Joy is a funny little word isn’t it? For me, I think of the latest Disney/Pixar collaboration and the wonderful character in the green dress, or the times when I cry out with laughter or jump in the air because I feel like I’m going to explode with happiness. I connect Joy to one of the best feelings I have in my emotional capacity. I find my day has been more enjoyable, productive and usually goes faster when I’ve been experiencing this lovely feeling.

I feel like it’s safe to say sometimes we expect outcomes within our lives to bring us happiness and joy. Like getting the job we want, the car we’ve wanted since we bought our last one or even expecting other people to bring us happiness. We live in a universe where everything is made of energy. Energy is always changing and that’s great because it means life moves forward and evolves. But, when I put pressure on my health, family, friends, jobs and material possessions to bring me happiness I’ve been let down on many occasions.

I’ve been a professional actor for the last 7 years and I’ve been very lucky with having work but it’s not always been frequent. I’ve relied on my creative work and acting career to keep me happy, but there have been many times when I’ve been out of work and felt lost because my identity was in my career. I’ve been in my element, doing a show and playing a role that I love so much and when the contract ends I’ve felt like I’ve been left on a limb. I’ve found myself being reliant on my health and getting down and depressed when I’m not physically well. I’ve put pressure on so many relationships in the past that I’ve been scared that if they ended I’d be left lonely, and guess what, when they ended I felt lost and lonely.

We’re human. These are things we do because we find safety in so much of this earthly reality. There is so much joy to be found in vitality and full health, in fun and fabulous relationships and in our careers, but when we rely on those circumstances that are always changing to keep us happy – we can be left feeling deflated.

I have found that there are many simple little things in life that if we’re open to, can bring us so much Joy. When we can find happiness and joy in these simplicities, it takes the pressure off our main priorities in life and means that if they are all going well then it’s an added bonus. I usually find that if I’m not putting pressure on the bigger priorities in life and I’m grateful for the little things the bigger priorities tend to look after themselves.

So, let’s start at the beginning. There’s earth, the sky, waters and the stars. We have so many simple joys available to us to enjoy if we choose to look at the world through childlike eyes. Why do you think they call children ‘little bundles of joy’? It’s because they enjoy the simplicities available to them and therefore their experience is joyous! Put those child like specs on and see the joy in the simple little things in life.

I’m going to keep an account of all #thelittlethings in life that bring me joy and will hopefully bring a bigger sense of joy and freedom to you too. Watch out for this hashtag.

A FEW SIMPLE THINGS YOU CAN DO TO HAVE MORE JOY

NATURE’S BEAUTY – From a stroll through the park to enjoying a sunset or finding a gorgeous view to marvel at. Maybe grow your favourite flowers, enjoy the way they look, smell and maybe even taste if you’re feeling adventurous. There is Joy to be found in these things given to us for free if you can find it. I promise. While you’re at it, a great grounding technique and easy way to relax and get present is to stand on some earth in your bare feet and breathe.

BREATHING – I will never stop banging on about this one. I truly believe it’s life changing. Meditation is like a happy drug. It is just a deep connection to the breath and the breath gives us life. When we feel alive and full of vitality, we feel great. After a little practice at meditation you’ll start to feel a deeper connection to your true authentic joyful self.

GRATITUDE – Be grateful for what you have right now. You could even start a gratitude list on your phone to get into a habit of practicing gratitude. It brings us to the present and makes us feel great to have what we’ve already got. When we feel good about the “right now” it is then that the things we desire come to us.