By Cindy Clemens, Life Coach & Chief Inspiration Officer at Crystal Geyser Water Company
When I began speaking and writing on the topic of joy, I was surprised to learn the reasons why people don’t think they can—or should—experience joy every day. While they all readily admit they love the idea of experiencing happiness on a daily basis, most feel like it’s a distant goal, and there are often a few beliefs that are holding them back.
Here are three counter points I often hear:
- Joy is just for when we play and relax; it’s not a part of work.
- We don’t deserve to experience joy until all the “serious life stuff” is done and all is in order.
- The pursuit of joy is selfish.
After a bit of journaling, hiking, and sharing my thoughts with my inner circle, I discovered these three truths about what it means to lead a joyful life.
1. A part of all aspects of our work and play. It’s not something we save for weekends or vacations. We can create rituals at the office and at home to tap into joy each and every day.
This insight came when I heard someone utter the well-used phrase, “Thank God it’s Friday!” I realized how deeply we hold the idea that work is drudgery and we only get to enjoy life when the workday is over. That means we have to spend at least 40 hours a week in a joy-deprived state. I took a close look at this belief when I started my own business. Was it written in stone? NO! I pursued work that brings me joy and allows me to structure my day in alignment with my ebbs and flows. I happily serve myself several helpings of joy every day, and the line between work and play has greatly diminished.
2. Meant to be experienced now, even if life is not perfect. We cannot postpone our joy until the future comes when everything is perfect. If we don’t learn how to follow joy now, we will not know when we finally deserve it.
I have to admit I can be quite a perfectionist, longing for the time when all my ducks will be in a row, with no loose ends or unknown outcomes. The problem with perfectionism is that we never allow ourselves to accept good enough and be in the moment. We are “future tripping”—or replaying the past—and not even aware of the joy-filled moments all around us. I have made much progress in this area. I let a task be completed after I have done my best and accept that mistakes will occasionally happen. Although I still have high standards, I no longer torture myself when there is a glitch. I am kinder to myself – I debrief from my mistakes and let them go. I remind myself to pause, look around, and find the richness in the moment. That advice is what I share with perfectionists so they can fully enjoy the people, places, and things surrounding them.
3. Meant to be shared. We all arrive on Earth with several core gifts. When we figure out what they are and start sharing them with others, we discover our true purpose in life and radiate joy out into the world. Our bright inner flame touches the common human heart.
Just the other day I showed up for a gathering of my favorite gal pals, which I’d suggested so we could catch up on what’s been happening in our busy lives. You see, one of my core gifts is as a “community creator.” I can’t help myself from gathering and sharing from the heart. I delighted in telling them all about the fun I’m having collaborating with Crystal Geyser Sparkling Water to spread the Essence of Life message.
I had one of the new big 40th anniversary bottles of Sparkling Water that we mixed with wine for our spritzers! It was a wonderful evening that filled my heart with so much love and light. I know when we take the time to fill our joy tanks, we naturally have the time and energy to share our gifts with the world and get on with our real purpose in life.
Want to hear more about joy from Cindy? Read part one of her Joy Manifesto here: bit.ly/2wj8biM
Cindy Clemens is a life coach, honorary Chief Inspiration Officer at Crystal Geyser Water Company and a contributing blogger for the Essence of Life campaign. All views are her own. If you’d like to learn more about Cindy, visit CindyClemens.com.