Busting Our Three Big Myths on Joy (a spirited rant)

joyJoy can feel like this – zing, bam, boom, YES.

Oh My God, what a special feeling is Joy. When joy walks in, the room lights up. In its shine, we are like Gods. In its magic, Heaven and Earth is connected right here. In its arms, we are perfect and complete — NOTHING else is needed.

Yet in the afterglow, we run smack into the joy paradox: We carve it, yet hold it at arms length.

 To close this painful gap, let’s get clear on three myths we might hold about joy … three myths that separate us from joy’s healing power.

Myth #1: Joy is like an orchid, so rare and special. To feel joy is a big and special deal. We treat joy like a Deity that will not suffer to walk regularly amongst us mere mortals. Joy is reserved for special occasions. It must be a “10” to be called Joy.

My rant: Stop treating joy like a special foreign dignitary. Stop treating it with all caps, as in JOY. What about plain, old (no caps) joy? I practice treasuring the tinier experiences of joy — like walking to my car in the Sunlight, or feeling grace with my supper.

Whatever it is that I am doing or feeling or confronting in a given day, I practice taking a mini-joy break. I practice 8-13 times in a given day. I am imperfect at feeling joy each time, yet I can feel this joy muscle getting robust.

Myth #2: We are suspicious of feeling (or trying to feel) too much Joy. As ina little bit of Joy goes a long way.” Or “too much joy is excessive.” People that feel a lot of Joy are a little nutsy, a little undignified. Who is that fruit-cake walking barefoot in the park?

My rant: Get over it. Stop letting how you might look determine how much joy you will feel. Catch yourself wanting to smile in public but holding yourself back. Then let go. Smile in public.

Did you know that smiling, in and of itself, can “trick” the brain into “thinking” you are happy. The brain then sends out the neurotransmitters that make you feel happy. Nice feedback loop!

Myth #3: We don’t get to feel Joy on a daily basis. Joy is too big for everyday living. To really feel joy, we must be in Nature, or at Thanksgiving, or standing before a new BMW.

My rant: We can feel joy on a daily basis.  It is easier than we think. Here, let’s do in under 30 seconds.

 Pull yourself out of your head and your To-Do-Trance right now. Breath in and out through your nose in slow motion to approximately six counts … while you sweep your arms up and around you in a shape of a big heart … smiling “like a fruit-cake” :).

 For just that split second, did a ray of Joy slip through the silliness and sheepish of such a moment?

Here’s to all of us feeling Joy more often, more easily, more tangibly,


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