This morning on my walk back after taking the trash out, I ran into a neighbor with a beautiful red Golden Retriever. If you must know, just like with men I have a “go-to” type, I do with dogs as well. I love “reds.” All the dogs that I have raised have been red. Anywho, my neighbor politely pulled her dog off the side of the side walk as I walked passed and I saw the expression of this dog. In fact, I would say I could feel it. He was overwhelmingly shaking his body; so full of joy that he was exploding with expression. This dog doesn’t even know me and probably reacts like that to every one he sees, but for a minute let me just imagine that that was really just for me. He was exploding with joy to see me.

As I continued walking back to my house, I thought to myself: as humans how many times in our life have we experienced that level of joy? I have always believed that dogs are a pure essence of love, but today I saw the purest essence of joy.

What if we as human beings aimed for joy like that Golden Retriever? You deserve to experience joy on that bursting level. Let me say that again, you deserve to experience joy on this level. I believe it starts with gratitude, “counting it all joy.” Your perspective is the key to unlocking joy. Twenty two days ago I started a twenty eight day gratitude practice, mostly because I thought it sounded interesting. What I didn’t realize is how much it would change me. This practice has been life altering. I have been following a to-do protocol, but in a nut shell every morning I list ten things that I am grateful for, read those ten things out loud when I am done, holding the feeling of gratitude in my heart and say three times out loud, “Thank you, thank you, thank you.” Then at the end of the day the protocol calls for a stone (but I have a shell because I am more of a beach babe). I hold the shell and think about one thing that happened during the day that you are more grateful for and say it again, “Thank you, thank you, thank you.” I will write more about this later, but this practiced has altered me in a positive way in ways I never imagined.

Affirmation: Today I allow myself to feel joy. I am so grateful for all the good in my life and I am overflowing with joy. I am worthy of feeling joyful.

To feel joy, choose to take a moment. As Americans, we are experts at running from one thing to the next with barely enough time to chew on food, much less think. But what if.. What if you took more moments to stop, breathe, and just be in the moment. On this same morning I was walking to take the trash out, truly hustling and thinking about everything that I needed to accomplish, as I was walking I heard the birds chirp and in that moment I “stopped” and enjoyed it fully.

“Count it all joy.”

My life is filled with joy and joyful moments. Joy comes when I call. I am brimming and filled with joy.

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