Good afternoon sweet souls! What a beautiful day to discover our purpose in life. As we rekindle the knowledge of who we want to be in our journey, we relinquish layers of skin from our past. We celebrate how far we have come in realizing our suffering has not been in vain. We have gleaned wisdom from past experiences, learning some habits should be broken while new ones can propel us toward our highest actualization of self.
Realizing our worth and believing in who we are sends a message that vibrates throughout the universe. Developing self-confidence and projecting our voice of truth through presentations, social media, and in the written fabrics of our choosing is how we share and honor ourselves with the world.
⚡️Our superpowers within are our light force and they shine brilliantly so others can be light too. The God spark is a lightning bolt of energy that gives us everything we need to transform and transcend our unique and inspirational messages. We are meant to shine like the cosmos and give light to those in darkness. No one can take away our joy because our divine spiritual center is its sanctuary from where it flows.
August is in full swing and a blog from me is past overdue. I am hopeful the glow from within continues to remove our shadows, transform our mindsets with optimism, and cultivate our spirits to shine brighter with joy. Choosing joy in our lives is choosing to live a life of glow, a life where our actions and behaviors are aligned to our mindset of positivity. When we seek the bright side of life, regardless of circumstances, what we “see” is a perspective that illuminates the positive energy rather than negativity. Positive thoughts foster behaviors that promote motivation, excitement, and enthusiasm. It glows from our face like stardust and manifests care, empathy, compassion, and service.
Joy. What is joy? How do we define something so abstract, yet so visible. Is it the same as happiness? How do we seek its light when there are so many shadows to conquer since the pandemic?
Pandemic. We have inhaled our share of darkness. Gracefully, we found the courage, fortitude, and resiliency to face death of loved ones, critical illnesses, unemployment, homelessness, a life in shelters, and food pantry lines. Our suffering and pain from failure and strife over business closures, enhanced domestic violence, sexual assaults, intimate partner violence, financial disparity and bullying has shed light into the darkness of the soul of our nation. It was painful to watch crisis agencies lack staff to assist with the increased mental health crisis, the pandemic crisis, and food and shelter crisis. We are still trying to peel away the pain and suffering even now after the storm has passed. The renewal of trust, connecting with kindred spirits, hiring staff, reopening businesses, and providing quality employment opportunities will be a long and daunting task. Patience is a delicate virtue some people in desperation cannot afford the luxury of keeping.
❤️Traumas and post-traumatic stress (PTSD). Living through this pandemic has not brought much happiness to anyone’s life. The struggles and challenges have been extensive, catastrophic, and not soon forgotten. The anger, bitterness, and divisiveness still lingers from political gridlock. The nightmares from the cyclical patterns of loss, failures, and abuse continue the unfathomable cues and triggers. The most prolific healing for our brains is sleep. Sleep is our sanctuary to recovery even though brains in trauma struggle to get its necessary rest. We still must try through therapeutic avenues to find rest and relaxation so our brains can heal and recover. Music therapy is one such way to offer access to movement, speech, and to life where medication cannot (Oliver Sacks).
PTSD. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental disorder that can develop after prolonged or repeated exposure to a traumatic event like sexual assault, warfare, auto accidents, natural disasters, child abuse, epidemics, pandemics, etc. It could be an event whereby the person has no way to escape and has repeated trauma occurrences. They might develop a complex post-traumatic stress disorder (CPTSD) that occurs as a result of layers of trauma. This includes additional symptomology, such as the deficit of a coherent loss of self. 7-8% of the population will experience PTSD at least once in their life. It affects twice as many women (10%) than men (4%).
Symptoms. Disturbing thoughts, dreams, and feelings related to traumatic events are some of the symptoms experienced by individuals dealing with PTSD. People may alter their routes, increase flight or fight responses, and ways of knowing or feelings to avoid trauma related cues.
2022. Greeting the remainder of 2022 with joy is a glowing responsibility we make to ourselves and others. We can definitely do it, but it takes commitment, action, and a mindset cultivated for optimism. Thinking positively is one step, yet actively engaging in its accomplishment is a choice. Thinking positively is overcoming our limiting beliefs and transforming our entire mindset.
Positive thinking. Thinking positively is opening our mindsets for learning and understanding with grace. We should take inventory of our values and principles in how we view the world, even in our own backyard. Our perspectives may be limited to principles we learned from our parents, our church, social media, or even by our closest friends. To claim a positive mindset, it’s important to leave our victim mentality at the door and take responsibility for how we fuel our minds.
Thinking positively means seeking the positive and training our brains to remove the clutter from past garbage. The forgiveness we claim from self-love empties our brain of the guilt, shame, and blame we held ourselves hostage to and those who abused us. We are now free to become the amazing person God planned for us! We are destined for a life of glow. We must be willing to transform our minds in order to alter our lives. Because what we believe is our reality. And what you “see” is what YOU believe!
Positivity. Thinking positively is half the battle of changing our mindset. Our thoughts become our reality. We send signals out to the universe, whether positive or negative and someone, somewhere receives them. Like-minded individuals gravitate back to us that mirror the signals we send. And what we believe manifests into how we behave. Positive behavior dictates our success at work, word and deed. Perceiving the world through a channel of positivity changes our values and belief systems. It grounds us in what we stand for and how we react to circumstances beyond our control.
Cultivating joy takes time. It takes practice by honoring who we are as individuals. Below are four ways to manifest joy.
- Space. By finding your center or higher consciousness through prayer, meditation, mantras, fitness routine, or other practices, you are making space for joy to grow.
- Gratitude. Being grateful are seeds for developing joy into your life. Practice focusing on your blessings instead of flaws. List daily the blessings that took place before going to bed to seal them into your mind as you sleep.
- Be present. Try not to multi-task because your mind isn’t capable of doing more than one thing at-a-time. Focus on the present task so you can do it with accuracy. You will find joy in the process of success.
- Don’t’ Worry. When we worry, we stress about unforeseen things we have no control over. These type of stressors cause high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attacks, etc. Let them go! Be proactive and then release the rest. Let the universe take over and move forward.
Is Joy Different Than Happiness?
Joy, unlike happiness is found deep within our spiritual center. Joy is the fruit of the Spirit and comes wrapped in peace. It is grounded in who we are as self-love, worthiness, grace, forgiveness, brilliance, and the God spark within. Joy does not change because of our circumstances. Our soul bursts with its beauty and shines exponentially! How we respond to our circumstances carries our light..
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” — Galatians 5:22-23, NASB
With joy comes contentment in what we have, not what we wish we had. It’s opening our hearts to receive love because we know that not loving is only half a life. It’s taking time to be present, to communicate, to find inner peace so that joy can grow during the most difficult times in our lives. Joy is the belief that all things will turn out the way they were meant to be. There are no mistakes in life.
Happiness, in contrast, is dependent on external factors. It happens to us. Joy isn’t a byproduct of happiness because happiness doesn’t bring joy.
“Even though we may seek it, desire it, pursue it, feeling happiness is not a choice we make.”
During darkness and difficulty, happiness is not present. Even when unhappy, joy is foundational to our spirits to bring us peace and contentment. It blooms through connections with people, pets, and nature.
Joy is in the moment, present. Happiness is temporary and fleeting. When it is present, it’s an amazing feeling of euphoria and captures your attention. But it can leave in an instant. Whereby joy is constant. Despair and happiness are similar. They are a product of circumstance. Poverty is synonymous with despair. Joy can overcome anything in this world if we choose it. Because it brings hope.
In its truest expression, joy transforms challenging times into blessings and transitions heartaches into gratitude.
Cultivating Joy Through Positivity
Gratitude is a mental attitude of good wishes. When we focus on giving thanks, it is two-fold. We offer heartfelt goodness and the greetings back to us are warm and inviting.
Practicing gratitude is not as easy as it sounds. It’s an intentional mind shift in our daily actions to infuse more discernible practices of gratitude. Focusing on the positive centers us and brings harmony to our spiritual soul where joy abounds. By nourishing our source, we discover more ways to receive joy and become more resilient to the negative forces. Below are six ways we can practice to achieve joy that begin in small positive baby steps.
Through self-love we find worthiness in whatever we aspire to achieve. It is our right and honor to know we are enough! And joy is within us as a light beam to remind us of our brilliance. Repeat! Write it on our mirrors and print it on our hearts. “I AM…” Worthy and Enough! Say this daily to remind ourselves we were created in His image and wear His crown of jewels. Live like it!
- Comparing Ourselves to Others
Complimenting other people’s successes without loathing ourselves is critical. Choosing self-love enables us to be self-confident and honor ourselves daily regardless of accomplishments. We are made of pure love and claim our superpowers to overcome whatever hand we are dealt.
By comparing ourselves to others, we bring envy and jealousy into our hearts, which causes resentment, bitterness, and hostility. We are as unique as our own fingerprints and a gift to the world. There is no one else quite like us. We must seize the opportunity to discover what makes us shine brighter so we can serve the greater good. What good is it for us to hide behind the cloak of another? We were meant to stand out like stars in the heavens and create light, joy, and love so others can bask in our glow.
Be present. Stop worrying about the past and future events. We only have today and tomorrow will take care of itself. Past experiences can make us more mindful of how to be gracious for what we have and the blessings others offer us. Even tiny gifts of God’s presence is worthy of thanks. He wants a personal relationship with us. Make time for Him. Use a phone app if you need personal guidance with meditation.
- Gratitude Journal
Begin a gratitude journal to list our daily blessings. This will remind us to think positively. Discern goals in the journal that can be attained daily, monthly, annually. Be consistent in journal entry times and days. And start start and end each day with entering our blessings. These are warm fuzzies.
- Thank you Note
Write a thank you note letting others know how much you appreciate them. Sending good wishes lets the receiving parties feel good, and it brings joy back to us.
- Share Your Feelings of Appreciation
How we feel about others brings emotional endorphins, oxytocin, sweaty palms, and sometimes even stuttering. The persons on the receiving end feels seen, loved, and good about themselves. Positive feedback from others impacts how we view ourselves and our sense of self.
Being grounded in who we are through self-love is critical because it gives purpose to our lives. Being appreciated and paying it forward reinforces how we spend our time in making a difference to others and ourselves.
We have a deeper connection with those individuals that appreciate us. Positivity fosters positive feelings and positive connections. We desire to rub shoulders and gravitate towards people who are like-minded and make us feel good. They might be honest, caring, empathic, respectful, and loving human beings. Positivity and appreciation go together.
In the end, being appreciated, whether at work or in our personal lives motivates us to act in changing ourselves to becoming the best possible version we can be. Loving ourselves first is choosing to honor ourselves through self-care, forgiveness, to trust who we are despite our misguided choices, and to set healthy boundaries with people we choose to help us aspire to our dreams!
Whatever you choose for your life, create a mind shift of positivity where joy is your constant. See the light in others and that is all you see. Be light! Transforming your life to one of glow is a journey, a daily walk that you are worthy of! Celebrate YOU! Honor who you are becoming and bloom! Be proactive in learning more about yourself, who you are, what you want, and what brings joy to your soul. You might be surprised at the results…
☄️Wishing you a day of shine. May today be the first step towards glowing into the “rebirth” of YOU! Count your blessings and focus on the bright side! If you feel alone or lost, please contact me. I am always available. Love Your Spirit, Live Your Life.. Namaste. xo
In Light and Love
Dr. Kimberly Lees