Reflection Journal: Joy

Christmas Advent Calendar Day 1Where is my joy? 

December is a month of celebrations. It’s also a month to look back upon the year that is almost gone and to look forward to what is yet to come. No month evokes so many possibillities to reflect upon what we value most in our lives as the last month of the year.

We live in a world that moves at full speed. And because we can easily connect through all our digital devices, we are flooded with impressions. And so much seems to ask our attention, our action, our time or our opinion.

Many live with challenges. In fact, we need challenges to stretch ourselves out of our comfort zone to the place where growth is possible. Growth and progress are important for our feelings of well-being. We all want to move forward in life.

Yet, sometimes the challenges can be so big or so many, that we feel overwhelmed, helpless, stuck. Then it’s hard to find the joy in the progress that we seek – it all seems tiring.

And did you notice, that it’s not only our own life and all that comes with it, that speaks to us? Open a newspaper or turn on the tv or look through the social media feeds – it’s hard to look away from the turmoil of the world.

But wait…!

where is my joyDo you know that more did go well today than wrong? That more people got home safe than were involved in an accident? That more people supported others than stole from others? That more people did pet their dogs than treated them badly? That more people had a peaceful day than a fight?

And if you look at your own day, what is the balance?

The question is not how we can solve the problems of the world at large. The question is how to find and spread the joy in our own world. When we connect consciously with the joy inside, we automatically feel more energetic and strong. We can handle more from that higher energy. We can be supportive of others as well without depleting ourselves.

Mine for the joy

In order to be able to feel that joy and to express it, especially when things seem to go in the opposite direction, it is helpful to know where our joy is, so that we can call upon it, when needed.

  • What sparks joy for you?
  • What are the tiny things that you can implement daily – if only for five minutes – that recharge your batteries?
  • What are the big things that you can do more often so that you have something wonderful to look forward to – and to look back upon?

Some examples? Seeing the sun rise, joyfully walking the dog, baking bread with the kids, having one special meal in the week with the whole family and an extra beautifully set table, volunteering in your community, gardening, …

And you may find out, as I did, that in busy times we even see things we basically like as tasks we need to do and cross of the list. I like gardening, but mowing the lawn got the better of me… So the solution was to get rid of the grass and to plant flowers, bushes, trees – and with that I rekindled the joy. From a chore it went back to being a joy again.

Time to hop over to the Reflection Journal (if you don’t have it, look in the left sidebar to get it) and jot down some thoughts, some ideas to implement, some things you’d like to change. You can mindmap, draw, list, collage or simply write.

If you like to change something today: no better time to start than now. But awareness is a great step towards (even) more joy. No pressure.

When we start noticing things, we tend to search for shifts in the backs of our minds. There is always room for progress, but that doesn’t mean we have to change it all immediately. Maybe some of these reflections can be the start for resolutions that last. To find the best way to go about that, may take a bit more reflection.

Most important: appreciate the joy you already experience! Don’t dismiss the good things, because you want to get to the next level. :-)

This music may be nice in the background when you are journaling or taking a moment to reflect upon today’s topic. The music is by a composer I connected with on Twitter: Sean Beeson. I listened and like the support it offers my journaling, so I thought I’d share this video with you. Do you like this music as well?


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2 Responses

  1. Alice says:

    Thank you for your new Calendar. I loved your previous editions! I am really curious what you have prepared for us. The Journal looks great. I printed it and will write every day!

    • Margot van Aanholt says:

      Thank you! Have fun with it and I hope you’ll gain a lot of clarity from your insights.

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