Thoughts on Joy

My friend (and fellow blogger!) Emily reached out to me a couple weeks ago about being interviewed for her “Conversations about Joy” series on her blog. I was honored to be asked to share a little about myself & my thoughts on joy/actions I take to pursue joy in my life/ways in which I try to spread joy. Clearly this is a topic I’m passionate about! Here are the questions Emily asked me, along with my responses, if you’re interested…
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1.Are you naturally a joyful person?
I am definitely a naturally joyful person, for which I’m grateful! Happiness and joy have both always come quite naturally to me, and I’m known for having a (generally!) positive, joyful attitude.
 
2.What brings you the most joy?
Oh goodness, I could name so, so many things, people, experiences, and activities that bring me joy! I’ll try to limit myself here, but quality, genuine relationships with those I love bring me so much joy. Life in general brings me joy – from fresh flowers to traveling to stunning sunsets to a great book to laughter to front porches to faith to weddings. Being surrounded by the ones I love the most is definitely up there! I’m eternally grateful for the amazing relationships that I have with my family and friends, and I simply adore being with them & just soaking up time together (preferably with good food, drinks, and conversation!).
 
3.What is something “little” that regularly brings you joy?
I love when people recognize the little things that bring them joy, such as those little moments or little things really contribute to your overall outlook. Being continually grateful and thankful for the big and little things that bring you joy is absolutely crucial! Some little things that repeatedly bring me joy are practicing calligraphy and handwritten notes, acts of kindness, fresh flowers, celebrating holidays, reading books I can’t put down, Chick-fil-a, planning weddings for others, dinner parties, great conversations. I could definitely write hundreds of little things that bring me joy (I practice I love doing anyway!), but those are some favorites at the moment.

 

4. What is currently your greatest obstacle to joy?

I think my greatest obstacle joy is when I feel like I’m in a hurry or in a rush. I don’t take the time to treat others quite as kindly, I walk too quickly by things or people, and I feel too frenzied to stop and appreciate the little things. Living in Washington, DC – a very fast-paced city – and commuting every day has given me time to try to work on this obstacle and to practice patience and kindness (in turn, attempting to bring joy into my life) in the hustle and bustle of life. I hate when I feel like I’ve been rude, curt, or blind to others. I often feel like there’s not enough time to do everything that I want to do in a day (working full time, running a side wedding planning business, blogging, time with the Lord, exercise, seeing friends, and all of the other commitments and activities going on!), and I’m trying not to let my hurry diminish my joy – or the joy or anyone around me.

 

5.How are you pursuing joy right now?

Over the last several years, I’ve been quite passionate about the subject of joy and ways to cultivate joy and a joyful attitude in my life! I’ve long been intentional about big and little ways to increase joy and an attitude of thanksgiving in every facet of my life, and I love talking about this subject! Gratitude and joy go hand in hand, I firmly believe. One of my favorite ways to actively pursue joy is to keep a gratitude journal. Every single night for the last several years, I have written down things that I am thankful for.

I try to list 5-15 big and little things each and every day (which definitely adds up over the years!). Reflecting on those things that I’m grateful for brings so much joy into my life. Taking the time to reflect back on your day, turn the mundane things in praise, recognize all of the blessings in your life, and to stop and be truly grateful for the life that you have been given is paramount to living a life filled with joy.

6.What is the key to a joyful day?

The key to a joyful day is to look for opportunities to see the good in others, to seek out ways in which you can spread joy to everyone you come into contact with, and to be grateful and filled with joy for your life and everything that makes up your day. There is no better way to feel happiness yourself than to spread happiness to others – strangers, coworkers, family, friends, everyone! It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture or an expensive gift by any means. The little things and the little details are often the best and most meaningful.

Send those handwritten birthday cards! Don’t forget major life events! Show up on time! Send little texts to tell people how thankful you are for them! Think of how you can serve others selflessly – and you will also be filled with joy. Filling your life with people who bring you joy, being deeply grateful for the blessings in your day & thanking the Lord for them, attempting to lift others up, recognizing little ways to lift up your attitude are all keys to making your day more joyful. And if you are a joyful person, I hope it’s contagious to those around you!

And here’s a direct link to the original post, Conversations about Joy! Thanks so much for including me, Emily!

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