With all that is going on in the world, it is hard sometimes to allow joy.  Feeling joy in dark times can feel selfish or bring guilt.  Feeling joy while in the job search can seem unrealistic.  Yet joy is helpful for a full and healthy life.

Joy is one of the topics in my book Help Wanted: An A to Z Guide to Cope with the Ups and Downs of the Job Search.  Upon rereading, I see that everything except the first sentence of that page is related broadly to life, not just the search.  This brief inspirational reading is the previous blog on this site, and I hope you will read and share.

Joy is my “Word of the Year.”  I chose it because I tend to focus more on work than play, doing rather than being.  During a spiritual Akashic records reading, I was encouraged to add more joy to my life.  What would that be, I wondered?  I love my work, but not sure I would say it brings me “joy”. I like to walk my dog in the park, but part of that is for the good health of both of us.  I feel joy when dancing a couple times a year at the Baja Grill, but my morning dance is more about keeping my spirit and body healthy.

“Joy is an intermezzo of gratitude that interrupts the routine motion of life.”

— Lewis B. Smedes in How Can It Be All Right When Everything Is All Wrong?

Some views are that joy simply springs forth in an unexpected way.  My focus is on noticing and creating joy each day. I wondered if I could do that. I think we can. My belief is that gratitude and mindfulness are the sparks of joy.  Each morning I say my new Joy affirmations which include: “I experience joy by noticing and choosing it.” In the mirror behind me I glimpse my white twinkle lights and say, “those bring me joy.”  In terms of creating joy, I set a goal this year of going to more comedy shows and nights out dancing, specifically 8 (for the year number, 2+0+2+4). One down and two scheduled!

My other affirmation is “I spread joy.”  Besides my goal of spreading joy by acts or words of kindness, I believe that my feeling joy will have a positive affect on people around me and even the planet.

What joy might you notice today, right now?  Look around you.  The sunshine, an interesting cloud formation, a favorite picture, a soft blanket, your loved ones?  What joy can you create for yourself today or this week?  What joy can you spread?

“Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.”

Henri Nouwen

It may be hard to find joy in the job search or even see joy on the horizon in a new job. Yet each day we have a choice about how to see our life. We can be consumed by the negativity of job search fear or frustration, or we can allow some space to notice a sunset or a child’s laughter. Brief moments of joy can be a respite from the work of finding work. Perhaps we can even stretch to find some joy by answering yes to a networking request or a nugget of wisdom someone shares.

We can, and sometimes must, create our own joy for the sake of our emotional health and for the well-being of those around us whose support we want and need. Experiencing moments of joy can also help a person to be a more desirable job candidate since employers may sense positivity.

So turn on a comedy, gaze at the clouds, listen to music, and hug a child.

Affirmation: I find moments of joy in my life and am grateful.

To order Help Wanted book: https://karenscareercoaching.com/help-wanted/

For 10 free excerpts: https://karenscareercoaching.com/help-wanted-free-excerpts/