We often sing about the joy this time of year brings. Sometimes the words can be empty and the emotion of joy a distant memory or even a highly desirable one that seems unattainable. The Holidays can be very demanding with the high expectations of beautiful decorations, buying the perfect gift for everyone on your list, and attending all the additional events and functions that come in celebration of the various Holidays, this on top of our regular schedule.  Then for others it can be a lonely, high stress time as money may be tight and the memory of a loved one now passed leaves a bitter sting during this time.

Whatever it is that brings the added stress, it can definitely be hard to grab onto some “joy.”  So what does the word “joy” mean to you and how does it differ from “happy” emotions you experience?  Just so we are all on the same page, I am not speaking of happy times, such as an evening with friends when the laughter is abundant, or when you laugh a good “belly laugh” watching a funny YouTube® clip someone just shared.  I’m talking about joy that comes from within no matter what the circumstance you find your life in.  Experiencing true joy and having a joyful spirit is very different than having happy times that can be fleeting.  It is a feeling or maybe even something bigger than a feeling that surrounds you in radiance, lets describe it as a “glowing.”  This joy swells from the inside, like when someone who cares wraps a warm blanket around you on a cold chilly night, it warms you to the core.  And, just like that blanket, when you share it, others feel the warmth as well.  A joyful spirit is contagious and can affect anyone around you who is open to experience it.

So, where does a joyful spirit come from, and how can we allow it to grow and then to “glow?”  A great place to start is counting our blessings.  I know, sometimes it may be hard to bring anything good to mind, but when we actually start, it is usually surprising how many things may show up; such as health, family, friends, a warm dry house, plenty of good food, the list can be endless when we get started.  By embracing the mindset of a grateful heart, this action alone can start a spark that grows that “glowing joyful spirit,” especially when we acknowledge the source of the blessings.  Some call it the universe, others call it a higher power, I call Him, God.  This acknowledgement causes our world to grow bigger than “self” and allows us to see the miracle of life around and within us.  Yes, you are a miracle, and much thought went into the specific gifts, talents, and experiences you would have to be “you.”

Unconditional love, was first given to you by God, and as you accept this gift for yourself in everything; the good, the bad and the ugly, you begin to see all your qualities as good as they move you toward your divine path.  If you don’t already, I encourage you to believe you were created for a purpose, and that purpose is to touch the lives of others in “your” unique way.  Only you can be you!  Therefore, begin each day by counting your blessings of being you!  What qualities do you recognize that creates joy within you as you share them with others.  Embrace these qualities and allow them to shine without fear!  By embracing the real you and letting it shine, you begin to step into unconditional love for yourself and this alone can be freeing; to give up trying to be anything you’re not and not to step into expectations or demands of others that don’t fit you.  Just show up and be you!  This begins the “glow” and then there comes a time to “pay it forward” and allow your joyful “free” spirit to pour out as love for others with the same grace and gratefulness you have found for yourself.  Let your light shine and joyful spirit glow, as you embrace everything that makes you, you!


Today’s author: Coach Sandie Lynch is a Registered and LicensedDietitian/Nutritionist.  She obtained her Masters in Public Health Education with a certification in Healthcare Administration in 1999 and is a certified Fitness Consultant and Personal Trainer. Sandie also has fitness certifications in Aerobic Instruction and Pilates. Her services include; nutrition education/consultation, fitness training using the ATP™ approach, wellness lifestyle coaching, public speaking, workshops and wellness retreats. Contact her today at [email protected] to start your journey to Attain Top Performance!  Or visit www.ATPhealthandfitness.com.