The Joy List: What Is It and How It Has Changed My Life
“Joy as an act of defiance.”
This concept is so interesting, right? That in the face of crippling anxiety or fear or anger or hurt, we can defy those emotions through joy. And with the developing news of the spread of COVID-19, those difficult emotions have certainly made their way to the surface in my life. I know that, if you’re anything like me, you may be feeling very triggered right now. That’s okay, sis. It is normal to feel out of control and for that to initiate a slew of other emotions and thoughts. It’s okay. Say it with me, it’s okay. I’m okay.
To quickly address the developing health crisis, I’d like to offer to you that you hold power, even in unpredictable circumstances. Taking responsibility for yourself and your family following these 5 recommendations from the World Health Organization will help you to put your mind at ease in knowing you are doing your part to prevent the spread:
- Wash your hands well and frequently.
- Maintain social distancing from anyone coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- If you’re exhibiting symptoms (cough, fever, difficulty breathing), seek medical care early.
- Stay informed and follow the advice of your medical provider.
Doing your part and encouraging those in your family to do the same is all we can do. And it will be enough. Something that I try to remind myself of in anxious or fearful situations is the scripture, “this too shall pass.”
The Joy List: A Birth Story
With that being said, the COVID-19 outbreak has been just the most recent curveball life has thrown me and my family over the last few months. From a corneal abrasion to major business transitions, I think that I could feel myself falling into a dark place. And dark places are not who I am, at my core. I know that I am light and I am joy and I am unconditionally loved. But sometimes the darkness is heavy and all-consuming. I knew that I needed something to remind myself of who I am. And so the Joy List was born.
What Is The Joy List?
The Joy List is a weekly challenge I offer to encourage light and positivity, not only in my own life, but in the lives of everyone I have the ability to reach. Each week, I post an Instagram Story with a list of 5 things that are bringing me joy. This is, in public, a weekly practice but I cannot speak to the importance and the value of incorporating this or something similar into your daily life.
Here’s the magic behind it: When you speak or write into existence the small things in your life that bring you joy, you are more able to identify MORE small things that bring you joy. It’s a ripple effect. And the ripple effect does not stop with you. Sharing your joy list to those in your circle will encourage them to do the same. Joy spreads, love spreads, and it will snowball into something that can defeat the difficult emotions and circumstances that we all deal with on a regular basis.
So we all have a choice. We can choose to let fear dictate our actions and manifest itself that way. OR we can choose love and joy. The thing that I’ve noticed as I have developed this practice in my life for the past few weeks is that it becomes habitual. And it was so eye-opening and heart breaking to realize how deeply I have denied myself joy in my daily life. But sis, you can find your way back to joy. And it’s a practice. It requires work. But I know that you have a village surrounding you that needs you to be joyful, literally, full-of-joy.
#THEJOYLIST CHALLENGE: HOW TO JOIN
If you are interested in joining me in a challenge to grow our love and joy, you can subscribe to my email list using the sign-up form below and receive a free Instagram story template for you to use and share to create your own version of #TheJoyList, every week. Don’t forget to tag me (@jennaskitchen) in your #TheJoyList so that your joy can become mine, too. Nothing makes me happier than being able to witness gratitude in action. There is so much to be joyous about, even in & through difficult times, and I can’t wait to hear about what the #JoyList looks like for you!