The Art of Soulful Living: What is joy?

Our philosophy, The Art of Soulful Living is brought to life through our compass, that acts as a guide to personal wellbeing. This month, we are focusing on one of the 13 compass points: Joy


For most people, joy is synonymous with happiness. But the way we see joy and how we portray it as a theme, there is a distinct difference. Happiness is that feeling you experience when you get an unexpected or long sought-after promotion, when you finally nail your own golf swing, when you fall in love with someone and they love you back, or when you see your child take its first wobbly steps. While happiness is an emotion that is brought on by an event, action, or experience, joy is a state of mind induced by a connection with yourself, with others, and with the world around you. Happiness emerges from external circumstances; joy is an internal disposition. Happiness is elation, bliss, energy and pleasure; joy is peace, calm, fulfilment, and contentment. Happiness comes and goes; joy is continuous. Happiness is of the mind. Joy resides in the soul.  


True joy is that feeling when all the stars seem to be rigged in your favour. That life is perfectly fine just as it is and no matter what it will throw your way, good or bad, you are okay, you can manage, you can overcome these obstacles.  


If you are not connected to your authentic self, don’t act on the things you like, criticise yourself and emphasise the negative rather than the positive, joy will be a hard thing to realise. Joyful people have a clear idea of how they want to live their lives and their attitude – kind, caring, and loving – proves that. When they experience grief or loss, they realise there will be pain, but they choose not to drown themselves in misery. Joyful people know that life may offer challenges, but there will always be something else that lifts the clouds and offers a silver lining.  


Whatever your life looks like today and whatever you may feel – happiness, delight, negativity, comfort or despair – you, and only you, are the creator of your own joy. Or, lack of it. Joy does not simply happen to you. You have to keep choosing it every single day.  


Want to know more about joy? Our first ever book, The Book of Rituals, delves deep into this topic and so much more. Featuring inspirational articles, unique art work and wellbeing wisdom, this luxurious coffee table book is the ultimate guide to soulful living. Click here to shop The Book of Rituals.