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Spontaneous. An occurrence resulting from a natural impulse, neither planned nor pre-meditated, originating from either internal or external forces.

JOY. That indescribable, delicious feeling of delight, happiness, pleasure, and over all well-being. Definitely one of the most sought after, but often one of the most illusive emotions in life.

Spontaneous JOY. An unplanned, indescribable, delicious feeling of delight, happiness and pleasurable well-being.

Are you feeling the JOY, spontaneous or otherwise?

Joy plays a major role in the overall wellness of each of us. According to The World Health Organization, wellness is defined as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." Wellness is not simply a disease-free state, but rather a proactive, preventive approach addressing balance in every aspect of life. I like to think of wellness as the entire wheel and joy as the “air” needed to fully inflate it. A partially inflated tire decreases its overall performance and shortens the life of the tire; so is the case, if you are not living your life joyfully. Wellness and joy are dynamic processes, requiring continual ongoing choices to enhance, improve and balance the whole person – a positive approach to life in order to achieve optimum levels of performance.

Each of us entered this world as joyful babies, bubbling over with spontaneous joy at the sight of our mother’s face, the touch of her hand, the scent of her body by responding with cooing, gurgling, chortling, shivering spontaneous joy. Gather a group of four-year-olds together and spontaneous joy will be witnessed within minutes. Unfortunately, for too many of us, life has become so serious that “joy” must be explained on the Internet in topics ranging from the “Joy of Soy” to the “Joy of Sex”. Whatever happened to spontaneous JOY?

My spontaneous joy was buried deeply for so many years; I honestly had no idea that the concept even existed. One day, out of the clear blue, in my search to find an easy way for my lymphedema patients to breathe more deeply, Laughter Yoga found me. As a result, I began laughing and moving with my breast cancer survivors at Gilda’s Club in Royal Oak twice a week for about a year and a half, unknowingly taking myself from a brutal suicidal depressive state to one of unbelievable spontaneous JOY.

There is a proverb that reads, “The body heals with play, the mind heals with laughter and the spirit heals with joy.” All are inner connected. Laughter, that simple god-given gift we were all born with, was for me the key that not only dissipated my depression, but also unlocked the spontaneous joy that allowed my mind, body and spirit to heal. I have learned that we cannot leave laughter, play or joy to chance, because in this serious world, we often have very little to laugh about.

Laugh long and laugh hard, because life is too short for so much seriousness. Look in the mirror every morning, blow a kiss to yourself and with a smile on your face, a song in your heart, say with as much gusto as possible, “ I LOVE YOU!” , then let life, laughter and another day begin!