Cultivate Joy — we sure need it now!

by Jill Schroder

Joy and delight, enthusiasm and lightheartedness are good for our health, our immune systems, and have trickle-down benefits for everybody and everything we come in contact with. I find that when I focus on joy and delight, love and light, my energy changes… the energy that I bring to whatever is in front of me changes…including dealing with the hard stuff.

Rather than documenting this scientifically proven material (even a simple act of smiling helps!), and citing others who have spoken about bringing joy into our lives, I thought I’d just list some of the oodles of ways I find or experience joy. I would love to hear some of yours.

  • At the top of my list right now is Matt’s Dancing Video, which creates so much joy in me that it brings tears to my eyes :-);
  • looking out the window and really feeling our Copper Beech trees leaves moving in the breeze;
  • seeing a hummingbird work the tree, way up here on the 12th floor;
  • tasting my homemade latte in the morning while the foam still lasts :-);
  • looking at the night sky, feeling the depth, the mystery, and remembering how my daddy took me out at night and taught me the constellations;
  • being cozy at home on a rainy day;
  • spending time with my grown kids and grandkids, remembering our long and lovely history together;
  • hearing Rach 2  or Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto with headphones;
  • remembering and playing the hymn For the Beauty of the Earth that came to me looking out the window at trees, sky and clouds, and that I loved as a child;
  • hugging a big mother of a tree as I walk in Stanley Park;
  • singing with my choir;
  • sitting with my feet in the grass and feeling the grounding, earthing;
  • creating a fall bounty table and celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving and sharing food with friends, since we can’t feast together.

My list has no end, and the “outside” list is huge too. I take enormous joy that so many people are doing so much good all around the world, right now – Playing for Change for example, and 4ocean, an incredible group of young people really cleaning up the ocean! TIST is a small NGO that has helped 90,000 subsistence farmers plant 19,000,000 trees and counting.

The list of joy and positive change-creating people, places and organizations is gargantuan. I’m just realizing my list is certainly gargantuan too. This all gives me hope and creates great joy.

I’ll stop here but here are a couple of sites you might want to check out.

  • Watch Mark Knopfler, Rosanne Cash, Darius Rucker, Peter Frampton and More Cover ‘Stand By Me’ in their charity single to help raise money for musicians.
  • Listening and contributing is a way to sprinkle joy whenever you can, inside and out.
  • Regarding our “inside joy” check out the book and programme  Wired for Joy      by Laurel Mellon. It’s a “how to”, and a very useful one, for rewiring ourselves to experience and notice joy in our lives.


  1. Jill, thank you so much for this wonderful, truly uplifting bouquet of joy!
    I especially am touched with the dance video. Seeing joyful people, sharing joyful moments, all around the world, these things unite us.

    1. What a wonderful collection of uplifting thoughts, melodies and benefits of purposefully cultivating joy. The links brought many smiles and made me want to dance!
      Thank you Jill for who you are and the joy you bring to us through your writing, your warmth and beautiful creativity. You have a special way of lifting our hearts! Many thanks!

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