carefree day at Disneyland; joy is all of these, none of these, something else entirely that is personal to YOU.

I can't actually tell you what your Joy is or how it feels or what it looks like, only you can experience your joy. I can make some suggestions on how you wake it up in you. That's right, not find it, wake you up to it. Your Joy isn't out there, it's not lost, it's not something to be obtained. Joy is already inside of you, it may just have gotten buried.

Waking Joy up will be different for everyone too. A nice place to start though is sitting quietly, turning your thoughts inwards, and listening to what your heart has to say. Think about breathing, long walks, reading, family time, yoga, and notice when your heart gets a little more excited. Or Journal; write down everything you have ever enjoyed doing; gardening, jumping in puddles, laying in the sun, and notice what makes your heart beat a little faster. What makes you feel a little lighter? What brings a smile to your face? What makes you feel calm?

Maybe your Joy is loud, maybe it's quiet, maybe it's a little of both, whatever it is, it's there inside you right now, and ultimately it's up to you to wake it up and let it shine.

You can do it, I know you can. Once you do, sprinkle that JOY everywhere, loudly, quietly, doesn't matter, it's yours, it's perfect, and the world needs more of it.

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