We are all born with joy, just as we are born with fear, anger, sadness, trust, anticipation and other emotions. They are part of our human privilege. Joy is defined as a feeling of great pleasure and happiness. Other words to describe joy are delight, glee, jubilation and bliss. It comes from a Latin word meaning rejoice. That said, it does not necessarily mean happiness; joy is deeper than that. It is a true, solid feeling we carry within us at all times, living within the soul ready for us to tap into at any time. You could be feeling sadness and still feel joy at the same time. Feeling joy is an essential part of life; just as food is to the body, joy is to the emotional body.

Joy is a powerful emotion that can heal many other parts of self. It enforces trust and brings confidence when needed. It helps us to more clearly see the positive parts of ourselves and others, relieving us of judgment and giving light to discernment. Nurturing the joy that lives within us brings us a most helpful tool in attaining our soul’s mission and bringing fun to hard work.

When we come from a place of joy, a healthy ego is enhanced, providing clear vision to our mission and the part we play in this world. You may think you were not gifted with as much joy as you wish you had, thinking that many others walk with more joy than you. Truly, it is a matter of honoring the joyful moments you have experienced, finding more each day and practicing them. You can grow more joy in your life if you so desire.

Nurturing joy within your life is a matter of observation, respect and practice. Recognize when joy is present in your life and then respect it by practicing your experience. It can be triggered through your senses. You come home from a very long day and as you walk from your car to your front door, you smell the divine scent of a lily blooming and all of your heavy thoughts vanish for a second and you feel joy. Or you are sitting at the table looking out the window, wondering where you’ll find the money to pay the bills, and you see a hummingbird that comes to feed on the flowers or feeder and your worry subsides for a moment. You are in distress, or someone close to you has passed on, and you look up to see a small baby or child laughing or simply smiling and you feel a glimpse of joy. You are sick or depressed and your pet lovingly licks your hand, and you feel warmth and love. These are samples of joy. They may feel like love, and they are. There is much love in joy and much joy in love!

These feelings need to be respected, recognized and remembered. Make note of these observations and look for more, for they are everywhere. Write them down, create a book if need be and record the feelings and how it changed what you had been feeling before joy came to you. Sit with the feeling of joy before you sleep each night. It will enhance your dreams and allow your subconscious to bring helpful information to you.

When you begin to respect the invitations to joy in your life, you may notice your actions changing. You may respond more cheerfully than before to the clerk behind the counter or the waiter serving your food. Your partner may also recognize the positive changes in your day-to-day life. By practicing your joyful experiences, your thoughts and actions follow. Nature and Spirit want us to honor the joy that lives within us. Use it to better ourselves and the lives of others.

The invitation to tap into your joy is everywhere — all over the landscape that surrounds us, within our animal friends, present in our dreams and in each other.

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Catherine Rose is a Dream Teacher who uses practical training to help others gain insight into their subconscious. She is a farmer and an artist and also the founder of Mindful Generations, a nonprofit designing and implementing training programs for adults and children that heal the soil and communities. Contact Catherine at crose4@icloud.com.

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