Experiencing joy is your natural state of being! When you are connected with your Inner Truth, you live a joyful life. When you are disconnected from your inner guidance you experience thoughts, emotions and results that feel anything but joyful.
By becoming more aware of what blocks you from living the joy and connection within, you can quickly make adjustments and release what is no longer serving you. This is not to suggest that you keep your attention on the obstacles (that would only create more of them). Instead, recognize them so they may be brought to light and let go. It is when they are left denied in the darkness that they threaten your well being.
This report points out common obstacles that will block you from experiencing your inner peace and joy and what you can do about them. At the end of this report you will find 10 ways to reconnect with your joy and release whatever is blocking you.
10 Obstacles That Block Your Joy:
1) Being Overly Busy and Hurried
The demands of our modern world can take a toll on your time and energy. There is always more you could be doing and the "to-do list" often continues to grow and carry over. This constant looming can create a lot of reactive and unconscious behavior which will disconnect you from your Inner Truth, which is where true joy resides.
If you are wholly aligned with your action, you will experience great joy in what you do. However, if there is an underlying pressure or hurriedness, it will take away from the enjoyment of it. This underlying pressure often is due to the unconscious driver of what you think you "should" be doing. This can cause you to get caught in a constant stream of thoughts which may result in automatic pilot behavior, and consume your experience.
Any time you are in a hurry, there is an underlying mode of fear. This fear could be of anything and points to a feeling of lack. It could be a fear of losing a relationship, financial resources, or some other fear of loss. Often is related to a perceived need to fulfill expectations. These may be your own expectations of yourself, which are usually linked to expectations of others or society. The more you release yourself from being bound to these, the more you can allow your inner guidance to lead you to live more proactively instead of reactively. This will allow you to experience more joy. If you find yourself in a chaotic mode trying to get things done, stop for a moment and become more fully engaged. Ask yourself if there is something you are afraid of that you are trying to avoid. Shift your focus on finding more joy in the experience. Take time throughout the day (schedule it every hour if necessary) to stop and take a couple of moments to center yourself.
Distractions can be a funny thing because on the surface you may think they are creating a more pleasurable experience because they seem to offer relief to a discomfort you are feeling. However, they can never really fulfill the joy you are seeking because they take away from the present experience, which is where true joy lies. Often this behavior is also driven by a perceived need (usually unconscious) to run away or avoid something. This may be anxiety or a similar feeling. If you aren't willing to look at the underlying feelings and unconsciousness driving the behavior, it can develop into addictive behaviors.
Take time before you reach for an unconscious distraction to ask yourself … what do I think this behavior is going to give me? What feelings are coming up and what is causing them? You only become distracted when you are not fully connected with your Inner Being. Ask yourself if you are allowing your sense perceptions to contribute to the distractions you are encountering. Allowing your senses to control you is allowing the external world to control you. Just because you sense something (eg see, smell, hear, etc.) does not mean it is something you really want. It may be something that isn't in alignment with your inner purpose and unless you are connected with your Inner Truth it will take you away from experiencing the peace and joy within. Create clear intentions for the day (and each hour if necessary) to keep you on track. Focus on where you want to put your energy and engage in it fully.
Habits are unconscious actions that you don't think much about because they have become part of a routine. Let's first address "bad" habits. These are things you do on a regular basis that you later feel guilty for. Some of these may be more subtle that others. For example, if you get a candy bar every time you go in a convenience store you may experience a little bit of unease later thinking you "shouldn't have done that", but if you eat half of the batch of cookies you made in One day you will likely experience more heavy guilt (not to mention a tummy ache!). So, what about "good" habits? These are habits you have created to help you achieve your goals. For example, going to the gym after work, writing your to-do list before you leave for the day, and taking your dog for a walk every morning.
There are a couple of things to ask yourself when looking at each of your habits. Do they bring up feelings that are empowering or disempowering to you? If they are empowering (aka "good" habits) then you may not need to make adjustments. However, still be aware that these too can be pitfalls to unconscious behavior. Be conscious to stay engaged and be present with them. If they are disempowering to you or contribute to any feelings of guilt, bring greater awareness and consciousness to them so you can begin to release them.
4) Anticipation of Future Events or Evaluation of Past Events
It is easy to allow thoughts to consume your mind and a common way this shows up is by thinking about what you will be doing, or what you did at another time. You may find yourself preparing in your mind for future conversations or events or replaying past experiences your mind. The challenge with this is that you limit your experience of the present moment which is where your power and fulfillment is. To experience greater joy and fulfillment you must learn to step away from the incessant thoughts of the mind and begin to live more presently.
Anytime you notice yourself becoming consumed in the future or past take a moment to consciously come back to the present. If there is something that needs to be done in planning for the future, then engage in that action fully. If there is something from the past that is bothering you now, feel how it is affecting you now and be willing to release it.
5) Rigidity and / or Control
Creating intentions and goals can be a beautiful part of life but when you are rigid with them and force an outcome it is stressful and limiting. It can be easy to get attached to the plan you set in motion and the end result you set out for. However, when you are insistent on being the puppet master you can make things more difficult for yourself. The universe has a much more expansive view of the situation and when you surrender you can allow the universe to work for you and unfold the path of least resistance.
When you learn to be at peace with uncertainty rather than trying to control situations, you allow wonderful new experiences and opportunities to present themselves. So many times people will choose misery over uncertainty just because they feel more secure in knowing what they are getting! However, when you can allow yourself to be at ease in the unknown you can experience life as a joyful adventure.
6) Doubt / Lack of Trust
Questioning yourself or others is a major block to experiencing the joy you desire. When you don't trust yourself, others, or the universe you create a field of energy to bring your underlying fears to fruition. People in our society think they need to protect themselves from being naïve but whenever you are preoccupied with protecting yourself you cut yourself off from the joy you desire. When you question and doubt your decisions, you are limiting your experience and identifying with your fears. Learn to trust yourself and your decisions because all doubt eventually points back to not fully trusting yourself. Ronald Reagan reminds us of this when he said, "When I've gathered enough information to make a decision I don't take a poll, I just make a decision." If you are always looking to others to give your answers, you are giving your power away.
To believe more deeply in yourself and in life, first become really honest with yourself. What does your inner guidance tell you? Learn to listen to your inner wisdom and trust it. Know that you really can't go wrong. It is ALL right. Practice instilling new empowering beliefs with the use of mantras, gratitude, and acknowledgment of your own and others' successes. (EFT is another great tool for this, see # 10 at the end of this report.)
Worry is closely related to doubt but shows up differently for people so let's look at it more closely. Worry gets you caught in your mind and can contribute to thoughts running away and taking control of you. We've all heard the phrase "making mountains out of molehills' and that's one of the things worry does. It wastes your energy by taking your attention outside of your own inner truth.
Learn to recognize what is really causing your upset. It is within you, not outside of you. Take action if necessary, but don't lose yourself in it. See things for what they are. The more you feed energy to worry the more of a mountain you create. If you are worried about what other people are doing, you are giving your power and well being away to others. If you are worried about what other people think of you or what you should be doing or saying, you are cut off from your Inner Being. Be aware if you are spending your energy filtering and editing the way you are express yourself based on what you think you should be doing or by comparing yourself to the standards of others or society.
8) Physical Discomfort
Your body is wonderful communicator with you when you pay attention to it. Often the discomfort you experience has a story to tell you because it is reflecting something that's going on with you emotionally. Louise Hay has published some wonderful work about this connection and EFT is a remarkable tool to help with this as well. There have been countless stories of how tapping (EFT) has helped relieve years of physical suffering once the underlying emotional issue was released.
Have you ever noticed that you forgot all about an ailment when you were having fun doing something else? Then as soon as you started thinking about it, it began to hurt again? Consider how much attention you are putting on physical ailments and if there are any that are getting in your way of living a fuller life. Ask yourself what this ailment may represent for you (And of course get medical care when needed). Be willing to look at what the underlying issue may be so you can release it.
9) Judging Others and Ourselves
Anytime you think you know what is best for someone else, you are judging. This does not mean you don't offer help to others when you feel inspired to. It means you aren't attached to them receiving it. If you find yourself being critical of others or yourself, you are measuring people by a standard you have set in your mind which is limiting your experience. This type of closed mindedness shuts off your expansiveness that connects you to joy. Even when you think your intention is noble (eg to help), if you are trying to convince others your way is the right way you are allowing your need to be right to run the show and your heart is not open. If your heart is not open you cannot experience the fullness of life. This is just as true for self-judgment. When you condemn yourself for certain thoughts or behaviors you are stuck in your mind and cutting yourself off from a joyful experience.
Instead of condemning yourself for the thoughts and behaviors you want to change, observe them. Then you can stop actively resisting them and consciously begin to choose differently. Change can be fun and enjoyable when you first learn to accept where you are. As well, others are more likely to be inspired by you when you first accept where they are. You will know that you are observing and not judging when there is no longer an emotional charge to what you are noticing.
Resentment is toxic to any relationship and keeps us separate and disconnected not only from other people, but also from the deeper part of ourselves. There are many reasons people experience resentment and ultimately it is the result of feeling like a victim. When you begin to take your power back you realize you have a choice regarding how you respond to the behavior of others. You can experience resentment and blame others for your negative emotions, or you can choose otherwise. As long as you hold on to resentment you keep yourself from experiencing the joy you desire.
Forgiveness is the key to releasing resentment. When you realize the anger and resentment you are holding is really only hurting yourself, it becomes easier to let go. Forgiveness does not mean you are condoning someone's behavior but instead accepting it for what it is and letting it go. When you can see that each experience offers an opportunity for growth and learning, you can allow yourself the freedom that forgiveness provides.
In order to experience the joy you desire you must begin to live with an open heart. When you live with an open heart your awareness is expanded and you are centered in a peaceful state of being that guides your actions. It is impossible for you to have obstacles cut off your joy when you are in this state because there are no obstacles in this state of being. How do you connect with this part of yourself and experience this more fully? Here are 10 ways …
10 Ways To Reconnect With Your Joy:
1) Love unconditionally. Love everything and everyone by recognizing the spirit, beauty, and essence that is within each being. Do not put your attention on what you don't like, notice the things you can appreciate and love and connect with that. Appreciate yourself and others.
2) Be present and fully engage in each moment. Practice being fully aware in every action.
3) Learn to use your mind as a tool to express love. Let go of the habitual thoughts that have been running your mind and instead allow thoughts that are centered in love be expressed.
4) Experience an expansive state of awareness by intending to open your heart and energy field. Feel yourself become more open without holding on to a perceived need to be guarded. Allow yourself to express who you are.
5) Trust in your process and allow yourself to experience the adventure of life. Accept each experience and discover the lessons it holds for you while you enjoy the process.
6) Be the Observer. Step back and look at the bigger picture. Observe your thoughts, feelings, and actions without being identified with them. Observe the actions of others without reacting or judging and notice how the things that used to upset you are no longer hot buttons.
7) Breathe. Use your breath to reconnect and center yourself and disengage your thoughts. Become present with your Inner Being.
8) Give what you want to receive. When we give we also receive. We can't give love without experiencing love ourselves. In that way giving and receiving are one.
9) Forgiveness. Recognize the gifts that are in everything and release any resentment or guilt you may be harboring.
10) Use EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). This is an incredible tool to help you heal on multiple levels and there is a free introductory manual available and a lot of other helpful information at http://www.emofree.com To accelerate your results, contact an EFT practitioner.