Four Places to Look For Joy

Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain. Joseph Campbell, American Professor of Literature

When a person is grieving, it is hard for them to imagine finding joy again in their life. It may take a while to rediscover who you are and what makes you happy. Look beyond your fears and insecurities of the present. Hiding there is joy. 

  1. Check out who is in your corner. If you’re rediscovering joy, it’s important to have supportive people around you. Friends and family who will not get on the “ain’t it awful” train with you but help you move in a new direction.
  2. Reach out and help others. Those times when we need emotional help the most are the times when helping others will mean the most to us. It sounds counterintuitive but it works.
  3. Get rid of the “shoulds” in your life. Do what you want to do, be who you want to be. Stop comparing yourself to others. Stop beating yourself up. Be kind and gentle to yourself and you’ll be rewarded.
  4. Have an attitude of gratitude. You might feel less than grateful in the midst of sadness or grief. However, finding something for which you can be grateful everyday will help turn your life around.

Affirmation: I know where joy lives.

Coaching questions: If you’re looking for more joy in your life, what will you do today to help yourself move towards change? Is finding more joy worth the effort? I know one thing for sure—you’re worth it! You deserve joy in your life. 


What To Do About Ungrateful Grandsons

Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude. A.A. Milne 

Today I received my first email in response to a new Ask the Life Coach column I’m writing for the Coastal Breeze, my local newspaper. The emailer wrote, “I sent each of my three grandsons $150 and never received a thank you or even a wish for a Merry Christmas.” She’s wondering what to do about this dilemma. I frequently hear a version of this from many others. An attitude of gratitude must be taught. Somewhere, someone dropped the ball and raised kids with small hearts and little appreciation. 

If the grandsons are older, I would address them directly. “Did you receive my check?” “What did you spend the money on?” Text them if they’re teens. If they are young, address your child, their parent, and ask them similar questions. Don’t sweep this under the rug if it’s bothering you. Even if the parent isn’t taking responsibility for teaching their children gratitude doesn’t mean you can’t have some influence. 

Affirmation: I model gratitude. 

Coaching questions: If you have ungrateful people in your life, how are you addressing the issue? What would happen if you spoke out about it? If you’re disappointed or angry about a lack of gratitude, don’t let the issue go unaddressed.