At this time of year, the word joy gets sprinkled about like glitter. We hear it in songs, “Joy to the World.” And we see it on greeting cards, “Wishing you a joyous holiday season.” But with all the hustle and bustle do we fully and consciously know joy.A few years ago, I took a family trip to Kauai. It was a manifestation of a long-held dream. It was the most beautiful, wonderful trip filled with actual authentic joy.
When I came home, I vowed to carry that feeling into my everyday life. I wanted to know the secret of how to live in joy and ease amid carpools, meal plans, bills, laundry, illness, and all the typical activities of life.
I participated in Rev. Pattie’s class Living My Life Purpose and created my covenant around joy. And, as life continued to roll along as it usually does, my quest faded into the background. I never lost the desire to uncover the secret of joy; I just wasn’t actively looking.
Then, recently, a random video share on Facebook piqued my interest. It was a TED talk given by Ingrid Fetell Lee and her research on how our environment can play a role in knowing joy. I know I’ve written about some of her findings here before. Along with her TED talk she had just released a book called “Joyful,” written to explain her findings on joy and it’s relationship to our surroundings. I contemplated buying the book but decided against it. Within days, I discovered the book sitting on my local library shelf. I took it as a sign. The Universe wanted me to read that book. And I did. Slowly. It took me 4-weeks to make my way through it. I wanted to understand each concept.
Here’s what I came to understand. It was no accident that I felt most joyful in Kauai. Rainbows, lush forests, bright happy colors, abundance, all magnify our feelings of joy. Our environment and the things we consciously surround ourselves with make a difference in how joyful we feel. Lee’s research found that circles, abundance, bright colors, plants and nature all bring us closer to joy. So, it’s no wonder, as a culture we talk a lot about joy during the holidays. Our brightly colored Christmas ornaments, a fir or Noble pine in living rooms, sparkling drinks like champagne or cider and occasions to celebrate with family and friends all enhance the feeling of joy.
I know for some, who have lost family members or live alone, the holidays are less joyful than for others, but isn’t it good to know that we have the power to consciously create our own joy and many of our traditions actually enhance it.
I hope everyone finds a little more joy this holiday season.