Ways of Finding Joy

We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.
— Buddha

I love the holidays. It’s a time with loved one’s friends, family, celebrations, food and everything fun. But there always seems to be some mini drama popping up every now-and-then; diminishing my celebration of life, unity, growth messing up my joy. I’m learning some tricks to rise above the gloom and dooming Drama and how to keep the light of Joy burning brightly; inside and out.
Here are some of these tricks from all my big family holidays, living in NYC and all my global adventures. 

1. Smile  !
Just this simple expression has tremendous physiological and social effects. On the inside, it literally changed my chemistry. My “frown turned upside-down” boosts my bloodstream’s dopamine levels keeping me feeling uplifted, euphorically connected and loving. On the outside, it’s been studied (and also from my experience) that people respond more positively to people that are smiling. Those interacting with you and your smile listen more intently, let their guard down and open to you and possibility.

2. Stop Complaining
Talk about a waste of time and effort. Complaining is a killer of joy. It’s reductive. Fires up more anger, frustration, anxiety, toxifies me and my relationships; and keeps spinning me into deeper and darker misery. No solutions here! Instead of complaining chose to release this tension by doing something physical; go running, go to yoga, box, swim, hike.… Ok maybe you don’t have an hour, no worries, we all can change our ‘state’ in as little as 3-4min, by simply dancing to our favorite song, jumpin-&-shakin out our limbs or with some deep, slow and rhythmic breathing. Just to name a few. Whatever it takes to exorcise these feelings. Get them out! Then put your smile back on and joyfully carry on.

3. Let go of Expectations
The first universal principle: everything is changing all the time #anicha. No month, minute or moment is ever the same. By moving through life with my expectations I’m cut off from the world’s flowing nature and set myself up for a continual experience of disappointments. To remain in the Joyful Flow of life, I practice gratitude for everything that for everything that shows up. It’s not easy sometimes, especially when my favorite avocado and toast is sold out BUT I navigate back to joy through gratitude and order my favorite smoothie instead. lol #firstworldproblems #shift

4. Being Patience
Patience is #HUGE especially living in “the City that never sleeps #NYC. If I feel like I am rushing ahead, I function the opposite way and SLOW DOWN!! Yep, literally sloooow doooownnnn. I walk, talk, breath and moooove sloooowerrr. I also pick up my doubting posture and see a broader perspective while I plunge back into the life flow. Oh and then guess what’s next, I smile, stop complaining that the world won’t meet my ridiculous demands and let go. (Are you seeing a pattern?  )

I hope this helps. More to come. comment with your questions.