What is Joy?

A very dear friend of mine was going through a time in her life where she has discovered a lack of joy and started on a new path to reclaiming it. This made me ask myself, what is joy? Is it choice, much like happiness is? Or is it a feeling we can’t control, such as love?

Thinking on the word enjoyable, I see en-joy-able. En-able-joy. Maybe a joyful experience doesn’t give joy, but enables it. When something is enabled, it is simply released potential, but we still have to tap into that and perhaps allow ourselves to experience it, which brings us back to choice. We choose how we allow things to affect us. That’s why being happy is a choice, as well as being unhappy. Maybe then, joy is a choice, too?

My state of mind when participating in something that gives me joy affects the experience. Working on my websites, writing and making candles gives me joy, but if I am cranky when performing any of these things, joy is not what I’ll experience. I have to be in the state of mind to receive the joy.


“If I keep a green bough in my heart, the singing bird will come.” Chinese Proverb


When I think of joy, I think of our true nature. So this makes me think that when there is a lack of joy, then it is because we are off-center, and focusing on things or circumstance that are taking us away from who we truly are. When we are truly ourselves, allowing ourselves to be free from all inhibiting thoughts, we are free and in a state of bliss.

So then joy is all of the above! It is a feeling – a feeling of bliss when we are truly ourselves. It is also a choice, because it is the choices we make that can take us away from ourselves. It is all, and yet it is none because ultimately, joy is being. Purely.


Learning to live in the present moment is part of the path of joy. Sarah Ban Breathnach


  1. Cindy
    Mar 25, 2013


    You explained this so beautifully which offers the reader true insight and understanding to the concept to the true meaning of ‘Joy’!

    Well done!