Well, hello there readers! And happy official 2019! I trust and hope that you all had a wonderful time ringing in the New Year with family and friends and watching the ball drop…or falling asleep before the strike of midnight…and seriously, there’s no judgment from this corner if you did!
It’s hard to believe that we are already one full week into the new year…and it will only continue to go faster and faster with each passing hour, day, week, month! It will be Christmas 2019 before we know it…but I digress. But seriously, I’ve already started planning ideas in my head for Christmas Eve 2019 at church…but that’s our little secret! So, shhhh!
Well, goodness gracious me. I’m already into the third paragraph and I haven’t even really begun to start my official blog post topic. I get side tracked easily…per the usual. SQUIRREL.
Anyhoo…this week’s post will answer the million dollar question of…
DRUM ROLL PLEASE…
What is joy?
A loaded question for many people in this world, including Mr. Sunshine.
This is a question that I’ve often searched the answer for in my life over the years, and I must say, this year, in 2019, I think I’ve finally discovered that answer. But first, let us review the official Webster dictionary definition…shall we?
So grab your cup of tea, blanket, and have a sit in the headmaster’s chair of the library because this is…Masterpiece Theater…kidding! But that is totally the scene that I see playing in my head as I write this…official sitting down in a chair with reading glasses over the eyes, dictionary in hand, and reading the definition to the camera as the fire crackles in the background of the library habitat. Yes? Anyone?
Once again, I’ve digressed…moving on…the official definition of joy is:
1. The emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation.
2. A source or cause of keen pleasure or delight; something or someone greatly valued or appreciated: Her prose style is a pure joy.
3. The expression or display of glad feeling; festive gaiety.
This week, I was reading The Book of Joy by the 14th Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu. (Total side note (are you surprised)…while I haven’t finished the book, I’m super close to finishing and it is an excellent read. HIGHLY recommended.
Anyway, while I was reading, I came across the below excerpt which really spoke to me. I feel it is the essence of what joy is for me personally and what I’ve worked to try and discover over the years.
“The Archbishop and the Dalai Lama had revealed throughout the week one of the core paradoxes of happiness. We are most joyful when we focus on others, not on ourselves. In short, bringing joy to others is the fastest way to experience joy oneself. As the Dalai Lama had said, even ten minutes of meditation on the well-being of others can help one to feel joyful for the whole day—even before coffee. When we close our heart, we cannot be joyful. When we have the courage to live with an open heart, we are able to feel our pain and the pain of others, but we are also able to experience more joy. The bigger and warmer our heart, the stronger our sense of aliveness and resilience.”
How true are these words. They are still resonating in my mind.
For those of you who haven’t seen or heard already, I launched a year-long campaign on January 2nd that is going to shape my 2019 both emotionally and physically, but also fulfill my soul and heart with the greatest feeling of joy. It is entitled “1K For 10K” and involves me running 1000 (or more) miles over the course of the year while working to raise both awareness and funds totaling $10,000 for pediatric cancer research. This has been a dream of mine for the past year and to see it finally become a reality is truly humbling. You can learn more about my mission, follow my progress, share encouragement, and make a donation by checking out the official website, https://1kfor10k.com/.
For me, JOY IS NOT…
…Spending money on the latest and greatest luxuries.
…Having the most money in the bank accounts.
…Getting the most likes on different outlets of social media.
…Being the most popular or having the most friends.
For me, JOY IS…
…Lifting up others with love, kindness, and support even those who are strangers.
…Figuring out how to help others in need while encouraging positive change.
…Making sure that all around me are treated with respect and kindness regardless of their social status, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.
…Spending quality time with friends and family who love you, support you through thick and thin, laugh with you, cry with you, and challenge you to be the best you can be.
There you have it.
I’ve answered the million dollar question, so now it’s your turn.
How will you bring your definition of joy to life in 2019?
Sprinkle sunshine always,