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Schedule Joy for the Upcoming School Year

by Shalonda Archibald, NJLA Board Member

Joy is defined as the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires. Author Robert Strand explains, “Joy is therapeutic to you who might be experiencing it as well as to others who may be observing or sharing it with you.” The Bible says it this way in Proverbs 17:22, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

Joy differs from happiness. One can be happy yet lack joy. Of the many differences between joy and happiness, the most pertinent here is that joy is internally driven while happiness is dictated by external factors.

My saving grace amidst ongoing emotional challenges has been my determination to experience daily doses of joy in and out of the workplace. Several people who were very significant to my life have died in the past three years and after honoring the lives of each of them my tiny still voice would whisper to me, “There’s no do ever Shalonda. Death is the finale.” We all have a sunrise date and will have a sunset date. I’ve realized that the between the dash time requires joyFULL living to be the most impactful. Doing things that bring you joy fills your heart tank to overflow. It is from a place of overflow that we are able to give to others, not depletion.

Just as we must seek peace and pursue it, we must seek joy and pursue it as well. Environmental anchors are one way to create daily doses of joy. I decorate my workspace with sunflowers and butterflies, hang pictures of my family, and use Bath and Body Works’ eucalyptus mint Wallflowers which automatically upon entering evoke feelings of joy for me. Scheduling joy in advance is another way to maintain JoyFULL living. In my Google Calendar, I have a sub-calendar titled “Joy-Filled Living” which I use to schedule things that bring me joy like visiting flower gardens. Most recently I brought home a beautiful Havanese pup named Bella Jo and cuddling her has brought joy to my heart that I never imagined I’d experience when I agreed to give my daughter a puppy.

What brings you joy? How often do you tap into your sources of joy? I encourage you friends to schedule joy on your calendars and stick to it. Just as you schedule meetings and appointments, schedule things that bring you joy like going for ice cream or spending time in nature.

Best wishes for a JOYFILLED school year!


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