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!
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,