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  • Writer's pictureAndi


What is the difference between Happiness and Joy? Take a moment to think about it.

For me, happiness is an emotion based on the materialistic world, it’s fleeting and can be diffused quickly. Joy fills us in our core and has nothing to do with money. It’s also hard to diffuse joy.

Joy comes from inside us and has no bearing on what anyone else has. There is a false image that people who live in a huge house with many cars must be infinitely joyful. This is not true; everyone has a struggle.

This year I was not feeling like my best self. I embarked on a journey with my yoga teacher Stacey and we each made a list of things that would bring us joy vs. happiness. I wrote down 61 words that fit into 4 categories. To fully appreciate these categories, I looked at the anonyms (in the parenthesis below)

My joy categories:

Hope; Growth; Freedom; Authentic – I can fly reading these

(Despair; Stagnant; Confinement; Fake) – I feel strangled reading these

We are all unique so these categories will be different for each of us. I know these are my joy categories because they depict the parts of my life where I recall feeling joy.

· Hope - Courage to make brave changes in my life when I was not feeling joyful.

· Growth - Continuing to learn whether in school, through webinars, book clubs, and keeping an open mind in conversations.

· Freedom – Freedom to be creative as a mom, decorating pumpkins and making camp candy boards. Launching Parent Do Overs and writing my blog each week.

· Authentic - How I raised my children to be their best selves and selecting my friends.

JOY – My four children just as they are (including their life choices), my husband, my parents, my extended family. The courage to launch my business in 2023. I would not trade any of this for a material possession regardless of its value.

It took me a long time to build the courage to transition to my own business. After doing this exercise it validated that I needed a personal Do Over. I am an ambitious person and I love working but I haven’t had these core values in my professional life for many years. I am feeling joyful now embarking on this new phase.

For Parents: The birth of a child is the epitome of joy that is hard to match. I remember thinking, “Wow my husband and I created this”. But if having children is not part of your authentic plan, don’t have them because society says you should or because parents want to become grandparents. For the “wanna-be” grandparents, we had our time to have our children and it’s no longer about us. If this is hard to fathom, we should have a Do Over session this week!

It’s not unusual to place our joy on our children’s accomplishments and personal growth. While we want to raise our children to be the best versions of what we think is the “perfect human”, they are their own being and will behave in a way that is authentic to them. Patterns do matter as I mentioned last week, so if you have role modeled what is important, it’s likely to transfer but only when it matters to them.

Everyone’s joy list will be different. If you are not feeling joy, it’s likely that you are missing a core value. I can help you with a Do Over that will align you to your authentic self especially if you feel trapped and confined. I guarantee this will bring you joy!

~ Andi

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