By Margaret Paul, Ph.D.

These three simple – but not always easy – choices can create such incredible joy!

One of the things I love to do is walk every morning out in nature and do my Inner Bonding process. I've been walking almost every morning for at least the last 40 years, and doing Inner Bonding on my walk for over 32 years. It's on these walks that I receive the most information from my spiritual Guidance.

Recently, my spiritual Guidance deepened my understanding regarding how to stay joyful all the time. She deepened my understanding of three major choices that sustain joy.


I thought I understood gratitude. I've been practicing gratitude for many years, but I now have a much deeper understanding of the power of true gratitude.

There are a number of reasons that people express gratitude. In my experience, none of the following contribute to staying joyful.

- They express gratitude because they've learned that they 'should', that 'it's the right thing to do.’ For example, it's 'right' to be thankful for your food.

- They express gratitude because they've read that expressing gratitude leads to manifestation.

- They express gratitude because they believe this is the way to get into heaven.

In other words, they express gratitude with an agenda in mind, which I used to do as well.

Now, I feel grateful all the time because it makes me happy! No other agenda! It doesn't matter whether or not it works to manifest or it's the right thing to do. I express gratitude because it brings me joy to do so. The more I'm in gratitude, the more joyful I feel.

This reminds me of a story I read about a blind beggar in India. This blind beggar was always joyful, and when someone asked him why he was so joyful, given that he was a blind beggar, he replied that he constantly felt grateful to God for his life and that his love for God filled his heart with joy. At the time, I didn't fully understand the deeper meaning in this story, and now I do. The simple truth is that spontaneously expressing heartfelt gratitude – not rote gratitude which is what the wounded self does - fills my heart with joy.


My Guidance told me that staying in faith brings joy, and that staying in faith is about knowing that no matter what happens, I'm being supported in my highest good on my journey toward evolving my soul in my ability to love. Yes! Staying in faith that everything that happens is for the highest good of my soul's journey here on this planet brings me great joy!


I can't feel my gratitude and stay in faith if I'm not present. It's only in being fully present in this moment – with my feelings, with my spiritual Guidance, with others, and with the beauty of nature and with other forms of beauty, that I can truly feel grateful for everything in my life. When I'm fully present, I feel how blessed I am – to have my health, my family, my work, my home, my gifts and talents, my delicious nourishing food, my laughter with my best friend, my painting and ceramic studio, my animals, my time to play, and so many other wonderful things.

I can certainly focus on what I don't have and what I wish I had, but then I'm not present with what I do have – and that certainly doesn't bring me joy. If I'm in the past or future, I'm missing out on my life right now, and there is no way to feel grateful or joyful when I'm not in the present moment. So being present brings me to gratitude, and gratitude brings me to faith, and faith brings me to presence in a beautiful, ongoing circle of joy.

I hope that, no matter what your circumstances are right now, you start to practice heart-felt gratitude, faith in the rightness of your journey on this planet, and being present in this moment. I know for certain that you won't be disappointed in the deep happiness and joy you feel!

Learn to connect with your spiritual Guidance with "Frequency: Your Spiritual Guidance & The Art of Manifestation," a 30-Day at-home Experience with Dr. Margaret Paul.

Author's Bio: 

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books, relationship expert, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® process - featured on Oprah, and recommended by actress Lindsay Wagner and singer Alanis Morissette. Are you are ready to heal your pain and discover your joy? Click here for a FREE Inner Bonding Course, and visit our website at for more articles and help. Phone and Skype Sessions Available. Join the thousands we have already helped and visit us now!