Where We Are Going Wrong with “Sparking Joy”

Go online these days and you hear a lot of people asking, “Does it bring you joy?”  They want you to clean your cupboards, donate your old clothes, and surround yourself with items that are joyful and inspiring.

Well, duh.

But don’t stop there my dear friends, because if all you are worried about is if the STUFF around you brings you joy, you will not find the happiness you are looking for.

Yes, our spaces should be clean, our clothing comfortable and our surroundings filling us with contentment, but so should our jobs, our volunteering and our interactions with people and places.

To ditch a ratty sweatshirt because it doesn’t bring you joy while still going to work at a place you hate is ri-donculous!

So, work with me here, and let’s see if we can find your joy.

  1. What makes you the happiest? When you think about it, what makes your shoulders shrug, and causes you to smile without thinking? What do you fall asleep dreaming of?
  2. Are you doing what you love? (see number 1)
  3. If yes, Good for you! Lets do MORE of it! More is good! And while you focus on the LOVE stuff, lets start talking about the YUCK stuff (jump to point 5)
  4. If no… you need to start doing this! That is the most obvious thing of all! Are you not doing it because of money? Or time? Or availability? Whatever thereason, if it is something you love it is WORTH MAKING CHANGES FOR, and today is a great day to start!
  5. What DON’T you love? What email name turns your stomach into knots? What activity, or moment in your week are you dreading? What is something you feel you can not get out of? These are the things that HAVE to go. They aren’t helping, they are hurting you, and keeping you from doing the things you love (see point 1 for a reminder). It is time.

It can be an immensely powerful feeling to say no to the things that cause us sadness, pain and worry. It can allow you to take control of your path and set YOUR standards for how your days go on, and for who you work with, and what you do.

And yes, I know, it can be scary too. Saying “No” is final. There usually isn’t a coming back from saying no. It can mean loss of income, loss of friends, and community or opportunities. It can mean the closing of doors, forever.

But… and this is the really important thing, those aren’t the right doors for you. Those doors don’t make you happy, they do not bring you joy. To walk through a door every day that causes you stress and sadness is not a great life choice. That door leads you down a path of fear, sickness and unhappiness. Even if you do find a form of success, it will probably not fulfill you like it should. It isn’t what you want.

So, close the doors that bring sadness and worry. Let go of the fear, the guilt and the anxiety. Eliminate these things and fill the spaces with things that fill you joy.

Because my dear friends, joy brings amazing gifts with her when she is invited to the party.

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