Choosing Joy

During December I took a wonderful class from the amazing Stephanie Lee (she’s offering the class again in January and you can see more detail here). The class was amazing in many many ways that I can’t even put into words. And even though I didn’t keep up with my daily journaling (I will work on this for 2010), I still awaited her posts with baited breath every single day.

During the weeks the class was on, I had some rough days. I was feeling down and frustrated. And then one of her posts completely changed me. It made me realize that joy is a choice.

While I’ve read this many times before and probably knew it deep down, it didn’t hit me until the moment I read her words. Every single moment of my day I get to control how I feel about that moment. And since I am a major worrier, this is a life-changing perspective for me.

For example, I spend a lot of time worrying about all the bad things that might happen. And the fact is, they might. Something terrible might happen to my child. My house could burn down. My husband might leave me. I could lose my job. I could hurt myself. I could get cancer.

No one can tell me that these things can’t happen because they are all in the realm of possibility and no one can tell the future. And while I am a math-person, knowing that these are all low-probability events still doesn’t really help me. Even if the chances are one in a million, the possible result is so devastating that it really upsets me.

But here’s something that does help:

Choosing Joy.

It sounds simplistic and stupid, but I swear it works. If indeed something is going to happen to my child isn’t it better that I enjoy every single moment I have with him? That we play, laugh and make the most of our time? If my husband is going to leave me, shouldn’t I savor it while he’s still here? Shouldn’t I appreciate my beautiful home while I have it?

As I said, it does sound simple but a worrier like me doesn’t focus on the good. I need to concentrate on what’s here right now. What’s wonderful and possible and magical about what I have, what I can do, what great things could happen if I had the best attitude at this very moment.

If I choose joy over worry. Joy over frustration and anger and sadness.

How would my life be if I just chose joy every single moment?

When I read Stephanie’s post, I was overwhelmed with all these thoughts and my perspective changed immediately. I was filled with so much joy that I felt compelled to email my husband (he was at work) and tell him about my new revelation.

So I decided that this is something I want to embrace. I plan to make a big sign for my desk that reminds me to choose joy every time. Reminds me that I have a choice. And that I can make the choice that makes me happy instead of the other, not-so-productive, ones.

If I remember nothing else from this amazing class, this will be the best present I have ever received.

thank you, Stephanie.

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