Make Room for Joy!

Are you happy today? If not, why not?

Often we blame outside circumstances--the actions of others, the weather, things out of our control--for the way we feel. I am just as guilty of this as the next guy. I will admit, after a week or more of gray skies, chilling winds, rain, and fog, I just want to crawl into bed, pull the covers over my head, and never come out. Yes, we are hardwired to crave the sunshine. This is a natural phenomenon. But we don't have to depend on the outer world to bring us joy.

No matter how terrible the weather, the situation, the bank account, even the health of our bodies, we can always choose how we respond to these things.

One particular choice we can make is to create time and space for joy.

Sometimes life can feel like too much. You might put in too many hours at your job, or commuting to work, or tending to an aging parent. Many of us have homes that are too large, need too much upkeep, cost too much to maintain. We own too many possessions, packing our closets (and every room!) tight with everything from clothing, shoes, and purses to sports equipment and toys. All of this stuff--commitments of time, energy, and space--can weigh us down and get in the way of experiencing joy.

Last year, I had a short story published in a Chicken Soup for the Soul book titled The Joy of Less. My piece was about quitting several jobs in order to free up enough time for me to enjoy my life. (I know firsthand about taking on too many commitments!) Many of the other stories in the book discussed letting go of possessions. Letting go can equal taking a step toward more joy.

It is quite possible you have some possessions which fill your heart with happiness. Some things are too precious to give away or sell. But we all own way more than this, way more than we need, more than we can ever use or enjoy.

This spring, I am choosing to let go of this excess stuff in order to make room for more joy. Would you care to join me?