Collecting Joy

Find out where joy resides and give it voice far beyond singing.

 For to miss the joy is to miss it all.” ~ Robert Louis Stevenson

Woman jumping w_balloonsWe go through our days, busy and rather unaware of little more than the essentials of life. We run our errands, care for our family, and go to and from work seldom embracing the wonderful moments that occur. Keeping a l helps us become more conscious of our joys, lifts our spirit, and helps us maintain a positive outlook.

Years ago a local artist friend was making Joy Journals to sell on her website. I bought one and made an agreement with myself to write in it every day. I followed through, and my Joy Journal proved to be an inspirational adventure. I’d always delighted in positive moments and special occasions, but the joys were not registering with me in a profound way. I was not “collecting” my joyous experiences, nor was I fully embracing and owning them. I was too involved in my have to do list and my challenges, and I was collecting the weight of the challenges.

My Joy Journal opened my eyes. I noticed most of the positive things that happened throughout my day. My radar was now honed in on the small joys, and I was noticing some big, important things I would have missed earlier. As my joyful experiences began to register at a deep soul level, I intentionally began to allow joy to change me, healing unknown wounds, unleashing the natural joy within. I began to interact with myself and the world in a much more positive way. For the first time in my life I was collecting joy and creating a history of joyful moments.

I began recommending Joy Journals to my clients, especially those who were carrying the weight of world on their shoulders. Those responsive to the idea began having uplifting results and enjoyed noticing and recording their positive experiences. Because of their journals many awakened to the joys of daily life, and awakened to the ever-present joy within. Moods began to change from depressed to hopeful. Worry decreased and bodies that were tense became more open and relaxed. Smiles were more frequent and eyes sparkled.

Sitting down with your Joy Journal filled with a month of positive entries is an extremely inspirational experience. It is awesome when you see and read thirty pages filled with the positive moments of your life. Every positive thought is expressed in your own words and carries profound meaning and impact. You realize you have a treasure, your life is the treasure, and your Joy Journal is a love gift to self. You are Collecting Joy!

Just to illustrate what a Joy Journal might include, here is a list of entries that are similar to what I might write in my journal, and entries similar to those that others have shared with me over the years.

  • My grouchy neighbor waved and smiled at me this morning. I smiled and waved back. Wow! Happy!
  • I watched the sun come up this morning; watched a dark sky become peach colored along the horizon. Something wonderful happened deep inside me as I watched the day begin.
  • My butterfly bush is filled with blooms. I watched the butterflies come and go for about 15 minutes. Magnificent! Heart feels light and happy. A butterfly meditation!
  • While at the grocery store, this adorable child grabbed hold of my hand as I walked by and would not let go. I stood still a minute while she talked to me from her perch in her mother’s grocery cart. She stole my heart. Her eyes were filled with life, love and joy, all of which she shared freely. Through the eyes of a child … those words make me think.
  • I watched a baby squirrel nap on the limb of the tree beside my deck. He stretched out, wrapped his front paws around the branch, closed his eyes and dozed off. So cute! I realized that a baby is a baby – human, squirrel, puppy … babies are precious.
  • My brother called me today. So grateful. We have each other again after years of not speaking. I wrote down what he said so I don’t forget any of it, and then I cried tears of joy for a long, long time. Exhausted, but I feel reborn!

Here are the easy to follow direction for keeping your Joy Journal.

  1. Choose a journal that can fit into your purse, briefcase, or pocket. Make sure it is made of material that will stay fresh and nice.
  2. Keep your entries short and sweet – a few words, a sentence or two, a paragraph at the most.
  3. Write with a pen so you entry does not smudge or fade.
  4. Date each entry so you don’t forget dates and times. Remember to mention anyone who was with you at the time of the joyful event. Over time this increases your awareness.
  5. Stay positive.
  6. Make your journal as fancy as you want: add doodles, souvenirs or photographs if you want.
  7. After 30 days have passed, sit down and enjoy reading about your entries, making the day to day joys a part of your mind, body and soul.
Janet Nestor About Janet Nestor

Janet Nestor is an author, speaker, and a holistically minded licensed professional counselor with a diplomat in energy psychology. She specialize in working with individuals and groups, teaching and empowering participants to find their life path and their joy. She is considered an expert in stress and anxiety management and has written two books on the subject. Her first book, Pathways to Wholeness, is a mindfulness guidebook empowering readers to adopt a more relaxed, now focused and joy-filled life. Nurturing Wellness Through Radical Self-Care: A Living in Balance Guide and Workbook is due out 2012. Like Jon Kabat-Zinn’s books on mindfulness-based stress reduction, this inspirational guide will be your constant companion on the journey to lasting wellness. Connect with Janet at www.mindfulpathways.com