A simple recipe for cultivating Joy

Posted on November 29, 2020 in

Words by Donna Lancaster, co-founder of the Bridge Retreat . Inspired by a chat with the fabulous @melissa.hemsley in the last lockdown, here’s my simple recipe for cultivating Joy.

Ingredients:

  • Making time for simple activities that relax and de-stress you so that your joy can flow – walking, cooking, reading, meditating, spending time with family, friends, pets, trees…whatever floats your boat and doesn’t involve a screen.
  • Expressing yourself creatively – sing, dance, paint, draw, decorate, garden, do whatever fills your heart
  • Scheduling in time for laughter, fun and play. Life can feel serious enough so dedicate time to lighten your load. Add a dollop of belly laughs and silliness for good measure. Laughing at yourself is particularly tasty.
  • Invest in relationships that activate your joy. Recycle or discard those that are past their sell by date.
  • Be in service – finding ways to support others and connect meaningfully with your community.
  • Move your body. Joy is energy and movement allows this energy to flow. Get up and get moving. Shake and dance your way towards more joy.
  • Sprinkle on top a generous amount of Love, kindness and appreciations. Yum.
  • You know how many recipes have a special ingredient that makes the difference as to whether the dish will be just tasty or absolutely delicious? Like that small piece of dark chocolate that you add to a chilli? Well that magic ingredient for the Joy recipe is GRATITUDE. Focus your attention on all that you have to be grateful for (without denying any struggles you are facing), and watch your joy rise, like a perfect soufflé.

Joy is in essence an internal celebration. A way of being, and it requires regular practice. It’s also highly contagious with a ripple effect that flows far and wide. So make sure you share your delicious dish of Joy with many different people, because the more you invest in spreading your joy, the more delicious your life will taste.

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