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Three Young Women Laughing Amongst Sunflowers


Our mental and spiritual health are increasingly threatened in today’s world. Thus, our ability to successfully cultivate joy at will has become critically important. Our photo quote is essentially emphasizing the role of focus and perspective in mental as well as spiritual well being. As many spiritual texts and teachers advise, what we focus upon becomes larger. Thus, if we focus upon that which is true, honest, just, pure, lovely and of good report [Philippians 4:8], as well as allow those things to inform our perspective, we are certain to experience joy, hope, faith and peace. Even in the worst of circumstances, a mind trained to see the positive(s), that is the “silver linings” of a situation, will always find something about which to be grateful, which in turn, brings peace and contentment.

Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.

~Marianne Williamson

I write in a Journal of Gratitude (JOG) every morning. As a result, by the time I hit the sidewalk for my daily walk, I’m very often on top of the world, bursting with energy, vigor and excitement. I’m ready to exchange pleasantries with my neighbours and happy for nice weather, a healthy mind, ability to exercise, tasks completed the previous day, a new day to do new things, etc. This is because keeping a JOG helps me to focus on all that is good in my life, though my life is far from perfect. Despite the failures, disappointments and hardships, I experience so much joy because I cultivate it, including through the JOG.

She found joy and wonder in every little thing. And joy and wonder always found her.

~Katrina Myer

 Recognizing and appreciating little things increases one’s joy. Its basically a cumulative effect. The cool thing about it is that the little things you appreciate will be different from those that I appreciate. As I may have mentioned, there have been times when I’m annoyed that nature calls in the middle of the night, breaking a good sleep session. Then I remember to be thankful that my kidneys are working well. I’m thankful for each task accomplished, that I can walk, when I get a parking spot, that I have pens and paper, that I can read and write….I recognize that not everyone has these things. Thus, I’m able to appreciate my wealth, and thereby, experience true joy. I’m also creating room in my heart as well as in my life for more things for which to be grateful and that are on their way.

Find out what gives you joy and do it.

In times of negative emotions or mental state -whether stress, sadness, confusion, anger—being able to cultivate joy is even more important. I sometimes refer to this as being able to “self-medicate”. We’re all individuals with different “joy medications” that work for us. Some find peace, harmony and fulfillment in:

* soft, classical music

* spiritual practices like yoga, prayer or meditation

* faith-based scriptures

* laughing with friends or family

* wise counsel

* journaling

* physical activities like walking, boating, hiking,

* drives in the country

* giving to people

* cooking

* reading

Obviously, this list is not exhaustive and our choice of “medication” will depend on taste, personality, culture, family background, etc. The point is to be ready to quickly implement your “joy medication(s)” when moments of despair happen. Moreover, you should proactively and consistently practice your chosen joy medication(s), such that the majority of your life is spent in peace and contentment, with moments of elation and excitement.

There is a calmness to a life lived in gratitude, a quiet joy. ~ Ralph H. Blum


Profile Photo Andrea P. Kelly is a Lawyer and Notary Public at  with practice focus in Estate Planning and Administration, including wills, estates, trusts and powers of attorney. Her battle and victory over rheumatoid arthritis using natural health alternatives was a pivotal, life changing experience. Andrea`s desire to help people find solutions to life`s problems, particularly those suffering from chronic illnesses, was birthed as Whereas she spent the first part of her career helping people to die well, she now wants to help people to live well.