flowery thoughts

How to Choose Joy

by Connie Brisson ~

Joy is a choice.

Years ago at my friend’s garage sale in Bonnyville, I ran into a woman who I had grown up with (as a child) on a nearby farm.  We talked a bit about our lives and she told me she had twin boys.  I had Gabbey by then and I commented on how difficult it must be to take care of two babies at once (and she had another child too).  And what she said to me has never left me…

She said that every time her life was difficult with them, she would tell herself that: “This too will pass” and it always did.  It was a lightbulb moment for me because I realized (as she was saying this) that when things were difficult for me, I did the opposite.  I would get so scared that I couldn’t endure this “something shitty” forever and my mantra (unconsciously unbeknownst to me) was:  “I can’t live like this.” My mantra created a lot of fear in me, while her mantra was like a nurturing friend. It was an “aha” moment for me to awaken to the power of my words and how limiting they could be.  It made me aware that I could consciously flip/choose a way to see anything defeating differently.

Is the glass half empty or half full?  It’s your decision. It’s your choice.

Our words and thoughts are so powerful.  What we tell ourselves can either elevate our spirits or send us into deep despair.  If we aren’t conscious of our inner programming and how our words steer/captain the boats of our lives, we can get lost in the rogue waves of our thoughts.

One of the books that really helped me to be conscious of my words and their affect on me (and others) is The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein (Hay House, 2016).  It was so powerful for me that I actually wrote some of her quotes on the walls of my home office so I would be constantly reminded everyday that the solution to my suffering is being willing to see my situation from a different point of view.  My new mantra became: “God, please let me see this differently.”

There are tons of gems in her book, but the one that is calling to me right now (after all the grief we’ve gone through with the pandemic and its after effects) is about me taking the responsibility to consciously search for joy in every aspect of my life right now.  Here’s a quote from the book that I loved about how to manifest joy…

“Lean Towards Joy

Now that you understand how your thoughts, words, intentions and energy can influence the world, make a commitment to lean toward joy and peace.

Take a moment to reflect on the following questions.  Jot down your answers in the space below or in a notebook.

  • What brings you joy?
  • How can you proactively create more joy in your life?
  • How can you bring joy to the areas of your life that are not joyful?
  • What would your life be like if joy were your priority?

I spent decades leaning toward fear.  But as I progressed on my spiritual path, I began to think, “What would my life be life if I just leaned toward joy?”  This question led me to conduct a personal experiment. I started to measure my success based on how much fun I was having.  I went on a quest for fun. I began test-driving new hobbies, laughing at my small-minded thinking and going out of my way to seek joy in all situations – especially the more difficult areas of my life.  Whenever I’d notice myself getting stuck in a negative story, I’d challenge myself to try to see it with a joyful perspective.  I’d say to myself, “What if I just chose for this to be fun?” Asking myself that question in any given moment immediately catapulted me back into a place of joy.

Seeking joy doesn’t have to come only from new hobbies or experiences.  Joy can come from a decision to have more fun.  You don’t have to struggle to make your life more joyful! Joy is a choice you make.

Here’s an example.  Let’s say you hate being stuck in traffic (goes for most of us, right?)  This is a situation that you’re usually powerless over.  You need to get to where you’re going and you’re slowed down by outside circumstances.  In this instance you have two choices.  The first is to sit in traffic totally pissed off, silently (or loudly) cursing the cars next to you and honking your horn.  This negative attitude makes you frustrated and may even cause a fender bender because you are so angry behind the wheel.  Does this scenario sound familiar?

Now let’s take a look at option two.  You’re stuck in traffic and you take a moment to witness your frustration.  Instead of flipping out, you say a prayer:  “Universe, thank you for helping me find joy in this situation.” In an instant you begin to lean toward joy.  Instead of focusing on all the reasons that you hate being stuck in traffic, you choose to seek ways to make it fun.  You play that audio book you never have time to listen to, or you call a friend you haven’t spoken to in weeks.  Your decision leads you to experience joy in a seemingly joyless situation. Then the time flies by and before you know it the road is clear.

This lesson may seem obvious, but it can be surprisingly hard to grasp at those times we need it most. Leaning toward joy is not our default.  But the more we practice this principle, the more natural it becomes.  You have the power to shift the energy of a tormented relationship, change the vibe in your office, or heal your perception of yourself with one choice:  the choice to lean toward joy.

When joy becomes your priority, making decisions becomes easier, relationships become more loving and you start to trust that the Universe has your back.  As you choose more loving thoughts, more empowering words, more moments of prayer and longer stillness on your meditation pillow, you’ll begin to experience and express joy naturally.  This will give you the freedom you long for.  It will open the floodgates for the Universe to support you in ways you couldn’t possibly imagine.”

“Joy does not simply happen to us.
We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day..” 
 Henri Nouwen


PLEASE NOTE: Mosaic Magazine will be on holidays from August 16 – September 3, 2021.
We’ll then be changing our format to instead post the “Spirit” articles
as I’m inspired to write them (as opposed to on a weekly basis). ♥



Connie Brisson is the publisher and editor of Mosaic Mind, Body and Spirit Magazine since 2004. From a simple black and white newsprint format that began in 1996, she transformed it into a beautiful full color, gloss magazine that was distributed throughout Alberta, Canada until the end of 2018 (with a readership of over 100,000). It’s now evolved into an online magazine that continues to help people heal, transform and live their best lives. www.mosaicmagazine.ca