Finding our joy again. I often catch myself thinking, while watching my children play, how I wish that I could experience that same unbridled JOY that seems to ooze out of them.

The pit-of-your-stomach kind of laughter, the smiles, the giggles, and innocent teasing that fills their play.

I must admit, sometimes I’m a little jealous of their JOY. A joy so unencumbered by the concerns of this world… I wish I could bottle it up and take a sip each morning as I open my eyes. That it would flow through my veins and sustain me through the day.

That JOY!

Now, this does not mean that we are unhappy in life. Or depressed, or unsatisfied, or anything like that. I’m positive that most of us mothers are incredibly happy, and feel overwhelmingly blessed. We know how much we have, and we are thankful for that!

I just find that, as a mother, wife, friend, and all the other hats we wear, we get so “involved” with everything that has to get done, that sometimes we might feel we are on “Robot Mode”… Simply maneuvering ourselves through the daily expectations that we have of ourselves, and those that others have of us. (I’ve written about this theme before, in the MOTHERLOAD and Taking A Fresh Look At Yourself, so clearly, this is a relevant subject.)

Maybe we lose that JOY because we don’t fully allow ourselves the freedom to feel it… Maybe our thought process needs to change. And this begs the question; How do we find that inner JOY again? The kind of JOY that makes you smile at nothing at all. The JOY that inspires?

Are we so “bogged” down by the necessities of life that our thoughts have become “self” negative. Now again, and I really want to stress this, I’m not saying that our thoughts about our families, etc. are essentially negative… I guess what I’m trying to say is this: “How do our thoughts about ourselves impact the joy we have about ‘ME‘?”.

And the answer, for me, is totally based on what thoughts we allow to fill our minds. If we allow a series of happy thoughts to run through our minds they will most definitely show on our faces. So then the question begs… If our JOY is based on what/how we think about ourselves, how can we get better at this? How do we improve in the arena of “happy thoughts”?

I mean really… 3 hours sleep with a teething baby; harassed by a screaming 3-year-old (because she is not getting her way), and trying to keep an eye on 2 hyper-active superheroes running around… Or even our career? Where, in the midst of this chaos, are we meant to find a quick moment to think happy thoughts about ourselves? (Remembering this isn’t about our families, this is about us). If this is our reality, how in the heck are we supposed to get better at cultivating positive thoughts about ourselves!?

We know our thoughts build our lives, we know they can change our worlds… But how do we do this consistently?