I'm frequently asked, “Are you always this joyful?” Surely you can’t always be this chipper.”
Well, as it turns out, I am, and I'm not ashamed of it.
Sure, I have days when I'm sidelined by bad news or by someone who is disrespectful or unkind. Who hasn't been there? The trick is that I never let that linger. Life is short, and I’m not about to let anything steal a single moment of my joy.
One thing I started doing several years ago is CHOOSING to keep toxicity and negativity out of my life. Yep. You heard me. I CHOOSE joy. What's great is that you have that choice, too!
You see, joy — as opposed to happiness — is not a feeling, but a state of being. It's about peace and confidence and seeing the world through a filter of love and kindness.
This doesn't mean I'm weak or acquiescent; it means I choose not to bask in, or spread negativity. It means I'm in control of my life and emotions.
So, if YOU want joy in your life, here are a few things that I have learned along the way:
-Move away from toxic people, information and physical items that hold negative associations. This includes anything from that "downer" friend, co-worker or social media account, to a seemingly harmless gift from an old relationship you're holding onto for some "can't let it go" reason.
-Ask the hard questions: "Why am I choosing to keep this toxicity in my life?" Then listen to your excuses. My experience coaching and teaching yoga taught me that many people don’t want to hurt someone's feelings, but others are sadly addicted to stress that comes with a toxic relationship.
-Exercise. Meditate. GET OUTSIDE. Choose a healthy diet. Fill yourself up with life and light, and you will see changes. I promise!
-When it comes to toxic people, liars, gossips or "sad sacks," do not feel sorry for them and do not enable them. These purveyors of negativity are "energy predators" who love nothing more than to spread their misery. They do not care about your well-being. Walk Away Now. Believe me, they'll find another victim. It's what they do.
-Hear this truth clearly: by choosing to allow toxicity into your mind, spirit, and heart; YOU ALONE give away the space that should be filled with joy, positive energy, and happiness. There's a BEAUTIFUL life waiting for you once you let go of negativity. Life is short. The energy spent dealing with toxicity could be spent growing yourself, doing positive things for others, or simply enjoying life to its fullest.
-What you choose to take in is what you will ultimately give back to the world. Instead of "garbage in, garbage out," I ask that you choose, "love in, love out." #LoveInLoveOut
Seek it and you will find it. The choice is yours alone.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things, there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23