On Gratitude and Joy
A short and sweet reflection with two simple tips. You’re welcome :)
Gratitude → Joy.
I’ve already decided my “word” for the new year will be JOY. I’ve somehow lost it. Actually, I believe rather than losing it, I’ve let it slip away bit by bit over time. In reflection during my quiet times, especially in this last quarter of 2018, I’ve come to notice a pattern. When I do not experience joy, I become “that person” I don’t want to be. For a long time, I thought “she” emerged from stress or from lack of sleep or from the need to find “purpose” in this new stage of my life. On further reflection (and a little help from Matthew Kelly’s recommended “prayer process”), I realized it isn’t any of those things. I become the "me" I don't want to be when I have no joy. How to fix it? Simple. I identify what I am most grateful for in my life. When I am grateful, I am a happier person. Scratch that. When I am grateful, I become a more JOYFUL person.
So this year, I am giving thanks for thanksgiving. And JOY will follow.
Tip # 1 Write one thank you note each day. I like to do this during my morning quiet time. Not just in response to a present received, but for the gift that someone is in my life. It takes 3 minutes. It completely changes how I enter into my day. On days when the morning schedule doesn't allow time, writing at night before turning out the light brings a sweet conclusion to my day. Try it.
Tip #2 Let your word find you. I’ve never fallen in with the popular productivity idea of choosing a “word” for the year. This year, JOY chose me. I didn’t do an exercise, take a test, or go looking for it. Through a series of fortunate events (see what I did there?), it became abundantly clear that Joy was seeking me. Take a look at my current read if the idea of joy speaks to you.
May you have a Grateful Advent, a Blessed Christmas, and a Joy-filled New Year. See you in January!