12/21/2012 11:00 am ET Updated Feb 20, 2013

How to Celebrate Joy in Spite of the Ups and Downs of Life


There are times in all our lives when we find ourselves struggling to feel joy. When we feel attacked and life appears dark, we must find a way back to the knowing that light is always available -- through a smile, a gentle touch or a simple utterance of a blessing.

When we can become completely gentle with ourselves and genuine in our approach to others, we can find a celebration of joy within -- a feeling that it is wonderful to be in this world.

Seven things to celebrate:

1. Know and celebrate who you are. Let your strength and brilliance come forward so you can be who you were meant to be, without apologies, without fear -- remain soft and open even when you are strong and committed.

2. Recognize the softness of the human heart. Generate compassion and warmth for others and never give up on yourself or another.

3. Celebrate and appreciate the world. By cultivating a larger vision of life, you can find new ways of being. Take a fresh look at nature and when you witness its beauty, resiliency and power, sync your own rhythm with it.

4. Regaining your balance. Through discipline, and unwavering dedication, you will find a way to connect with your center again. Understand that both success and failure are part of your journey.

5. Celebrate being healthy physically, mentally, and spiritually. By allowing genuine gratitude for the gifts of health, it creates within us the means and energy to help others.

6. There is joy in the journey. Find the willingness to give selflessly, by helping and working with others. See the journey unfolding within -- a way to make the biggest difference and greatest impact of your life.

7. Trust that humor will bring joy.

All our lives have at this very moment, just as they are, the means to joy. Find your path to joy and share it with the world.

For more by Linda Durnell, click here.

For more on emotional wellness, click here.