To Jump For Joy
Makes Your Spirit Soar
What makes you jump for joy? Or has it been so long that you can’t remember the last time you were so filled with pure delight that you felt you were bubbling over? If you don’t know what truly brings you joy, have forgotten, or just think that it's unnecessary or childish to literally jump for joy, then maybe it is time for a shot in the arm!
If you want to remember what true joy means, take a look at some young children. By watching them, we can relearn what it means to be so full of happiness that we forget being ‘sensible,’ ‘responsible,’ or any of those other things that we think we ought to be. We are born filled with love and joy, but for the vast majority of us, society trains us to ‘grow up and get real’ and in doing so, our purest, most positive emotions become buried.
When children want to jump for joy, which in many cases is often, they don’t hesitate to do so. They are also ready and willing to spin wildly around in circles, shriek with laughter, or throw themselves on a bed to kick and squirm with delight, just because it feels so good and they are happy! They don’t care about looking silly- in fact the thought doesn’t cross their minds. Very likely they think we are the silly ones for not joining the fun!
When you think about it, if we are not willing to throw off the shackles of sensibility and repression, and allow ourselves to jump for joy- just because we want to, we are the silly ones! Whether our joy comes from particular activities, happy thoughts, or just a simple delight in being alive, we need to embrace it!
There are several areas that we can focus on in order to experience more joy in our lives. One is to do more of the things that make us feel joyful. This may sound pretty obvious, but too few of us prioritize doing things that we really love.
Take some time to think of what truly makes you joyful, and then make some time on a regular basis to actually do these things. How can the mundane chores of daily life be more important than experiencing true delight and happiness? It doesn’t even need to take a lot of time. Just a moment of complete joy, for example hearing ‘I love you’ from your child, can cast a rosy glow over your whole day. I spent some time yesterday blowing endless streams of bubbles for my children to chase. Their delight was infectious. I felt so very happy, and the feeling stayed with me throughout a glorious day.
What makes you feel truly happy and alive? Diving into a sparkling ocean, savoring a delicious meal with a friend, running barefoot on the grass? The possibilities are endless, so go out and have some fun! The happiness that bubbles up when we are doing what we love can really make us want to jump for joy.
Another way of increasing our joy is to really change our focus and pay attention to the blessings and miracles that we too often overlook. If you feel that joy is lacking in your life, it could be that you are looking at the wrong things. If your attention is centered on minor irritations, endless lists of things to do, and what you want but don’t have, or have but don’t want, is it any wonder you are feeling less than elated? To be happy we need to look at what is good, and believe me, there is always something good to be found. We just need to make the effort to look!
A third thing that can bring a great deal of joy is to express our gifts and talents, and to create value and benefit for others and the world around us. Most of us feel the most joyful when we are living purposeful lives. We have an innate need to use the abilities that we have, to create things of beauty- whether these things are physical such as a painting or a song, or intangible like encouraging and uplifting those around us. In the words of Katherine Graham, "To love what you do and feel that it matters; how could anything be more fun?"
Do what you love, love what you do, look for the miracles, and shine your light into the world. In doing so, how could you not want to jump for joy?
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