For many of us, joy can feel just as vulnerable as sadness or fear. We see this so often in our COR workshops—feeling joy and gratitude can leave us feeling exposed, especially in front of others. Joy naturally opens your heart, which can make it feel defenseless! It feels safer to numb ourselves to joy or immediately think of all the ways things can go wrong.

This was glaringly apparent to me last week. I had just facilitated COR Woman over the weekend and took Monday off to rest, but immediately jumped back into work the next day. When I read the COR Connections article in our FB group about joy, I realized that while I allowed myself time to rest, I didn’t allow myself to celebrate the huge workshop we had. Instead, I sluggishly returned to the daily grind of preparing myself for our next workshop, Radiant Woman. I moved onto my next tasks rather than pausing to honor myself. It felt vulnerable and selfish to make time for joy in my schedule and celebrate the weekend when there was still so much work to do.

And in the moment I noticed this, I chose joy. I chose to pause my work and go celebrate myself. Immediately, I felt 10 times more energized. I felt alive. And I felt happy. Thinking back to that moment, I still notice an excitement bubble in my chest.

Like Britta mentioned last week, the science shows it’s imperative we let ourselves celebrate, relish in the gratitude, and open our hearts to joy. It changes our brain chemistry and strengthens new neural pathways in our brain to wire us for even more happiness and resilience.

To see your own relationship to joy, I invite you to notice what it might feel like to balance your day with joy and ease. Perhaps celebrate a recent accomplishment. How does your mind respond and what thoughts run through your mind? Do you think, “I can’t do that today, I don’t have enough time”? How do you respond emotionally? Does this bring up any fear or excitement? How does your body physically respond? Does your stomach clench at the thought of celebrating or putting joy into your schedule? Or does your body feel more relaxed?

Then, I invite you to schedule at least one act of celebration or one act to foster joy this week! Perhaps this looks like doing something nourishing, dancing in your living room with your kids, spending time with your best friend, or planning a getaway trip. Whatever it is, it should light you up rather than feel like an obligation.

Let us know what your act of joy or celebration is on Facebook! Your act may inspire someone else’s.

Much joy to you!