Here's the thing about joy: Sometimes it arrives like unexpected laughter or a hummingbird peeking at you through the kitchen window or a note in the mail just because or an exquisite turn of phrase in the novel you're reading late at night.
And sometimes you have to work at finding it in your everyday life.
It's like a muscle you need to flex and move and notice and use.
That's why I often talk about it as being a practice. You have to practice seeking joy, creating space for joy, opening up to joy.
You have to make joy in your everyday life.
Here are 30 ways that I dive into joy that I hope will help you get started with this practice. And here's the part where I say I hope you'll pick one today and give it a try. And then try another one tomorrow. And then make your own list.
2. Go outside and listen to the birds sing.
3. Put on your favorite shoes and take yourself out for coffee.
4. Text a friend.
5. Watch Kid President.
6. Donate to your favorite charity.
7. Turn up "Shake It Off" and jump around until your insides rattle a bit.
8. Call your mom and tell her you love her (or call your BFF and do the same).
9. Write down 10 things you're grateful for.
10. Make soup (or some other favorite comfort food).
11. Write a love letter.
12. Head to the water, to the woods, to the strip of green in front or behind your home, and notice five beautiful things.
13. Ask your Facebook friends to tell you one good thing about their day.
14. Write a thank you note.
15. Go to a yoga class (or push yourself to do something you love that isn't at work or home and involves just being around others).
16. Check out your favorite children's book from the library and read it aloud (to yourself or someone else).
17. Eat a cupcake (or an apple).
18. Give yourself a superhero name.
19. Look at yourself in the mirror and say "I am whole. I am worthy. I am loved."
20. Sing a favorite childhood song with zeal (maybe join in with Kermit.
21. Find a dandelion and make a wish.
22. Watch your favorite movie (or even just a favorite scene).
23. Make a list of all the ways your grade school teachers changed your life.
24. Go through a carwash and pretend you're on an adventure.
25. Draw a map of your childhood hometown complete with labels of the most important places to your 8-year-old self.
26. Write a list of your favorite things.
27. Ask someone you love to tell you that story that always makes you both laugh so hard.
28. Take off your shoes and stand up (or just put your feet on the floor) and feel your toes and your heels and thank the earth for supporting you and keeping your grounded.
29. Give someone flowers (and maybe keep one stem just for you).
30. Ask for a hug. (And maybe even open your arms wide right now. Yes, right now. Open them wide. Breathing and feeling that space. And then wrap them around yourself in a hug that says, "You aren't alone honey. I've got you.)
How do you invite in more joy? Please share in the comments so we can keep the list going.