A Year Of Living Intentionally Day 12: Discovering That Joy Lives Inside of Me

Erin Roberts
July 1, 2024
Photo By

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

— Henri Nouwen —

While I love my life and feel grateful every day, joy has felt elusive to me for a very long time. I mean true joy. The kind that comes when you stop thinking about what others might think and just relish the moment with abandon. The kind that feels like you’re tapping into the energy of the universe. Being who you really are. I have moments of feeling that way, but they are fleeting and elusive.

Doing more things that bring me joy has been taking up real estate on my to do list for months now, years even. And while there are many things I love doing, true joy feels elusive.

The other day I was on a call with my coach and I brought up joy again. Things are going well, I told her, but joy still feels elusive. It’s a theme we’ve explored often in the two years we’ve worked together. But this time instead of suggesting I revisit my to do list and continue the search for where joy lives, she asked me to contemplate if joy has to live outside myself. Do I need to find things that bring me joy outside myself? Or might joy live inside me? — she asked me.

The moment she posed this most profound of questions I allowed myself to sink inside and go deep. I found that I could touch joy there. It was there waiting for me and it was relatively easy to access. It felt like sinking into a deep, deep well. A potentially infinite well. As I immersed myself in this newfound joy, I could feel something change inside me. I could literally feel that joy bubble up inside me as if I was a bottle of champagne being opened.

I’ve been practicing accessing that joy over the couple of days. And what I’ve found is that it’s changed everything for me. From the outside today was a regular day, mundane even. But inside it felt spectacular. Because I easily able to access joy and feel its effervescence rising and bubbing inside me in any moment. And that made everything on the outside feel wondrous.

So today rather than feeling rooted, peaceful and grounded, I felt a little bubbly and like I might float away. It was presence, being in the here and now, that enabled me to get quiet enough to find joy and to feel the beauty of what’s always there waiting inside of me.

That doesn’t mean everything is perfect all day every day. But when I need a little sip of joy, I know I can get one anytime I want.

Erin Roberts is a climate policy researcher and a curious human whose life is dedicated to making the world a little better every day. She is the founder and global lead of the Loss and Damage Collaboration and the founder and convener of the Climate Leadership Initiative.

Originally published on Medium here: