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Explore: Defining Joy

This morning my bicycle and I rested lakeside following the triumph over a minor bike chain derailment and a major hill climb. Sitting on a point in a quiet picnic area, gazing at the cloud-filled blue sky and the shimmering water, I felt full of joy.

I've been talking about joy for almost a year, I thought to myself,  but how do I define joy? 
This is what I jotted in my notebook.

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Joy is a feeling of glow within my heart and soul. Joy is a reason for being; a feeling that this thing/activity/person brings meaning and/or purpose to my life; a feeling of bursting with contentment.

What brings me joy in this moment is that I'm sitting in contemplation; I'm near the water, which is refreshing, rejuvenating and life-giving; the weather is ideal (mid-70s, breezy, sunny); the waves are lapping nature's rhythm.

And yet, sitting in this spot all day long would not be joyful. I would get uncomfortable, hungry, bored. I'd run out of water. I might be disturbed by mosquitoes or noisy boats or crowds of people in this public place.

However, this place in this moment is joy. And this is a setting I can return to again and experience joy. The setting may not be this exact place (in fact, this exact moment is simply not recreatable), but I can replicate the settingwater, waves, breeze, peace⏤elsewhere in Minnesota, across the country, around the world.

Joy is fleeting but a foundation to which I can always return.

Joy is where I am grounded. 

Joy is soil from which being, meaning and purpose sprout.

 

What do you think? How do you define joy? What elements bring joy to your life? How would you describe a joy-filled setting? 

Share your perspective here on the blog with a comment; check in over on the facebook community page; or connect with me on Instagram, my favorite social media platform. I look forward to the conversation!

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