We go through our days, busy and rather unaware. We run our errands, care for our family, go to and from work not really having consciously experienced all the wonderful moments of the day. Keeping a Joy Journal is about becoming more conscious of your joys and less focused or your pain.

When I was about 50, a local artist was making Joy Journals to sell on her website and give to friends on special occasions. I bought one and made an agreement with myself to write in it every day for a few months. I did, and my journaling proved to be an inspirational adventure. I’d always enjoyed joyful moments when they happened, but the joys were not registering with me in a profound way. I was not “collecting” my joyous experiences nor did I understand the importance of embracing and owning my joy. The Joy Journal opened my eyes. I noticed almost everything, and joyful experiences registered in my soul. I intentionally began to allow joy to positively change me, healing unknown wounds, unleashing the natural joy within.

I began recommending Joy Journals to clients who were in the middle of a life transition. Those responsive to the idea began having uplifting results and enjoyed noticing and recording their experiences, both small and profound. Because of their journals, they awakened to the joys in their daily life, and awakened to the ever-present joy within.

There are few happier moments than sitting down with your Joy Journal to browse through a month of joyful moments. Every entry is positive and inspirational. Ever positive thought is expressed in your own words (profound because you wrote them). You realize you have a treasure, that you are a treasure, that your Joy Journal is a love gift to you. You filled your book, and your heart, with all the the sparkling-tingling-effervescent feelings that let you know “this is special” and “I’ll carry this memory in my heart forever”.

Just to illustrate what a Joy Journal might include, here is a list of entries that are similar to what I might write in my journal, or entries similar to those my clients have shared with me over the years.

My whole focus has changed! I am hopeful.
Wow! My neighbor helped me rake the yard today.
I am so proud of myself! I am going back to school at age 49. Yippee!
My dog smiled at me, and I needed that smile. How does he always knows what I need! I am so lucky.
Yea! I just realized I’ve been smiling all day long! Wow!
While at the grocery store, this adorable child grabbed hold of my hand as I walked by and would not let go. I stood still a minute while she talked to me from her perch in her mother’s grocery cart. She stole my heart. Her eyes were filled with life, love and joy, all of which she shared freely. Through the eyes of a child … makes me think.
My brother called me today. I am so happy. So grateful. I never thought this could happen. My heart sings! We have each other again!
I’ve been happy all day today!
My walk this morning was magical with the early morning mist all about. It felt like I could do anything and the results would be perfect. The moments were almost super-natural.
Daddy, so sick, looked at me, said my name and whispered I love you. I’ll never forget this moment. I know I’ve been really, deeply loved!

The direction for keeping a Joy Journal are few and easy to follow.

1. Choose a journal that can can fit into your purse or briefcase and one made of material that will stay fresh and nice.
2. Keep your entries short and sweet.
3. Write with a pen so you entry does not smudge or fade.
4. Date each entry so you don’t forget dates and times.
5. Keep all your words positive.
6. Make your journal as fancy as you want, adding doodles, souvenirs or photographs.
7.Enjoy re-reading your joys, making them part of your mind, body and soul.

Author's Bio: 

Janet Nestor is wife, mother, grandmother, author, public speaker, selfgrowth.com expert in positive psychology and a licensed professional counselor with a diplomat in energy psychology. Her specialty is teaching positive thought, relaxation strategies and working with individuals who have a co-existing physical illness. Her first book Pathways to Wholeness is a mindfulness guidebook focusing on the development of a conscious aware life through meditation. Her new book, Nurturing Wellness Through Radical Self-Care: A Living in Balance Workbook is due out winter 2012.

Janet’s website locations:

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