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Cultivating Joy

Day 11

Several years ago, I began reading a lot of "self help" or "spiritual" books. I was in a space of trying to figure out my life - what I really wanted and where I wanted to go. I remember feeling as though I was at a standstill in trying to figure out what would make me happy. Then one day, I was listening to a program and heard a breakdown on joy vs happiness. Up to that point, I never really thought about there being any difference. If I was striving to be happy, clearly I was also striving for joy. It wasn't until I heard a descriptive difference that my mindset shifted, and I had a better idea of what "it" was that I was looking for. "It' was not happiness - it was JOY.

The clear distinction that I received was that happiness came from a thing or an accomplishment outside of me. Joy, on the other hand, is more connected to the essence of who I am. I find joy is often tied to deep love, without conditions. Joyful moments can be spending time with loved ones, seeing a friend build a loving family, or relishing in the memories of a loved one who has passed on. Happiness can be a by-product of having time off and going on vacation, but joy is the source that allows you to savor each moment, even if your flight is delayed or if you have to take extra steps of caution because you're traveling during a pandemic.

The process of loss can really test your state of happiness and/or joy. If I lose a relationship, job, or thing, where am I left when that entity is gone? Is my identity in that thing or person, or is it within? It is completely normal to feel the pain and sadness of losing something, but it's also a very profound moment when you realize your joy does not have to go with it.

Both happiness and joy are wonderful things, but I think happiness without conditions is what makes joy. If I can be happy before something changes, before I gain something, or for just being, I think that's the ultimate way to cultivate and maintain a state of joy.

Let's be happy for no good reason other than it being the natural state of our being (aka living in a practice of cultivating JOY!)



Hi, thanks for stopping by!

I'm Tiffanie! Thank you for joining my space of thoughts and keepsakes of joy.

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