Today I choose joy.
In preparation for my daughter’s 12th birthday, I have chosen to take the day off from work to focus on her. My intention is to create a joyful day for her, and I recognize that in order for me to do that, I must be connected to my joy. Planning for others under the burden of responsibility and obligation is a mindset we sometimes unconsciously choose. Today, I choose joy.
For many years, I’ve been fascinated with joy. It comes and goes in and out of our lives. I used to believe that joy came on mysteriously like the weather. But I realized after some time, that joy is something we have license to drive. We aren’t powerless to create moments of joy in our lives.
One of my mentors, Regena Thomashauer, taught me volumes about joy. Regena, also known as Mama Gena, expanded my thinking about the art of pleasure and joy. She sees pleasure and joy as a responsibility, as a vigilant practice that one must study, cultivate, and hone. Regina invited to me to approach joy with as much vigor as I would any area of personal mastery.
Regena taught me that joy doesn’t just happen. Joy is often misunderstood. We think that joy and pleasure is something that happens accidentally. We believe that joy just comes to us on a whim.
In truth, joy is the product of wholehearted vigilance.
Joy is the product of both…
- Discovering with curiosity one’s pleasures, and
- Investing action, creativity, and resources in its actualization.
Like anything, what you put into it, you get out of it.
If you make joy your deliberate creation, then joy you will have.
I’ve learned is that joy is a discipline. A responsibility even. We must each take on the important responsibility of knowing and creating our own joy.
One of the areas of my life that I feel most grateful is my marriage. My marriage is filled with joy, but be certain, it’s not accidental. It is the product of great focus, soul searching, personal responsibility, and continuous rejuvenation. Frank and I are very intentional about our marriage. We work on it, sharing our vision of what we desire for our lives, the expectations we have of each other, and the ways we each need the other’s support. It is lined with great self-sacrifice, self-awareness, introspection, and hard work. It is lined with tremendous generosity and empathy of the other. Our marriage continues to evolve and expand thanks to the loving attention we give to it, it truly stands as one of the greatest sources of joy in my life.
As such, today I choose to cultivate joy in my relationship with Ella Pearl. My plan is to make her quarantine cupcakes, a hand-crafted bullet journal, and prepare the house will 100 post-it notes with fun messages like, “You rock,” and, “You are my sunshine,” and, “Your smile makes the world a better place.” It’s in hand creating of her bullet journal where she can color in paw prints every day that she walks the dog, she can illustrate flowers representing her daily feelings, and she can write a word or feeling for the day. All of this created with the intention of bringing her joy, and in my creation of that journal, I also soak in the bliss of my creation.
This will happen because I intended it, because I chose it. I set aside the day. I made a list. I’ll bake the cupcakes. I’ll write the journal. I’ll make the Post-it notes. I’ll prepare the Zoom call with her friends and family. I’ll create the gift bags, the quarantine gift bags for all of her visitors. Today I choose joy.
How could you choose joy today?
- Perhaps it’s in the way you move through your day.
- Perhaps you choose to make yourself the perfect cup of tea as you sit down to your desk.
- Maybe it’s in your choice to write a thank you letter to someone you hold dear.
- Maybe it’s in your choice to take pictures throughout the day of beautiful objects in your home that you treasure.
- Maybe it is to listen to your favorite song and dance.
- Maybe it is to go onto YouTube and find your favorite movie moments and watch them.
How could you craft a day of joy? I’ve learned that joy is present in every moment. It simply is in the art of finding it. I hope you will seek and find millions of moments of joy today.
By Coco Sellman