Finding lost joy is not as hard as you might think it is. I’m talking about those things you have always done and found joy in, that you’ve forgotten about. Or maybe it’s just an overall loss of feeling joy in anything. Here’s the good news! You can find your lost joy again.
If you think about it, when we lose things seconds after setting them down, they’re usually right in front of us, but we’re too distracted by other things to see them. This isn’t always the case, but it usually is. Like when you’re wrapping a gift and every time you set down the scissors or tape, they literally grow feet, run and hide from you! I digress. Anyway, here are 6 ways to Find Your Lost Joy Today.
1. Finding Lost Joy Where You Left It
Back in the spring, I planted a whole slew of seeds for a very small garden. I knew if even half of the seeds I started actually germinated, I’d better have a plan B for a place to plant them. I called my sister, who has always had the greenest thumb and beautiful gardens, and asked her if she’d like to get her garden going again this season.
She’s had a lot of changes in her life that have kept her from digging in the dirt for several seasons. So, her garden was overrun with weeds, a fallen tree, fence damage, and it would take a good deal of effort to get it restored. At first, the idea sounded good, but she was discouraged by the realization of the level of work and energy it was going to take to recover her garden area. It looked like she might back out of the idea because it was just too overwhelming.
But God’s great orchestrating and timing aligned my niece’s need for a project to get hours for her Agriculture Class. Perfect! She helped with all of the repairs to the fence, weeding, hauling in new dirt and before long, you would never know that this garden was ever in disrepair.
My sister is now spending time every day in her garden that’s full of vegetables, herbs, roses, flowers and my favorite…jasmine! She gave me a tour of her garden recently and it’s glorious! She grabbed my face and said “Thank you!” God knew and He must have whispered in my ear when I was planting too many seeds.
My sister loves gardening! But life got very demanding and all the distractions and responsibilities pulled at her. She had lost her joy, but she found it right where she left it. It had been there the whole time.
2. Finding Joy Where You Never Thought To Look
After the isolating, ridiculousness of 2020, I decided to add dancing to my every day existence. Music and movement! I didn’t have an agenda or expectations. I’m was just going to dance. Dance when I’m happy, when I’m angry and even when I’m sad. It was a simple plan. Just dance.
I haven’t been flawless in doing it every single day, but making it a practice of pretty dang often, my new habit came in very handy when my tribe experienced a devastating loss recently. Death has a way of reminding us how temporary and short life is. This one also brought an overwhelming sense of fear. It wasn’t a terminal illness or age. It was an auto accident that interrupted two households full of children. Devastating.
Suddenly, all the normal daily movements of teens coming and going brought on terrible panic attacks. The What-Ifs plagued me every time they were on the road! I had a choice, to give in to my fear and ground my babies until I could come to my senses or I could dance the fear away. So I danced. I danced through the sadness, through the fear, through the panic. I made my first IG Dance Reel and POSTED IT! That was outside my comfort zone a little bit.
Dancing didn’t make the sadness go away or the fear disappear. But, it did allow me to experience joy in the midst of my grief and dull the fear from controlling me. That’s the point. Joy doesn’t replace all the other human emotions and likewise, the other emotions don’t delete joy. However, joy must be chased! The other emotions just seem to come to you. But joy requires that you go to it!
3. Finding Joy In The Simple Things
This is the first growing season in my new home. There were no flowers here when I bought the house. Nothing that would be inviting for visitors of the feathery kind. So I made a point of adding lots of blooming, pretty flowers to my garden so the birds and bees would feel welcomed.
What I missed most about the last house were the hummingbirds. So, I hung up a hummingbird feeder in late April. The blooming flowers were calling to the birds and bees for weeks, but still no hummingbirds. I got so discouraged.
Until two days ago! I just happen to pass by the back door and saw a fleeting glimpse of something darting by. I stopped and waited to see if it would come back. Sure enough, there she was. With her bright red chest and dark black body, perched on the feeder drinking up the sugar water I had made just for her.
Just like that, all the planting, watering, waiting, and moments of discouragement were given priceless value. Because my friend had arrived. Her brief stay filled me up to overflowing JOY! It worked. My plan to make a yard that was inviting to the feathery friends actually worked. Her tiny little presence was my reward. Joy in the simple things.
4. Borrowing Someone Else’s Joy
This one can be a bit of a challenge, because it’s tough to be joy filled for someone else when your life seems to be lacking all reasons to be joyful. And it’s tempting to fall in to envy or jealousy. So, let’s make it a game by being intentional. Let’s go on a scavenger hunt to find someone today that is experiencing joy and we’re going borrow it. Don’t worry, they won’t mind. They won’t even know!
I have a friend that is counting her days of sobriety and she’s really celebrating each milestone. When she hit 50 days, I thought about her journey. I stopped everything for a brief moment and really gave time and space to consider those 50 days: the struggles and the temptations she had overcome, all the days she woke up well rested and without a headache, and all the wonderful choices she made with a clear mind.
This whole scene played out in less than 60 seconds in my mind, but I was filled with joy for her. Joy that was over the top. Joy that I could feel in my facial muscles and in the softening of my shoulders. I borrowed her joy and it flowed all the way through my body from brain to my heart. Funniest thing is, she doesn’t even know that I borrowed it.
5. Choosing Joy
Have you noticed that you don’t have to go looking for anger, frustration, sadness and fear? Those emotions are like uninvited guests that overstay their welcome every time they visit. But joy? She wants to be pursued. She wants you to intentionally choose her.
Choose Joy. Two simple words, but this imperative sentence means you have to move those mountains in your mind. You don’t have to demolish them, just move them. Let that encourage you, because that literally means you don’t have to solve all of your problems or overcome all the obstacles before you can experience Joy!
That’s the whole point! Joy is like a chameleon that can hangout with all the other emotions. She doesn’t require anyone to leave so she can attend the party. Lean in a listen up, because I’m about to tell you 3 ways to get Joy to show up 100% of the time!
–Start a gratitude list! Write down anything and everything that you appreciate. Indoor plumbing, air conditioning, chapstick. Everyone has something they appreciate.
–Take pictures of beautiful things! A drop of water on a leaf, railroad tracks, lip prints on the window you just cleaned. Beauty is literally everywhere.
–Take a walk! Challenge yourself to use your senses – one thing you see, one thing you smell, one thing you hear, one thing you can feel. If you’re lucky, maybe you’ll find a honeysuckle bloom to taste. Do this the whole time you’re walking.
I promise, Joy loves these games and she shows up every time if you so choose to participate. If you try these activities, let me know how they for you. Nothing brings me greater joy than to hear how these simple shifts effect others.
6. Finding Joy May Require Help
The human mind is so beautifully complex and so wonderfully made. But the labyrinth within is wild and sometimes there are just too many twists and turns to find your way to the light at the end of the tunnel. If this is where you find yourself, you need a GPS with updated maps to get you out of there. It’s time for reinforcements. It’s time to bring in another voice, not your own, to help guide you. I made that phone call.
“How can I help?” she asked me.
“I just want to be free.” I didn’t know what that meant at the time. I just knew I wasn’t.
It didn’t happen overnight or in a few days or months. And it wasn’t easy, by any stretch of the imagination. But, she gave me the tools to find my way out. She gave me the map!
Are you ready for the map? Message me today at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a FREE life coaching consultation.
If you’re curious about what a Life Coach is, you can read more about it HERE. I loved the experience of being coached so much, I’m offering the same gift to you.
How to Find Lost Joy: At-A-Glance
So let’s sum up the ways you can find your lost Joy today:
1. Look where you left it – recall the things that you have done in the past that have brought you joy and return to them.
2. Look in new spots – try something new and do it daily until joy appears.
3. Keep it simple – add one small thing to your environment that you can rest your eyes on that sparks joy.
4. Borrow a friend’s joy – this is probably my favorite method of finding joy because it’s free, magical and your friend won’t even know!
5. Choose it – right this minute, declare “I Choose Joy” and watch how this one declaration will change the color of the sky and the sounds of the birds and the smell of the rain.
6. Ask for Help!