I read a book many years ago called Joy Begins With You. It is a treasure of wisdom through stories of the everyday; ordinary moments seen in an extraordinary way...and stepping outside of the box to view life as it was meant to be seen.
I watch my teenagers who still enjoy the last physical remnants of their childhood, yet who celebrate their internal youth through laughter, lightness, living. They don't care how they may look to others in their child play, but revel in the wonder of the moment.
Joy is more than being happy in a situation or during a particular time in our lives. It is a state of being; an inner peace and contentment that fills us up so completely that it can't help but burst the seams, spreading to everyone around us. It is seeing the goodness in the world, and choosing to spend our time around positive people and situations. It is turning our backs on gossip and only embracing things that make us better and more loving people. And it is taking the child within us by the hand and allowing it to make play within our hearts.
Circumstances often find us and situations come our way. We can chart our course through still waters, yet find ourselves tossing upon turbulent waves. We cannot choose every situation, but in every situation we can learn.
Choose optimism when a choice is given, find laughter on a cloudy day. Don't wait for flowers to be delivered to your doorstep, but instead go out and pick your own lovely bouquet.
Joy does begin with us. How lucky we are!