You can choose joy as easily as you can choose any emotion. But you won’t enjoy your life as much as you could unless you include one key ingredient.

Do you enjoy what you have: your key relationships, material items, spiritual awareness and connection to Source, personal traits and characteristics? If you can’t enjoy who you are and what you have now, how will you enjoy even more? This may seem contradictory but it isn’t. It reminds me of two thought streams: “Wherever you go there you are” and “I’ll be happy when…”

You can choose to enjoy on purpose. What’s the key ingredient that helps you do this? Appreciation. If you genuinely appreciate something or someone, you’ll enjoy or find joy in it or them. Appreciation and joy are magnetic and attract more. If “more” seems elusive, check your level of appreciation for what you are and have. It’s likely a quart or more low. You can simplify your understanding of how Law of Attraction works by remembering appreciation attracts more to appreciate; lack of appreciation attracts less to appreciate.

Here are some common joy stealers we all come across:
*We may be good at saying Yes to please others when what we need to be good at is saying No to please or nurture peace in us.
*We may be controlling, manipulating, or workaholics, which is about trying to make life and others do what we want, whether what we want is aligned with the highest good of all involved or not.
*We may not be readily aware of what causes us to feel appreciation and therefore joy, so we don’t deliberately seek to experience more of those things.
*Our primary motivation is to get, with little to no motivation to give.
*We work for a paycheck only, with little to no thought of bringing our light into the workplace or to be a blessing to at least one person each day.
*We form relationships with others, maybe even marry someone, so they can “make” us happy, ignoring the fact we’re responsible for our own happiness.
*We forget that making others happy will bring us joy.
*We speak more negatives than positives; we don’t stop to think or choose better words before we speak.
*We believe being joyful contrasts with being caring; believing that with all that goes on in the world, we have no right or reason to be joyful.

The day I decided to write this article, “stuff” was hitting the fan, so to speak. Was I enjoying it or able to find joy? Did I even feel like looking for joy? No. But my own words were fresh in my mind. About two hours into the “stuff,” I heard chirping. On a shrub outside my window was a splendid cardinal. THAT brought me joy! I watched it for a few minutes then went back to what I was doing. The cardinal visited again; and again I got up to watch it and express appreciation. The cardinal’s visits reminded me that although some events are far from joyful, reasons to connect with appreciation and joy are all around us, even amid “stuff” happening.

We definitely have to pay attention to what we say to ourselves. This is crucial. We can convince ourselves that something is true: positive or negative. One brings us reasons to be appreciative; the other, to perceive there’s nothing to appreciate.

Lack of appreciation causes us to miss the good, the beautiful, the blessings. It causes us to shut off the stream of well-being we could enjoy. It causes us to give away our joy and, instead, live angry or upset with or about everyone and everything or something a majority of the time. And all the while, this is a choice.

Appreciation eases or displaces anger and other negative emotions and nurtures joy or, at least, peace. Appreciation is assisted by what we tell ourselves. Too few make the connection between what we tell ourselves, how we feel based on what we tell ourselves, and what we attract because of this.

We do not control all external circumstances, but we can manage our inner environment. What we do about this affects us most of all, but also affects those we interact with. When we lack appreciation, we steal our own joy; and inadvertent or not, we affect the joy of others.

Look at your key relationships, your material items, your spiritual awareness and connection to Source, and your personal traits and characteristics. Find what you appreciate and find what more you can appreciate about these.

If you want more joy, be more joyful. If you want more joy, be deliberate about your appreciation. State your appreciation. Choose a state of appreciation. And know that you will need to renew this commitment to yourself and your joy every day, and maybe several times a day. Put this into practice and you’ll begin to notice it not only gets easier to do, but more natural to do than not to.

Practice makes progress.
© Joyce Shafer

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Author's Bio: 

Joyce Shafer is a Life Empowerment Coach dedicated to helping people feel, be, and live their true inner power. She’s author of “I Don’t Want to be Your Guru” and other books/ebooks, and publishes a free weekly online newsletter that offers empowering articles and free downloads. See all that’s offered by Joyce and on her site at