Joy comes in may different forms; love, gratitude, excitement. All of these are feelings that we strive so hard to achieve and to have in our lives. For me, I work very hard every day to achieve these things and I do get to feel them every day. Working that hard to get there, how- ever, can take you to a place of exhaustion. When you are putting so much energy and effort out you are depleting yourself. Wanting to feel joy but slowly, over time, emptying your cup so that you can’t achieve it.

When I teach my students, I am very passionate about teaching them to fill themselves up first so they can give to others. When you are full you can have deeper relationships. What hap- pens when you get to that point? When you wake up every day and feel happy, grateful and excited about where you are and where you are going.

Worry can creep in, fear of losing what you have built. Even in happiness and joy there is a need to be vulnerable. Have you ever been so happy that tears fall from your eyes but at the same time you are fearful that the happiness is fleeting? This is where we need to be vulnera- ble. This is where we need to trust. We need to let go and have faith that what we have built will be a strong enough foundation to support us in that moment. Letting go to let more joy in.

So how do you do that?

Presence yourself. Right now, this moment, is all that is important. There is no future, there is no past, there is only this moment. When we continuously look to the past or the future our mind races through scenarios. Looking for the worst, putting out the negative energy that will, eventually, bring those scenarios to us. Instead, be in the moment. Look around you and feel the moment, the grandness of all that has to come together to create each moment. Not only for you but for those around you. You are always exactly where you are supposed to be.

Trust. This is a BIG one. Trust. Not only yourself, but the universe, the Devine and your God. Trust that everything has a purpose. Everything is a lesson and a moment for you to experience growth into your higher self. Trust that everything is as it should be.

If you struggle with this, because trusting means having to let go and be in the unknown, give yourself reminders. Write the word trust in places that you can see it every day. Wear a locket that reminds you of trust when you see it. These little reminders will both consciously and un- consciously work to help you trust more powerfully.

Let go, disconnect. In an age when we are all connected to social media and to our phones, schedule time to disconnect and let go. Go for a hike and leave your phone at home. Sched- ule a family dinner with no power on in the house. Unplug the internet so there is no tempta- tion. Disconnect so that you can reconnect.

Express yourself. No matter if you are talking to a friend, writing in your journal or writing in your blog. GET IT OUT. Shine a light on all of the fear, vulnerability, guilt and shame that you have inside of you. Vent your darkness so that your light has more places to shine.

Your life, all of our lives, are teaching tools. There will never be a day when there is nothing for you to learn. Some lessons WILL be harder than others but as you move through them YOU WILL get stronger. Let your joy and happiness come and be in the moment, allow it to be.