THE “WHAT WHY & HOW” OF JOYFULNESS

From The Family Virtues Guide

WHAT IS JOYFULNESS?

Joyfulness is being filled with happiness, peace, love and a sense of well-being. Joy is inside us all. It comes from a sense of being loved. It comes from the appreciation for the gift of life. It comes when we are doing what we know is right. Joy is related to fun but is not exactly the same thing. Fun comes from what is happening outside—having a good time. Joy comes from what is happening inside.

Joyfulness is always there regardless of what is happening on the outside. You can invest this inner joy in anything you do. You can enjoy doing your chores or your homework, even a job that’s boring or unpleasant. If you look inside and find your joy, you can make is a joyful job.

Joy is the inner sense that can carry us through hard times, even when we are feeling sad.

WHY PRACTICE JOYFULNESS?

Without inner joy all our feelings are determined by what is happening to us. When things are going well on the outside, we feel good. When things are going wrong on the outside we feel bad. Up and down, up and down. Without an inner sense of joy we feel bounced around by the pain and pleasure of whatever is happening to us. Without joyfulness, when the fun stops, our happiness stops. Without joyfulness sadness gets deeper and deeper.

If we are joyful, things still happen to us, some good and some bad. If we are joyful, down deep we stay calm and serene. We continue to feel loved and safe. When good things happen, we are glad and the happy feelings last longer. When we are hurt, we naturally feel sad. When we draw on the inner strength and joyfulness, sadness does not keep getting deeper and deeper. It just comes and goes.

HOW DO YOU PRACTICE JOYFULNESS?

Joyfulness comes from your spirit—you find it inside. You are aware that life is a gift.

Whatever you are doing, do it with a joyful heart. When good things happen to you, enjoy them fully. When sad things happen, let the sadness come. Then let it go. Find the gifts in what is happening—is this a way to become stronger? Something new to learn?

Joyfulness comes when you have a good laugh. Humor is a wonderful source of joy.

Let yourself feel your inner peace and joy even when things are tough. Hard times pass. Remember you are always loved.

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Special thanks to The Family Virtues Guide, by Linda Kavelin Popov with Dr. Dan Popov Ph.D., and John Kavelin, and The Virtues Project, a global grassroots initiative to inspire the practice of virtues in everyday life.

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