On this episode of A Season of Me Stories, join your host Heidi Kleine as she kicks off Season 3 with an episode titled 'July for Joy'. Heidi dives into the power of spreading joy and how it enhances our experiences. She discusses the distinction between joy and happiness, emphasizing that joy is a state of being that embraces peace and contentment, while happiness is more temporary and reactive. . In this episode, Heidi introduces the summer series of the Me Stories podcast, starting off with her favorite month of the year, July. She shares her annual habits and practices that bring her joy during this month, encouraging listeners to create their own customized joy list. She sees July as a halfway point in the year, offering an opportunity for reflection, reset, and intentional joy-seeking. Heidi delves into different definitions of joy, discussing its connection to well-being and the importance of intention. She encourages listeners to keep a joy journal where they can record moments of joy each day, both planned activities and unexpected events. Join Heidi on this insightful journey as she guides you towards intentional joy-seeking in the month of July.
Greetings my friends and welcome back to a season of Me Stories. This is the first episode of season three. Season three is our summer series and this episode I am calling July for Joy. So for those of you who have been around for a little while and have known me for a while, you know that July is my favorite month of the year. And I frequently call this month July for joy for a bunch of reasons. And we're going to talk about that, not the least of which is that July is my birthday month. And I like to celebrate for the entire month every year and have a lot of different things that are sort of annual habits, annual practices that I practice during the month of July.
And I think July is a really cool month. Well, cool from not a weather standpoint. But what I love about July is this sort of halfway reality, right? We are six months into 2023. We are halfway through the year. This is a chance to reset and kind of reset in a bit of a gradual way. When January rolls around, there's all this sort of momentum and pressure to get going and to start the year off strong. And July is this lazy days of summer, kind of midpoint in the year, opportunity to spend the whole month kind of reflecting on how has the year gone, how might you like the year to look different next year? Just like to use this month to be very intentional about joy. And so as we kind of embark on this conversation, I thought I would look up a little bit about joy to see what the definers out there had to say about it.
And I found several different interesting definitions. According to Webster's, joy is a feeling of great pleasure or happiness that comes from success, good fortune or a sense of well being or by the prospect of possessing what one desires. And I thought that was interesting. Another definition that came up was great delight caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying. And then we can even use joy as a noun when we talk about something be a joy, it's something or someone that is greatly valued or appreciated. So when I hear those definitions about of joy and the way that they're sort of tied to this sense of well being and sense of delight, what I find interesting about that in the context of what we talk about here all the time is that there's a sense of intention about it, right? It's a sense of looking for joy and valuing joy. And one of the articles that I looked up was talking about the difference between joy and happiness. And I thought this was great, this was from compassion.com.
And they have a list of things that I just want to unpack with you. The first one is that joy is a little word and happiness is a bigger word and I thought that was an interesting place for them to start. There's a simplicity about joy, there's a peace about joy, whereas happiness is sort of bigger and bolder, just like the word. The second point they can give is that joy is in the heart and happiness is on the face. I'm not sure I completely agree with that. I believe that joy can show on your face also, but it doesn't work the other way around. Right? Sometimes joy is in your heart even when happiness is not on your face. And we're going to talk about that a little bit.
Their next point is that joy is of the soul, but happiness is of the moment. And that one really spoke to me, right? Sort of joy is almost a state of being. Joy transcends and happiness reacts. Joy embraces peace and contentment waiting to be discovered. And this is one I really want to highlight. The waiting to be discovered point, right? That when we are in a state of joy, we are at peace, we are content, but we're also noticing and we're going to talk about that a little bit when we get into the steps of pursuing a sense of joy in your life. The next bullet point says that joy runs deep, it overflows while happiness hugs. Hello.
Right? Such an interesting visualization, right? To this sense of depth that goes with joy. The next one is that joy is a practice and a behavior. It's deliberate and intentional. Happiness comes and goes, blithely along its way. And I love this. Again, the idea of joy being a practice, a way of being, and a way that we can intentionally choose to behave. Joy is profound. It's scriptural.
Don't worry, rejoice. Happiness is more like a balm don't worry, be happy. Joy is an inner feeling, whereas happiness is the outward expression. And this is something that I just think is so powerful about joy. Joy endures hardship and trials and connects with meaning and purpose. And so that goes back to that comment that joy is deep in your soul and happiness can be on your face. Right? Sometimes we find joy in places that seem hard, but we are able to see the joy in them. And then this last one, a person pursues happiness but chooses joy.
Often we have the chance to determine how we want to feel in a circumstance, what we want to believe about a circumstance. And that choice often could be to seek the joy in it, to find the gift. We talk often about looking at where is the gift in the hardship or the gift in the obstacle or the challenge that we're facing. And so I want to challenge you in this month of July to be intentional and to be deliberate about seeking joy. And so how do you do that? The first step is to make a list of things that bring you joy. Maybe it's time with friends. Maybe it's being creative, maybe it's being active or outdoors. Maybe it is finding new places to be, trying new meals.
It can even be work oriented tasks. Maybe it's tidying up spaces. Maybe it's connecting with a loved one. The list can go on and on and on. But having the list spelled out and make sure your list has a variety of what should I say commitment levels, right? A variety of time required to experience this thing that brings you joy. So maybe it's visiting a grandchild and that's going to involve a whole weekend trip. Maybe it's writing a letter to a friend or making a phone call or meeting them for coffee, right? There's different levels. Maybe it's spending ten minutes a day meditating.
Pick a variety of things that bring you joy and make a list. So write it down somewhere in a journal, in a notebook, but somewhere where you can access it. Because step two is being intentional every day to ask yourself, did I intentionally do something on my joy list today? Right? So whether it's in the morning and you are deciding to pick something out, or it's in the evening, when you're reflecting back on your day, make sure that you've done something off your joy list on a daily basis for this month. And so that brings me up to the next step. Number three is during the month of July, I want to challenge you to keep a joy journal, kind of like gratitude journals that we use and practice. Find a place or in a time of day where you are going to take note of the things that brought you joy in a given day. Maybe they are things you set out and intended to do specifically because you knew they would bring you joy, but also want you to take note of the places that joy surprises you. The events and the activities that happen that bring you joy that maybe you hadn't thought of when you first were making out your list.
And I talk about noticing, right? You say this all the time. When you start thinking about something. You buy a new car, say you buy a new white Prius and all of a sudden everywhere you look, there are white PRI on the road. I've always wondered how you would actually make a plural out of Prius. But anyway, all that aside, you suddenly see them everywhere, right? Or the noticing that happens because you've planted the intention of noticing. So in your joy journal, keep a list of where did you see joy, where did you find joy, where did you notice joy? And maybe you find something that you want to move over and add to your joy list so you have something to refer back to in future times when you are looking for joy in your life. Again, going back to this idea that joy is intentional and that it's a practice, right? By keeping a journal and by pursuing and choosing to be joyful or to find joy, it can make a big difference. And the third and final step is to be intentional about spreading joy.
Right. Joy gets reflected back to you. When you are putting joy out into the world and being joyful about the way that you interact with people, you will find that joy gets reflected back to you in a way that just compounds your experience. So the last step in our July for Joy process is to be intentional about spreading joy. So this is the end of our first episode. Next week, I'm really excited to be bringing you our first of the summer interview series. We're going to be talking to Cary Heisey, who's the founder of an organization called Designed for Joy, and I can't wait to introduce you to her and to this organization because it brings me great joy to be connected to them. I hope you have a great week, and I can't wait to hear where you found joy this week.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.