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Cultivating Joy!


NOUN a feeling of great pleasure and happiness.
synonyms: delight · great pleasure · joyfulness · jubilation · triumph · exultation
VERB rejoice.
synonyms: be joyful · be happy · be pleased · be glad · be delighted · be elated

JOY! A feeling of great happiness. After a lifetime of trauma, pain, abuse and fighting to heal, survive and make it out alive joy is something foreign to me. The joy I have learned throughout life was like the Mexican food in Canada, not really good, authentic, and soggy. When I say I cried the first time I had a real Mexican burrito instead of the sad excuse of a burrito at taco-bell I am not kidding. The joy I knew was like the burritos in Canada real, there were moments it was really good but it was always tainted. My joy has been tainted by depression, anxiety, pain, anger, numbness, self-hatred, and just straight fear. While I know that feeling what we call negative feelings is inevitable, I have decided that while the world is making plans to get the body of their dreams, eat healthily, I have decided that this year I am going to learn and cultivate joy.

P.s I think we need to stop viewing "Negative" emotions as bad. They are there for a reason and they actually help us a lot, don't believe me watch inside out for clarity. Anyway from here on out, I will refer to these emotions as rainy, stormy, blue, grey, or black.

Moving on. JOY! Last year I healed, watered, found myself, accepted myself, started choosing things for myself. So this year I am so excited to not just search, heal and find what brings me joy but live it out and spread it around. I am a teacher so I know for any good project, you always do your research first before you put it into action. That is how I feel about this new year, I have done the research, and now it's time to put it into action. I couldn't do this before because I didn't even know who I was. I didn't know what made me happy and the small thing that I considered things that made me happy I pushed away because they were small, not important in comparison to the tasks of life, and seemingly childish in my eyes. I was afraid to even be me, but I'm not anymore. So watch out world because I will dance like no one watching, sing like no one listening, and just be unapologetically me. An explosion of light, art, fierceness, and love. I am going to start doing the small details and just embracing every moment.

So it's day 3 of this year-long journey of cultivating joy, and since I'm a list person of course I made a list of things that bring me joy. The list is split into 2 sections; Section 1, what brings strictly me joy? Somethings on that list that I have done to start this off is just walking and dancing to my favorite music not caring who watching. Playing with flavors in my lattes at work. Art is a big source of joy in my life so I am also going to try and do at least one drawing or painting day, so did 2 of those. I have worn my favorite outfits and played with hairstyles. Played board games and video games with friends wrote and started a bible study. But I realized that joy isn't just about m but I find so much joy in others, and bring it to others as well. So section 2 of our list of joy was born! What brings joy to someone else?

Jesus has brought so much joy to my life and one of the first choices I made for my own joy was choosing me when last year I chose to become a missionary. Every day is a blessing and has so much joy because I get to serve others and bring them joy. I didn't start off liking serving or finding joy in it if I'm really honest. I mean it was a daily date between me, and the toilets. Long hours of work with no pay, missing my family. What is so happy about that? But Jesus has really taught me...

For it is better to give than to receive. "In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive." Acts 20:35

and live to be a blessing not be blessed. "I came to serve not to be served" Matthew 20:28

I fell in love with serving because of the amount of joy it brought others. The smallest gesture would melt someone's heart and bring them to tears. A clean toilet meant a nice gift to someone who was afraid of germs or having a bad day. Big actions changed lives bringing long-lasting joy. But the most impactful thing was watching someone accept Jesus. Knowing that they just received the everlasting river of life, love, and joy, that would never go away and only grow. Every day I keep these verses and lessons close to my heart. To serve with Jesus and knowing Jesus has become the biggest joy of my entire life. I'm so excited to continue to be a blessing to others bringing joy and now also doing that for myself. It's going to be a bright year! So stay tuned and join the ride, and I wonder what are you doing this year? I want to challenge you to look at your goal and see what characteristics you need to develop to achieve it. For example f it's a goal like getting fit, look a step further. That goal and the motivation will get you a few weeks, trust me I've been there, but it is perseverance and discipline that will keep you going when the motivation runs out. Focus on being an overall disciplined person, not just in fitness but mental, physical, spiritual health, daily tasks, and goals. By making and developing characteristics as our year goals not only will we achieve our main goals but walk away better and more equipped to achieve more goals as the year and life go on. For me, my main goal of this year is joy, but to have the joy I need to develop characteristics like being optimistic, thankful, giving, carefree, risking, silly, brave, free.

Hello, new year. Hello, new me. Hello Joy.

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