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By Jennifer Urezzio, Contributor – Spiritual Affairs

One of the “things” that prevents me from choosing to live joyfully each day is all the doubts and fears of what I’m supposed to be “doing” with my life.

Which, if I really spent some time thinking about it logically and not listening to the little fear monsters in my head, I would laugh at myself. In reality, I do know what I’m supposed to be doing with my life and how I’m being of service to the world – we all do.

So what’s with the doubt and fear – oh yeah, I’m human. Living in joy is a choice. In fact, it is all a choice. And, yet what prevents us from living in joy more is how we fight feeling anything else but “good.”

We can spend so much time trying to be one way or another that we are not allowing ourselves to be. So for me, living joyfully means – living and experiencing all aspects of my life without judgment about the experience.

This way of being takes practice. Below are some ways to practice living your life with joy.

Acknowledge What You Are Feeling

One of the reasons you might not be feeling the “good” things is because you don’t allow yourself to feel those unsettling emotions and experiences. An amazing survival technique that humans use is to separate themselves from their body when trauma happens. This means that you don’t fully participate in the experience. So imagine that emotion settling like sand in a tank. Another “bad” experience happens and you disassociate and more sand settles… So what happens after years of this? You spend a good amount of energy trying not to feel all that build up, and you begin to cut off the experience of all emotion. What most people are afraid of is that if they start feeling, it will be like a forest fire, and they won’t be able to stop it.

So start off small. Just set the intention to notice what you are feeling as it is happening. I would suggest downloading an emotions chart so you can have a reference point. This will allow you to experience more joy and happiness in your life.

Joy Sheet

I suggest you create a list of situations, actions, feelings and experiences that create an emotion of joy inside of you. I would then suggest that each day you select an item from that list and be it, do it and experience it.

Smile More

In my younger days, it really used to annoy me when people would tell me to smile. Really? And yet, when you smile more it impacts your day, the people around you and your mood. Try this exercise:

  • Close your eyes and take a deep breath
  • Then just place some intention on your heart
  • Then just smile with the intention that you are smiling from your heart

How did that feel? What if you spent a minute each day smiling from your heart? What different choice would you make if you were smiling from your heart?

Joy is your right and your choice. My challenge for you today is this: with every experience just set the intention to see the joy within that situation.

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