What is joy? Is it a simple smile? Is it seeing kindness in others? Is it experiencing something new through a child’s eyes? These things are all pieces of the puzzle, but the real prize—limitless joy—starts with you. It comes from a place deep within your heart. Once you’ve found it, it becomes your choice to hold onto it and let it shape you, or to let it slip through your fingers, and instead, let life’s worries and struggles take hold.

Even in the midst of hard times and confusion, there is joy. It might be hard to find, but it is hiding somewhere, just waiting to be discovered. You can search high and low, looking for joy in stores, gifts, and even in other people. But you will soon discover that while things and others bring you happiness, they cannot bring you life-changing joy. With joy, you have to uncover what you already have, embrace it, and make it part of your daily life.

So how do you find joy? And once you’ve found it, how do you hang onto it and let it change you from the inside-out? Begin with a smile. Not just any sheepish grin, but a true smile that makes your cheeks tingle. Try it in the mirror (and then on a stranger walking down the street.)

When you smile from your heart, you emanate joy within and all around you. After a few days, you will feel this smile start to change you—and it will begin to impact those around you. You’ll feel lighter, happier, freer. Now the trick is to hang onto that feeling and begin to let go of the other worries that will ultimately snuff out your joy. Anytime you feel negativity creeping in, go back to what brings you joy. Smile, and feel its magic work its way through your bones.

Joy can change your life, but first you have to let it in.

 

Mind, Body, Spirit, TCM

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