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And the question is:How can I get some J-O-Y in my life?

Well …

Joy is what we are, not what we must get. Joy is the realization that all we want or need in life has been etched into our souls. Periods of success followed by long periods of unhappiness and dissatisfaction are not the natural order of life. We are not put here to suffer and then die. Yet it seems that we are unable to sustain an even flow of pleasure and ease in our daily affairs and relationships. Things never seem to add up when we make the tally of pleasure and pain, ease and difficulty, good times and bad times. Perhaps this is because we are using the wrong measurements.

Joy – not happiness. Joy is an internal mechanism which keeps us on an even plane as we move through life. Joy gives us the ability to move through an unpleasant situation, knowing that once we make it through, it is over. Joy reminds us of what we need to learn to experience longer periods of joy.

Joy helps us see not what we are “going through,” but what we are “growing to” — a greater sense of understanding, accomplishment and enlightenment. Joy reveals to us the calm at the end of the storm, the peace that surpasses momentary happiness or pleasure. If we keep our mind and heart centered on joy, it becomes a state of mind, not something we seek when things go wrong, only to have it slip through our fingers over and over.

Joy is staying in your strength and in your power. It’s about staying grounded and at peace in all you do.

But how do you reach this state of joydom? (Yes, I made that up! LOL)

First, we have to be accountable.

Now, this may be uncomfortable at first. It could even hurt. We’ve all had experiences we’d sooner like to forget. We all do things now and then that seem to steer us off course. But the sooner you accept all of your experiences as the fuel that powers your life, the more joy you will experience. Everything in your life — the happy and sad, the right and wrong — has worked together to shape the character of who you are today.

Next up, be authentic — let the world see you for who you really are.

When you show up authentically, you free others to do the same. It’s contagious. The world needs you to be authentic. Don’t be afraid of it. Your authenticity may catch people off guard, but it will help free them to be their real, true selves too.

Finally, be honest with yourself.

People make all excuses for why they are not doing this and not doing that. That’s all they are — excuses. There’s something going on beneath the surface that you don’t want to deal with. But guess what? Until you do, you’ll never be where you ultimately want to be.

Tackle these three things, and nothing can hold you back from living in the state you really want to be in. And no, it’s not Florida. Even though with 14 inches of snow on the way, that’s looking pretty good right now.

But even better than warm ocean waters and clear blue skies – is JOY.

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