Is Happiness the New Rich? Our New Measurements of Joy


I came across a wonderful quote from the online newsletter, Elephant Journal.

Happiness is the new rich.
Inner peace is the new success.
Health is the new wealth.
Kindness is the new cool.

Around the same time, I reconnected with Kaia Roman. I quoted her in a previous article about mindfulness for kids at school. She has a new book coming out next week The Joy Plan: How I Took 30 Days to Stop Worrying, Quit Complaining, and Find Ridiculous Happiness.

As a mother, a wife, and a businesswoman, Kaia Roman always had a plan, even as a kid. She founded her first business at age 9. But when her biggest plan, the healthcare tech company she co-founded, collapsed, Kaia found herself crushed by depression. And what felt even worse was that with a husband and two kids relying on her she didn’t have a plan to move forward. She could hardly get out of bed.

Determined to turn her life around and put her ingrained habits of stress and anxiety behind her, Kaia decided to put everything else on hold and dedicate thirty days to the singular pursuit of joy. The results were astonishing–and lasted much longer than the initial month-long project. In this uplifting and eye-opening memoir, Kaia uses her business savvy to create a month-long Joy Plan to get back on her feet fast. Using scientific research on hormones, neurotransmitters, and mindfulness, along with the daily dedication to creating a more joyful existence, Kaia teaches readers how to go beyond temporary happiness and succeed in creating joy that lasts.

Both the quote and her book got me thinking about the difference between joy and happiness.

Enter the wisdom of Danielle Laporte. She writes,

“Happiness is like rising bubbles — delightful and inevitably fleeting. Joy is the oxygen — ever present. Happiness is always passing through. It can claim your full attention for the ten seconds it takes to swallow a sip of incredible coffee. Or it can stream through your being for weeks on end. But happiness can’t hold the same space as sadness, or anger, or the range of so-called “negative” emotions for very long. This is why it’s transitory.
joy; it can accommodate everything.”

Joy is the fiber of your Soul. It’s the stuff of your essence. And since you, your Soul can never be annihilated (yes, that would make you eternal and omnipresent), your access to joy never vanishes. Because joy is so foundational to your true being, every other state or emotion can rest on top of joy, it can accommodate everything.”

By changing some habits and making intentional choices, I hope to choose joy at times when it’s tempting to choose worry, perfectionism, disappointment, or fear. Dawn Kaiser is a wonderful local woman who speaks all over the world about accessing our joy. Seek out one of her local workshops. And Kaia Roman’s Joy Plan is infused with practical wisdom that may help us find joy, and essence, despite life’s inevitable bumps, bruises and worse. It will be on my bedside stand for a long time.

Maybe joy is the new rich, the new success, the new wealth and the new cool. And even in times when happiness, peace, health, and kindness evade, with the right tools, we can find our way back to joy.

Back to Danielle, “The simple joy of being alive. So cosmically basic it’s mind-blowing: the joy to be here, connected, animated, breathing, blessed, resilient, to be broken, to be open, to have what was, what’s left, what’s coming. The joy just to be part of reality……Joy. It’s the love that lasts no matter what.”

Joy to YOU,

Dr Sue

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