We tend to put off our joy, as though it’s a special treat that we only deserve once in a while. And what ends up happening is we get to the end of a chapter in our life, and remark “I wish I would have done that when I had the time.” We always have the time, the issue is we don’t make the time. We’re saving it for the right time, which never comes to pass.
Joy is the practice of being light-hearted. It is our natural state when we let go of the reasons why we don’t deserve happiness. When we lighten up and let go of our stories, we experience joy. When we are present, we experience joy. When we breathe mindfully, we experience joy.
How can we bring more joy into our life now? Make joy a priority. Write a bucket list of short term goals, ones that you can incorporate into your life now. Commit to incorporating one item on your list into your daily or weekly schedule. Ask yourself the question, if I were enjoying my life 10% more right now, what would be different? Robert Holden, my teacher, and creator of the Happiness Project, asks this question in his 8-week happiness course.
It’s the little things that create the big feelings. We spend so much time waiting for the right time to take the cooking class, read the book, play tennis, and build the treehouse, that our joy lives on the back burner. The right time never shows up, because our happiness is rarely a priority. Yet when we are happy, and we make joy a priority, we are better company, a better friend, wife, husband and daughter. Joy is our birthright, and making joy a staple is the greatest gift we can give to ourselves, and to the world.