How I Found Joy [5 Encouraging Steps Learned While Dancing Ballet]

Choose joy (quote)
Finding joy can often feel like looking for a needle in a haystack, especially when life keeps throwing curve balls at you! So how did I find it?
I found joy with lots of PRACTICE . . .

When I began taking ballet lessons, at the age of 6, I didn’t know how to turn or leap correctly. It took years of practice. One of my favorite times of the ballet class was the diagonal at the end where we’d leap across the floor doing a “grand je·té”— “a jump or jeté preceded by a battement or high kick, in which the dancer leaps from one leg and lands on the other (source).” I wanted to be like the girls in the advanced class, with a perfect split in the air, high above the ground! But I knew it would take time to learn. That meant coming to ballet class daily. 
I find that choosing joy is like all those years I chose to go to ballet class. I didn’t always feel like going, but I knew that with practice, I’d become strong and graceful, and eventually enter into a ballet company . . . which I eventually did, praise God! I’m retired now from dancing, but I still recall the blissful feeling of twirling and leaping . . . being suspended in air and defying gravity.
Dear friends, I’m certain that it’s God’s greatest and most heartfelt wish that you experience joy in this life. But like anything worthwhile, learning to choose joy will take some practice. In the same way, I think learning to trust God with our circumstances and choose joy daily takes courage and lots of practice in order to truly experience those moments of joyful bliss, leaping  gracefully into the air and defying the circumstances that would like to weigh us down.
“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.”—Psalm 28:7

Leap for joy 9image0

Here are 5 things that helped me to find joy. Praying they’ll also help you . . .
  1. Come to class daily [keep a continual conversation with God through prayer and the reading of His Word].
  2. Start with a little leap of faith [small steps towards happiness—eat healthy food, get enough sleep, smile, walk in nature…]
  3. Trust God and be thankful in all things [count your blessings]
  4. Forgive [and put the past behind you]
  5. Push past your feelings [practice, practice, practice choosing joy, even when you don’t feel like it]
By doing these 5 things, your countenance will soon radiate joy from the inside out! The good news is that through each trial you’ll grow stronger, and with practice you’ll find that choosing joy gets easier and easier.
Oh, I need to add one more to my list, the most important!
Stay close to Jesus, for in Him is fullness of Joy . . .
“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11
Hope be with you!
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