LIVE: Joy by the Spirit — The Joy Within

LIVE!…By the Spirit™ with Dr. Kathleen E. Walls

The Joy Within!

© 2012 Kathleen E. Walls, Psy.D.

March 26, 2012

I am going to start this article the same way I start many of my WORKshops ™,

“What brings you joy?”

Take a few moments and think about it…write down your thoughts.

In Sacred Pampering Principles: An African-American Woman’s Guide to Self-care and Inner Renewal by Debrena J. Gandy, the reader is asked to identify what brings them “Joy”.  When I have asked many clients and workshop participants, “What brings you joy?”…Initially, I hear statements like “when my children have good grades or tell me they love me” or “when my spouse does well at work or does something special for me.”  But then I explain that your joy is not contingent on someone else…what brings you joy has to do with you and you alone.  Then there is usually silence…long uninterrupted silence.

At this time, look back at the list you made when you started this article.  If you listed anything that is contingent upon the actions of someone other than yourself, it needs to come off of the list.  I hear some of you…”uh oh”.  It’s okay.  We have to learn to look for the joy within.

So what brings you joy?  Take some time and think about what you do or used to do that brought you joy.  Remember

joy means great pleasure, a source or cause of delight.

When you were a child, what brought you joy?  When you were a teen, what brought you joy?  When you were a young adult, what brought you joy?  Some of these activities might still bring you joy even though you haven’t done them in awhile.  The other day I was thinking about how I could be more creative and instantly I remembered that I used to love playing with a pottery kit from Kiddie City (yes, I’m showing my age).  I used to go to my room and play with the clay and battery powered pottery wheel…I just knew I was going to create a masterpiece.  Well the clay would spin, I would smile, and the same blob would appear, which would make me laugh each and every time.  I don’t know what happened to that toy but every time I think about it I smile.

The other day, after talking to a friend about my old pottery kit, I was walking through an aisle and on a shelf by itself in the “wrong” section of the store sat a pottery kit.  Needless to say, I smiled, laughed, thought about my “blob masterpieces”, and bought my new pottery wheel.  Just seeing that toy brings me (sing with me) “joy, joy, joy deep down in my heart, down in my heart, down in my heart…” There have been times that I stopped to swing on swings, sat by an open window when it was raining to smell the air, listened to the silence, and I even bought crayons to color with when I feel like.  A friend once fell out in a laughing fit, tears and all, as I pulled crayons out of my bag and started doodling.  I told her that I liked to color as a child and I really didn’t know why I stopped…so I had decided to start again.  After she stopped laughing, she too began to think about those things that she enjoyed as a child and started channeling her feelings and creative energy into scrapbooking.  By tapping into and recognizing your joy within, you able to radiate this joy to others, and encourage them to connect with their joy within.

So I encourage you to take some time, reflect, and think about “what brings you joy?”  Once you have identified this, embrace it, and radiate the joy within.

God Bless and continue to Live By the Spirit!

Spiritual Resources from Dr. Kat!

[The G.R.E.A.T.E.S.T. Soul Journey (e-book)]

[The G.R.E.A.T.E.S.T. Soul Journey (audiobook)]

[Subscribe to the By The Spirit™ Podcast Content Stream!]

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