From the moment you wake up…you have the unique opportunity to do one of two things. You can employ or destroy joy.
Think about it.
How did you feel when you woke up? Tired or refreshed?
How did your body feel when you stood up? Rested or achy?
How did you feel about breakfast? Indifferent? Hate it? Or guilty because you don’t do it or loved it.
How do you feel about your work? Do you hate it? Is it just a job? Is your calling?
How do you feel about returning to your home? Do you want to bulldoze it or find refuge in it?
How do you feel about your friends and family that you interact with? Don’t ask or are they the center of your universe?
Does your life have purpose? Or is your purpose to survive or thrive?
What’s interesting about these scenarios is that they all build up together all day and everyday of your life. It may feel pretty subtle and you many not notice it until a bigger event comes your way and shifts your emotional wellbeing temperature one way or the other. In every second, you are labeling and employing or destroying joy.
Here’s a snap shot of how it worked for me yesterday.
This week I have the good fortune of having a few days off so yesterday morning I woke up late. This wouldn’t be a problem, but I woke up really, really late.
And I had a funeral to attend. I woke up tired and pushed myself out of bed. My allergies have been acting up and as for breakfast, I drank a protein shake because it was quick. I don’t remember tasting it. I just needed something so I could take my allergy medicine and be able to function. I kissed my boys and husband and left for the service. The only thing I was feeling was a sense of urgency to get to the church on time.
Then it hit me. Hard.
I could employ or destroy my joy today.
In that moment, I centered myself with a few big slow breaths and looked at the trees I was driving by. No one would care if I were on time or not for this service. I was where I needed to be in this moment.
When I finally arrived at the church, like a miracle, I found a close parking spot. I was able to walk in past the cameras and news crew. I stood at the back of the church and gazed over the sea of bowed heads. A little girl waddled passed me in her new shiny black shoes to a nearby pew.
I breathed again to take in the smell of this church that was over 100 years old. I was attending a service for a wonderful mother named Marisol who had been missing for two months and her body had just been found last week. My friend and hairdresser Vanessa was one of Marisol’s best friends. I came to give my respect to my friend and the family.
Marisol spent her life making others feel beautiful and now it was our turn to remember her beautiful life and her legacy. Part of her legacy was leaving behind two daughters aged eight and five and little boy who was barely three.
I had a sense of peace watching everything unfold from the back of the church. That all changed when the service came to a close and the coffin was brought to the front doors where I was standing. The three year old ran ahead and out the door. The coffin was brought closer and pallbearers carried great weight in their faces. The sobs of the family tore apart the front door and into the sunlight, we all walked out hoping for peace and healing for this family.
In that moment I had a decision to make and again I employed joy. I ran past the news cameras and to my car.
I had bought all the children and their grandmother little lambs since it was close to Easter and that was a reminder how we are all of the same flock now and forever. I gave the bags to Vanessa and she helped me find Marisol’s children. We passed them to the children before they had to leave. The 5 year old clutched the little stuffed lamb and smiled. That smile filled me with enough joy for a lifetime.
When I drove away from the service, I felt gratitude to be with such an amazing community who came together to honor and support a beautiful life. I felt rested and strong to keep helping in my own way wherever I am and for as long as can. Coming home to my chaotic home of dogs and boys, I felt more joy. Not the kind that comes and goes with a winning sport game or party but the kind that lingers in your being and in your soul.
So as you go through out your day today, find ways to employ your joy.
It could be that you wake up and realize the gift of another day to experience.
It could be because you have food in the fridge or you have a job you like and co-workers who make you laugh.
Maybe you find joy in your house because perfect or not it comforts you beyond the necessities.
When it comes to finding your purpose, make creating and finding joy your job. Find it in both the big and small moments. Just know it’s worth it and once you employ joy you will never want to retire from it. Never.
Thank you for helping me to employ joy, Marisol Espinosa. May you rest in Peace and Love. Namaste.