"Joyfulness is being filled with happiness, peace, love and a sense of well-being. Joy is inside us all. It comes from a sense of being loved. It comes from an appreciation for the gift of life. Joy comes when we are doing what we know is right. Joy is the inner sense that can carry us through the hard times, even when we are feeling very sad."
-excerpts from the Virtues cards with permission from The Virtues Project™
Questions for reflection:
- What are three things that bring me joy?
- How can I bring those three things into my life on a regular basis?
- What do I appreciate in the gift of life?
- How can I retain the inner sense of joy, even when I am feeling sad
Betsy, I appreciated this newsletter about Joyfulness. It reminded me of a time when everything was going wrong, but I had great love for what I was doing. I was working on a huge exterior mural and it rained! I arrived at the wall and was looking forward to seeing the mural being beautiful and just as I had left it..... and what I saw instead was long streaking lines, ruining the image! I remember that I loved the image so much that my heart opened to the situation – instead of closing around it or feeling upset. And that was for me an experience of feeling an unusual sense of joy – at a time when I knew I would be justified in feeling upset. To feel this way when times are really awful, is to have a heart of gold.
I wish I could say I felt this more often! What a lesson!
-Sherry Buckner, Artist, Olympia, WA
Here's a great example of practicing joyfulness from 2nd grade teacher Julie Doan of Medina Elementary School in Bellevue, WA.
Julie has picked a virtue to focus on in her classroom each month. She says, "For each monthly virtue focus, I've taken the affirmations from the Virtues Project Educator's Guide and adapted them a bit to make a pledge. Every morning, our class recites the Pledge of Allegiance, the Pledge of insert virtue here and poem of the month. Now all of the second grade classes say the pledge! Here's an example of the Pledge of Joyfulness that I adapted from the Joyfulness affirmations and definitions:
"I am thankful for the joy I feel inside.
I enjoy my work and my play.
I appreciate the gifts this day holds for me.
When I am joyful, I am open to learning new things, and becoming a stronger person."
Can you imagine 24 seven year olds saying this pledge of joyfulness every day for a month? Wow, what a difference it will make in the way they grow up and become who they truly are: people of virtue. Julie, your creativity, enthusiasm and service are a wonderful example to us all. Thank you!