Just as there is nothing we need to do to make our self exist because we already “are,” there is nothing we need to do to make Joy exist in our life. It already does. Joy is happening everywhere, all the time, because Joy is the creative energy of Life, Itself. We are all a part of the Joy of Life. It already lives in us because Joy is the Nature of the Universe in which we live. We could say that the Joy of Life began in the beginning when God saw all that He had created was very, very good, and then said. “This is so good it calls for celebration!” And from that moment on the Universe has been celebrating the existence of Creation.

Every living thing was created out of God’s Pleasure, and every living thing is able to feel Joy—even the flowers dance in the breeze. Even though we may not feel like dancing at the moment, or believe that our life is worth celebrating at all, there is a party going on in our soul that is celebrating us, just the same. We can choose to join It, or we can choose to be a party pooper. But, either way, the celebration of Life isn’t affected. Joy is ongoing because It is the Infinite, Eternal Nature of the Living Universe. As long as there is Creation, there is Celebration!

Joy is essential to all life throughout the Universe, and It is so essential to our well being here on Earth—to the health of our body, the peace of our mind, and the quality of our day-to-day life—that a joy-less life leads to persistent illness, chronic pain, lingering depression, and angry, intolerant reactions toward life that make us feel alienated and separate from All that is Good in Life. Even so, we may wonder how we can choose such life-enriching Joy when we don’t see a reason to feel It. The good news is we don’t need reason feel It. The Joy that lives in our soul is unreasonable, in a world full of reasons not to feel It. And It is unconditional, in world filled with situations and conditions that appear to be anything but joyful.

These days feeling Joy in our heart may seem may seem selfish, even sacrilegious, when we look at all the suffering that is going on in our country and around world. But the Joy of our Inner Being is an eternal gift of God that has nothing to do with the world or what occurs in it. Joy is the Presence of God’s Pleasure that doesn’t change because our life situations change, and It doesn’t disappear just because the world doesn’t recognize It is there. It doesn’t need a reason to BE, and we don’t need a reason to feel It. If we want to help uplift the world, we must uplift our self first.

Spiritual Joy isn’t about our feeling “happy as a clam” when we have a day that doesn’t seem to go our way, or a crises in our life that doesn’t seem to want to go away. It is not about what happens in our life, but how we “face” what happens in our life that makes all the difference in our experience of life.

We can choose to face life situations with a smile of Grace-filled Joy if we trust that every situation, condition and encounter has the potential to teach us how to love our self and others more through acceptance and forgiveness. Or, we can choose to face our life situations with a scowl and a frown because we’re sure that everything and everyone around us is to blame for our unhappiness, even though it was actually our joy-less thinking led the parade to our door1

Recent research suggests it takes just about same number of muscles to smile or to frown. We just use the muscles differently. It isn’t the number of muscles we use, but the direction they take our face, and our life, that makes the difference in the way we feel and experience life, and the way others feel and experience us

Obviously a frown goes down. The muscles we use to frown pull our whole face down, and contract and pinch it in unattractive ways. We, and those around us, can feel the downward pull of that negative energy. A smile, on the other hand, goes up and the muscles uplift our whole face. A smile expands our facial features and makes any face more beautiful. And, in that way, a smile makes the whole world more beautiful because everyone who sees a smile is inspired to smile, too.

When we feel the Joy-filled Reality of our Inner Being, we are able to face whatever comes up in this life with an unshakable trust, and a Joy so deep It uplifts not only our face, but our whole life, and creates a reality through us that is truly worth celebrating!