Tuning in to your inner joy

Every single one of us has been overcome with sadness at some point. It comes unannounced and without us knowing why. It comes crashing down on us and sometimes strips us of our profound desire to live life to the fullest. Have you ever experienced something like that?

I have. When it happens to me, I usually don’t know what to think. Tears stream down my cheeks without me really knowing why. I’m so confused about what’s happening to me that I feel like going down to the basement and crying in the furnace room. It hurts. My soul hurts. And when my soul hurts, it’s because something’s wrong. There are aspects of one side of my life that aren’t making me happy. My challenge therefore is to understand the messages that my state of mind is trying to get across.

Our happiness level and how it shines forth determines our degree of profound well-being.
Have you ever noticed that? I would have liked to have learned to listen to my moods earlier on in life. Today, I know what it means when I lose that very intense desire to push back my limits: it’s because I’ve lost myself somewhere along the line. I’ve gone off course in a direction that’s not exactly on the path I need to follow in order to feel happy and fulfilled. The longer I stay on the wrong course, the more I hurt myself, the more I suffer and the less pleasant I am to the people around me. And that’s not very nice for anyone.

I believe we are all responsible for what happens to us.

I think we are all here on earth to fulfill a specific mission. For some, this mission is grandiose and monumental, for others, it is more modest and restrained. But one thing is certain: each and every mission is important.

I’ve realized that when I’m not feeling good, it’s because I need to make changes. My level of joy is my GPS that tracks the degree of harmony between my “me” and who I am as a human being.

Over the past 10 years, I’ve learned to listen to my state of mind. My chest tightens up, I can feel a knot in my stomach (in addition to my irritable bowel) and sometimes I feel as though my throat is constricting… and that’s my body simply making me understand that something’s wrong and I need to quickly make changes to my life.

Yes, there are times when I dither before taking action. Sometimes I’m in denial for a while before allowing myself to ask for help. Talking to somebody we trust, writing a letter to ourselves, taking a walk alone in the woods or screaming out the pain (I do that while I’m running sometimes) or simply taking a ride in the car. If you get no joy from it, it’s a sure sign that all is not well.

We must therefore break free. We need to find ways to rediscover or regain that zest for life within us. We need to free ourselves and reclaim our sense of happiness. The Ode to Joy wasn’t composed for nothing. It’s a celebration of good vibes, of the harmony between one’s self and one’s being… and it’s extremely important.

Joy in the mind, body and spirit is experienced as a state of total well-being. To take this one step further, have you ever noticed just how good it feels to burst out laughing? It can often be contagious even. The atmosphere in the room therefore turns it into a place where everyone would like to be. It’s the GPS of happiness.

Helpful tips for when your level of happiness is low:

  • Ask yourself why you feel this way.
  • Have the desire to get out of the funk.
  • Get it off your chest: write down what’s wrong or talk to someone.
  • Draw up a course of action to improve the situation.
  • Go at your own pace.
  • Take action (even very small actions) as soon as possible.
  • Focus on increasing your level of happiness.
  • Avoid situations that could hinder your happiness.
  • Convince yourself that you deserve to be happy every day.
  • Act according to that profound desire to attain a high level of happiness.
  • Enjoy life… with a smile and while looking after yourself.

These little tips may seem simplistic. But, they nevertheless form the basis. Our day to day happiness is in our hands. It’s something we can forget at times. If we’re feeling down, we have the right to provide our soul with an emergency room (yes, you read that correctly). It could be by treating ourselves to a massage or a consultation with a specialist of some kind, or organizing a get-together with someone who makes us feel good, and so forth. Our emergency room for the soul is whatever we need to make us feel better. Nothing less. If we don’t open the room up ourselves, it’s unfortunately not equipped with automatic sliding doors. If we don’t open it up, we’ll be trapped in our sadness, and we’ll gradually lose our zest for life. Isn’t our level of happiness and pleasure also linked to our level of vital energy?

We deserve the very best. We must look after ourselves. Discomfort has no place in the here and now. If there’s no joy or energy, it’s because the heart’s not in it. And if the heart’s not in it, that’s a sign. Your GPS communicates with you. It has things to tell you. It has an important message for you. And that message is your human warning signal. It’s your GPS.

To make you feel good, it will come as no surprise when I suggest a recipe that will make you feel as though you’re taking a bite out of life. How about making some of my Life is Oh So Sweet treats? A quick and easy recipe that has a knack for putting a smile on your face. Bon appétit!


Mériane aka Madame


Article from my contribution to the magazine Mieux-Être. January 2020.

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