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  • Writer's pictureSecond Opinion Magazine

Getting More Joy in 2015

“Remember that your natural state is joy.” Wayne Dyer

The depths of winter are upon us in Wisconsin. In the frozen ground, right at this very moment, there are bulbs and seeds just waiting for spring to bloom and show off their colors. What seeds did you plant inside yourself last year? Did you vow to eat better, drink less, lose weight, train for a 5K or marathon?

Before you start feeling bad, let’s do a little exercise. No running shoes or yoga pants needed, just a paper and pen. Just for fun, no thinking.

Start with taking a few deep breaths. Write down 3-5 things you really wanted in 2014. No editing. No judging. Just write them down.

Now for the life coaching magic, take each one of those things and just like those Madlibs you loved as a kid, plug it into this sentence:

When I get _______________________(one thing you wrote), I will feel_____________________________.

What would it be like to start feeling like that right now?

Do you really need the thing to get the feeling?

What if you just decided to feel that feeling?

Healthy, more abundance, greater fulfillment, love, peace, happiness, bliss, and my personal favorite, JOY, are all possible for you at this very moment.

Just for this moment, feel joy throughout your body. Feel it with all of your senses. Delicious!

Now as you go back to your normal day, begin to notice when that delicious feeling returns. Maybe it’s the coffee aroma, the smile from your barista, the gorgeous sunrise, or all three that give you a little glimpse back to the moment of joy.  As you move through your day, in awe of the wonderful life you have, focus on gratitude.

“The root of joy is gratefulness.”  – David Steindl-Rast

Gratitude not only extends the deliciousness, but it rewires the brain by strengthening the joy centers and shrinking the fear centers. (The fear centers keep us safe from harm but are overdeveloped and overzealous in our modern world where we are bombarded with everything that is not going well everywhere all the time!)

This takes practice, and sometimes it is necessary to “fake it ‘til you make it.” If you really would love a sportscar or fabulous house, dwell in the way it feels to test drive the car or go to a parade of homes. No need to attach to the idea of a specific car or house; spend your energy in feeling the joy. Sometimes the thing you thought was important is no longer even necessary. Then you are free to move on to some new desire or aspiration.

The more we all work on bringing joy into our own day, the more we have to share and the more seeds we plant for others to do the same.

“Scatter joy!” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Just wait until we all start blooming this spring! It’s going to be AWESOME!

Dr. Jodi Ritsch MD, is available for mindful change life coaching at The Center in Eau Claire ( or family medicine appointments at The Joyful Doc Clinic in Menomonie (

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