Every morning when I wake up, I try to lie in bed for a moment and be grateful. I start with noticing my coziness and warmth and then touch on anything in my immediate environment for which I am thankful: I have a roof over my head and enough food to eat, I live in an area of the world that is safe, I live in a part of the country that has incredible beauty. Next, I move on to broader things: my friends, family, and loved ones; the fact I get to write for a living; the fact I have the opportunity to meet and interact with people from all paths of life. I do this every morning for about 10 minutes, finding things small and large for which I am thankful before I rise and start my day. It focuses and centers me, and I begin my day in a state of joy.
Joy and gratitude are intertwined, and finding the things for which you are thankful is the fastest way I know of to move into joy. And from this state, it is easier to create those things you most desire because your current attitude attracts like energy. So if you focus on things for which you are grateful, you attract more things to be thankful for.
Nobody ever got happier from grousing about the things in life they didn't like, and it's pretty difficult to feel joy if all you're thinking about is how bad things are. Fortunately, everyone has some aspects of their life for which they can be thankful. I do realize some days you have to search a little harder, but those things are always there. And when you focus on the good parts (no matter how small), your attention shifts away from the elements in your life that are currently making you unhappy. Why is that important? Because where you focus your attention attracts similar energies, so if you are focusing on something negative, you attract more negativity. If you are focusing on something positive, you attract more of the same.
Joy is a choice and gratitude is one of its triggers. It's up to you to choose joy when you aren't feeling it naturally. The more you practice this, the more frequently you will be joyful and from that state, your life will always change for the better.
Some days and some moments are more difficult than others, but unconditional love is always is a choice. Here's the good news. If you're not choosing it right this moment, you have another moment and another so as soon as you recognize you're not choosing unconditional love, you can make the choice anew.
Have you ever truly paid attention to the stories you tell yourself and your world about your life? How you think about things and how you communicate them with others has a profound effect on your experience of reality.
For example, suppose you have been having some trouble sleeping. You spend a lot of time worrying whether you will sleep well that night, and you tell people, "I don't know why, but I just don't sleep well." As try to go to sleep, you lie there and worry about whether you will be able to. Then, if something wakes you in the middle of the night, your first thought is, "Now I'll never get back to sleep."
Your thoughts are creating your sleep situation. The more attention and belief you give to the thought, "I don't sleep well," the more it becomes your experience.
What if you changed your story? What if, instead, every time you caught yourself thinking about your poor sleep, you changed your thought to, "I sleep peacefully and wake up refreshed?" What if, instead of talking to others about how poorly you sleep, you found other positive things to talk about? What if, as you were drifting off to sleep, you affirmed, "I sleep peacefully and awake rested and refreshed," and then paid attention to all of the positive things in that moment: you are warm, you are comfortable, your pillow supports you well, etc. Then, if something did wake you in the middle of the night, what if you restated your affirmation and again paid attention to the positives of the moment? Chances are, you would sleep better.
I speak from experience. This is what I did when I was struggling with regular insomnia. Nothing changed except the story I told myself about sleep, but the effects were profound.
Pay attention to the story you tell. With every story, you can tell it from a negative standpoint discussing what you don't want, or you can tell about it from a positive standpoint about the things that are good. Changing your point of view from positive to negative and focusing on what you want instead of what you don't want can make a world of difference.
When you align with your soul's highest purpose, you feel joy. It is a clear signal from your Divine self this is the direction you should take.
You can use your emotions as a guide to any decision you make in your life, from the most mundane to the most profound. If an option makes you feel badly, then it probably isn't the choice that serves your highest and greatest good. If, however, you feel joy when considering that option, then spread your arms wide and welcome it.
You embodied to live a life of joyful purpose. When you align with purpose, joy is always the end result. It really is that simple.