Joyful

April 26, 2021
joyful

joyful

GEM OF ZEN #37

What does it mean to feel joyful?  The word ‘JOYFUL’ is defined as “Feeling, expressing, or causing great pleasure or happiness”.   

Around this time 2 years ago I wrote a post called What Sparks Joy – Then vs Now.  In this post I compared what sparked joy for me in my late teens to what sparks joy for me now in my fifties. It has certainly changed!

There’s a real interest in finding joy and happiness all throughout our lives in one way or another but in midlife it takes on a whole new meaning. For one thing, what brings us joy is generally simpler things than previously, and the reason we seek joy is less likely for instant gratification but more often for a deeper sense of fulfilment. We’re aware that life is finite and the years are going by swiftly, and so we tend to enter a re-evaluation phase of life because we want the remainder of our days to be joyful, fulfilling, and meaningful. We take a close look at how we’re spending our time. We reevaluate our priorities and goals. We cut out all the things we possibly can that weigh us down or no longer serve us well and we make sure that we include those things that lift us up, bring us joy, and make us feel good. Joyful, contented and fulfilling days making our lives feel meaningful, are what we all want.

Some benefits of feeling joyful are:

  • It boosts the immune system
  • It can improve heart health
  • It reduces stress and pain
  • It makes you feel good
  • and it can even support longevity!

Leo Babauta of Zen Habits says that we should be Allowing Ourselves to Feel Joy During the Day

Think about the days in your past week: have they been joyful and wondrous? Or routine, full of busyness and stress and doing doing doing?

If you felt a daily amount of joy and wonder, you’re likely the exception. Most people don’t seem to feel joy regularly, or even realize that that’s the case.

Let’s change that.

It’s well worth reading more of Leo’s post at the link above.  

So, what is making me feel joyful lately?  Here’s five things:

  • A freshly painted, decluttered and clean home.  My mind feels less cluttered as a result.
  • My cats. They are so sweet and so funny!  Who knew that dog loving me could love cats so much but gee, I do!
  • Attending a term of Art Mentoring classes. Me time. Unlocking the creative within me. Meeting new people. Being part of a new community.
  • My morning coffee – always the deliverer of such joy!
  • Living near water. It’s always there for me when I need it. Nature to sit by and look at or to walk along. It’s restorative and healing!

I hope you have some things that bring you joy and you do them often. Life can get too serious and we can get weighed down with responsibilities and worries. Make sure you make injecting some joy into your life a high priority!

‘Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves.’ ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

I’d love you to tell me about one joyful moment you’ve experienced lately in the comments.

Ciao for now,

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18 Comments

  • Reply Deborah Cook April 26, 2021 at 10:25 am

    I get far too little joy from stuff nowadays Min and that really needs to change. Food. Wine. TV.

    I did a similar exercise years ago, in which I thought about the things I loved when young and tried to think about how I could build them into my life but you’re right. Things that bring us joy or happiness change over time and I probably didn’t take that into consideration.

    • Reply Min April 27, 2021 at 6:59 am

      Hi Deb – yes that does need to change. It’s a bit sad you don’t get much joy nowadays. Have a think about what gives you that joyful feeling (aside from food, wine & TV) and find ways to get more of it. You’ll probably find it is simple things that you’re not noticing – like holding a cup of hot coffee (or drink of choice) on a cold day, or enjoying your view from your balcony with a lovely breeze blowing on a hot day. I think sometimes it is about clearing our minds, slowing down our busy minds, being more present and noticing stuff and how we react to said stuff! I’m rambling but hopefully you know what I mean.

  • Reply Lydia C. Lee April 26, 2021 at 10:40 am

    That second comment about not even realising it is startling. I put stuff on the fence to give away and there’s a little 4 year old who loves taking things from it (I see here in the hats or with the bags walking around the streets). I got a rush of joy seeing her rifle through the new books and toys when I was out walking the dog….

    • Reply Min April 27, 2021 at 7:00 am

      I love your fence thing that you do. I remember you writing about it. I would feel joy seeing children enjoy it too!

  • Reply Natalie April 26, 2021 at 11:14 am

    Hi Min, Spring season where I live has brought me many joys e.g. colourful and pretty flowers, birds singing or nesting, sunshine. Waking up to a new day and having a leisure breakfast with fresh brewed coffee are some of the daily joys that I’m grateful for. #lifethisweek

    • Reply Min April 27, 2021 at 7:03 am

      Hi Natalie, all those things you’ve listed are lovely joyful things indeed. I love nature and go to it often to be uplifted, inspired, healed! I love listening to the morning bird songs when I have my morning coffee, and now that we’re in Autumn and heading for winter, the sunshine on my face on a chilly morning is heavenly!

  • Reply Debbie Harris April 26, 2021 at 6:06 pm

    Hi Min, your post is very much a sign of joy and i love that quote about drinking tea slowly and reverently, so true. I agree we seem to be more interested in finding joy and happiness these days, maybe it’s the age we are? I love finding joy and just the other day I was riding my bike down a hill, very fast, singing at the top of my voice and felt a real thrill of joy inside. It’s a wonderful feeling when it hits us isn’t it? #lifethisweek

    • Reply Min April 27, 2021 at 7:07 am

      Hi Debbie, isn’t that quote lovely. I saw it and had to include it. I think the increased interest in finding joy IS an age thing. We’ve done the hard yards over previous decades and though of course we had joyful moments over those decades too the focus was mostly on others. This time is now for us and I think we deserve to have more days of joy and fulfillment in a way of our choosing now. And yes – when the joyful feeling hits us it’s wonderful! 🙂

  • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au April 26, 2021 at 7:28 pm

    Hi Min – I was surprised to see that feeling joyful moments every day wasn’t a common experience. Maybe we need to be intentional in looking for those little sparks of joy (because they’re always present if we take the time to find them). I’m glad the house painting has gone well and you can now sit back and appreciate it after all the stress of getting it done.

    • Reply Min April 27, 2021 at 7:09 am

      Hi Leanne, yes I agree … I think we need to be intentional. It all goes back to mindfulness and being present so that we can notice joy and what brings it to us. Far too often our minds can be elsewhere and we’re too busy ‘doing’ to notice. That’s the beauty of midlife – we have more time to do this. I’m very glad the painting is done too and it was worth it in the end thankfully!

  • Reply Beth April 26, 2021 at 9:14 pm

    These are the things that brought me joy last week: Working in my butterfly garden, hearing the birds singing, watching hummingbirds drink their fill at one of the feeders, seeing Monarch butterflies feeding on my lone Mexican Sunflower plant, watching Monarch caterpillars devour every milkweed plant in the garden. Yesterday my most joyful moment was discovering a caterpillar on the bag of yard waste I was going to carry out to be picked up. I rescued him by getting him to attach to a stick and carried him to a milkweed where he was able to get back to eating his fill. Thanks for this post!

    • Reply Min April 27, 2021 at 7:11 am

      Hi Beth, wow what beautiful descriptions of what has brought you joy in the last week. It brought me joy to read it! As a nature lover after reading your comment I would very much love to visit your garden! Thanks so much for sharing these joyful moments with us!

  • Reply Vanessa April 27, 2021 at 10:15 am

    Water is definitely something we have in common. I rarely swim in it but I need to be near it.

    • Reply Min April 28, 2021 at 9:51 am

      I don’t swim in it either (I have a pool) but I love being able to walk by it or just sit and look at it. I find it very soothing, healing and restorative!

  • Reply Denyse Whelan April 28, 2021 at 5:05 pm

    When I was laid low with the sadness of my life transition of retirement and all that, I did my best to at least find something each day to bring a smile to my face and some joy in my heart but I had to go find it. Mostly as you also find, outside of ourselves and appreciating what is around us.

    Recently I was thinking maybe I had been mistaken to move away from Sydney – which we did for all kinds of right and practical reasons – but I soon realised I was right…when we get off the M1 to come into the area where we now call home, I feel a sense of joy and appreciation for the space around us, the quieter roads and the access to my favourite…the ocean.

    Great post Min. I am really intrigued by your art class and hope its just wonderful for you.
    Thank you for sharing your post for Life This Week. I am always appreciative of the blogging community and you are one of those people in my blogging life. Next week, the optional prompt is Taking Stock. The new set of prompts is on my home page should you want to follow. Looking forward to see you again next week hopefully too. Denyse

    • Reply Min April 29, 2021 at 4:26 pm

      I’m so glad you’re now happy with your decision to move away from Sydney Denyse. How lovely to now realise how leaving the hustle and bustle to the seaside and open space makes you feel more calm and peaceful and ‘joyful’! The art classes are fabulous. It’s like doing art at school again. I’ve joined the social club too and I’m off to my first coffee morning (they’re monthly) tomorrow morning. They also do day trips to art galleries and things like that too which will be fun! Thank you and thank goodness for you continuing to host your link up Denyse or we’d be without any linkups at all and that sense of community & support would be gone. Never thought I’d see the day. The Aussie blogosphere is a changing! xo

  • Reply Sanch @ Sanch Writes May 4, 2021 at 8:26 pm

    I love this post Min! I wrote something about filling my cup a month or so ago but it was basically about this – what makes me feel that sense of joy/contentment. I love your list! Mine would be exercise, the cats, the beach, live music, books, connecting with people over meaningful conversations about life, writing, music, books, coffee, wine, new experiences in general!

    • Reply Min May 7, 2021 at 3:51 pm

      That’s so kind of you – thank you Sanch! I can relate to all that you listed that bring you joy but you are wayyyyy more fit than me!

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