Having joy is important! Joy is different from happiness because it is forever embedded in your soul. With big or small hurdles, the joy that rests in your soul will never leave you. Some might say that joy is hard to find or hard to keep and that is the importance of knowing yourself. It’s important to know what you like, what ticks you off, what irritates you, what makes you smile, what bad habits you need to overcome, along with what brings you peace and can help you restore your joy.
One of the things that I do frequently is read and travel. Even as a young teen, I found myself traveling with my dad and even skipping school to go to the beach sometimes… don’t judge 🤦🏾♀️🤷🏽♀️. I found myself journaling and putting together puzzles. I played video games in college with my homeboys and braided hair. I listened to lots of music. This is what I needed to restore my joy. Joy is bigger than happiness. Happiness is an essential ingredient of joy.
Joy is seriously there all of the time, but every so often you have to wake it up. An influential soror who passed years ago always reminded me of this. I remember visiting her at the hospital and each time, she was always happy! She would try to get out of bed to make her make herself presentable. Nevertheless she was alway beautiful and always joyful. As I thought of being joyful, she is to me the epitome of joy. RIP Carline🙏🏾❤️
Today we are blessed to have Jayla, one of the most joyful people I know share her thoughts on happiness. Jayla, once an advisee has grown to be my little sister, mentee and even mentor sometimes…. We are the Oprah and Gayle duo and it just depends on the day who takes the role of them. She reminded me without even knowing what was going on with me that I am joy. She reminds many and it’s a blessing to have a young lady like her in your life. A compliment that she gave me was “being in your circle is like hitting the lottery.” Whoa! She reminded me one weekend as she “treated me” to a sisterly weekend the joy that was embedded in me. Walking around I had people share compliments and random comments and she said… see…
That was the joy that I thought I lost, but with great people reminding you to be you, that joy seeps right back out.
Get a Jayla in your life! I’m not sharing her….
We were taught joy by one of our sorors! I still remember visiting her in the hospital and she was always so full of joy!
Thanks Jayla for sharing!!
Question: Where is your happy place?
My happy place is anywhere Or anyplace I can listen, play, or be surrounded by anything music related.
Question: How did you find your happy place?
I grew up surrounded by family members who appreciated the arts. Music has connected me in so many happy moments. It is my first and forever love. It is also how I met my fiancé. I started playing piano when I was about 5 years old and I played the flute at 10. I continued to play music ever since. My grandfather was a musician and I had a special bond with him. As a child I was fascinated with him playing along a jazz track when I would come to visit them on the weekends. He was the reason I played the flute and when I told him I was learning to play he would always give me pieces to play or show me piano scores to rehearse. Playing my instrument was my immediate get away. I would have a bad day and once I would rehearse or practice, all the stress would go away. I can go home without any worries.
Music is the glue to how I met my most favorite people in life. My fiancé is a perfect example. He is also a musician who loves music just as much. When I am at my lowest he continues to send me songs or band clips that he knows that will cheer me up.
Question: What challenges in life have forced you to go to this place?
There were times where I would struggle with my life or professional choices. I remember one time bringing my flute to school and once all the kids left at the end of the day I would play. I instantly didn’t feel pressured or stressed out. I also remember having to play when I lost my loved ones. I would be asked to play at their services and as I would play I would remember my time with them. Even during times being alone missing them. Playing made me happy in a time of grief.
Question: What advice can you give to someone struggling with finding their happy place and being fulfilled?
Stay positive and optimistic! There is nothing that you can’t do! Understand that the darkness is not forever but you have to find your light to shine! Once you find that happiness you can spread your light to others whose lights are too dim to see. Open your heart and expose yourself to new experiences and people. It may help with finding your happy place and your purpose of life!
Question: What does it mean for you to be fulfilled?
When I can help someone in need. I service to want others to be happy. From my young students to my fabulous elders. (Those are my two favorite age groups by the way.) I get a great sense of fulfillment when I am able to help people. I get this from my mother. She is so selfless and is the best role model of humility. She always is there to support a little kid raising money for their school or giving to the less fortunate. I love to see everyone smile and be happy and giving is the best way I can do it. Warms my heart! Giving is the best antidote to cancel negativity. If I can make one smile everyday I am closer to making a happier earth and it makes me fulfilled.