What brings you joy? 

I’ve been asked this question a million times. 

I have asked this question a million times. 

And it’s taken me years, but I finally have the answer:

Nothing.

That’s right. Nothing brings me joy.

If you listened to latest episode of Come Alive! The Living Spirit-fully Guide to Thriving titled Catch and Store Energy, you heard Catherine and I talk about this. 

Words are powerful and what brings you joy? … well, I consider that to be a trick question. 

Let’s break it down:

The subject in this question is joy (it’s safe to say I don’t need to break that down any further), and the verb is bring. 

According to Merriam-Webster, bring as a transitive verb means to cause to be, act, or move in a special way.

This question posits joy as something that is to be brought to me by a third party in order to have me be, act, or move joyfully.

But here’s the thing: 

Joy is my essence.

Wait … let me rephrase that. If we’re talking about being impeccable with our word here (shout out to don Miguel Ruiz!), I’ll say it in a way that doesn’t sound like it’s exclusive to me.

Joy is OUR essence. 

We ARE joy. 

Where’s the evidence?

Bring your hand to your chest. That rhythm you feel inside your chest? That’s the evidence. 

By definition, being alive makes us an expression of creation.

And creation itself is pure joy. 

Look at a blooming flower, a laughing baby, a sunrise, a sun set, the moon. These are all joyful expressions of creation simply because they exist. 

The same is true for you and I.

And if that isn’t enough for you, consider this: 

Human beings were created from an orgasm, the most joyful expression two (or more!) bodies can create together. 

So going back to the question “what brings you joy?”: 

Nothing. 

Nothing can *bring* to me what I already am.

Nothing can *make* us what we already are.

I’ve always compared humans to nature: plants, animals, the seasons, and so forth. Being created by the same creator, we are governed by the same laws.

Just as the acorn is programmed to be an oak tree, and a bud to eventually blossom; it is under certain conditions this program operates.

The bud will blossom when it has enough food, water, light, and so on. Same for the oak tree. And same goes for us.

If we think of our joy as a seed, then how we tend to that seed will determine if joy is bursting forth or not. 

Give a seed the bare minimum, and it’ll germinate and root and bud and blossom, etc. 

Give it less than it needs, and it won’t. 

Give it, not necessarily more, but high quality, unadulterated, pure nutrients, and now we’re cooking with fire!

So instead of holding off on giving yourself the things that nurture your joy, make it a priority. 

Not sure how to nourish your joy when you’re surrounded by people who stifle it, or you work in a job that doesn’t engage its full potential? I can’t answer that for you, but I can tell you this:

Your joy’s ability to thrive is not dependant on those things. 

Let me say that again for the people in the back:

Your joy’s ability to thrive is not dependant on those things.

If you believe they are, then you’ve fallen into the trap of believing that something external of yourself is responsible for your joy.

I’m here to tell you it’s not.

Now that we know that, what do we do from here?

Let’s normalize asking:

What tickles your joy?

What fully expresses your joy?

What stimulates your joy?

What accentuates your joy?

What makes your joy ejaculate? (after all, we are created from an orgasm 😉)

Flip the script. Start seeing your joy as something that you’re responsible for.

Think of it as a plant or young child that needs care and nurturing. One that needs to feel safe and secure and supported.

Remember this:

Nothing can steal your joy, you can only give it away. 

Nothing can kill your joy, you can only sacrifice it to someone/thing else that has no reverence for it.

Be that person who does. 

For yourself and for the people around you. 

I’m not a serious guy, though the only thing I take seriously is my joy. 

It is my essence and there are infinite ways in which I express it. 

Take back agency of your joy. 

Commit to nurturing it and let it light up this very, very dark world. 

After all, it’s why you’re here.