The Gift of Cultivating Joy


  • We CAN cultivate more joy in our lives.
  • A CORE belief is that relationships are gifts to value and treasure.
  • Uplifting others brings joy to ourselves and others. Learn how to notice, name, and nuture AND how words are gifts.
  • Your joy can grow and thrive from others too. Learn how to throw your joy boomerang out and how to receive it when it comes back!

What a gift it is to have the ability to cultivate joy! If we wish to feel joyful, we cannot sit back and wait for joy to find us. It is something we can choose to seek and feel. We need self-discipline to nurture the heartful effort to discover joy in the big and little things. This is basic SEL 101 for our well-being. Life can be hard at times so learning how to lean IN to joy, how to cultivate it, and how to be present in joy can go a very long way in how we feel, enJOY life, and how we handle more challenging moments.

I am so grateful for the opportunity to share how I cultivate JOY in others and how my JOY grows and thrives from others. Listen to my dear friend, Jillian DuBois‘s podcast called ImpartED Joy. I was a guest on her 40th episode. We’d both love to learn what resonated most. Listen here.

Core Belief

It begins with a key foundational core belief. Every day, I put on a set of lenses that help me see relationships as gifts to treasure. They are given and gifted to us as blessings. Strong relationships enrich our lives with shared love, joy, and fond memories. They improve our overall happiness, positivity, and well-being. 

Value Others

When we receive meaningful gifts from others, we naturally VALUE them. So just like tangible gifts we hold in our hands, we can place great value on the gift of relationships.

The most impactful way I cultivate JOY in others is through words. I see words as gifts too. When I interact with others, my sincerest goal and purpose is to warm their hearts and try to put a smile on their face. The “languages” I speak from my heart is love and kindness. I openly share what is in my heart. 

When you uplift someone, you cultivate JOY not only in their lives but your own. CLICK TO TWEET


A few years ago, my ONE word was uplift. I lived by that word every day and still do. I practiced it a lot until it became second nature. What made it easier was seeing people as gifts and someone I value so I started sharing positive words of encouragement or gratitude with the purpose of uplifting. 

How to Uplift

Notice. Name. Nurture.

First we need to be observant and NOTICE. By seeing things, words, or actions as gifts to be grateful for, it makes it easier to notice. For example, notice the little things that a student does like offer help to a classmate.

Then NAME it. Be specific when naming by saying something like, “I noticed your care and thoughtfulness when you offered to help a classmate just now.”

Lastly, NURTURE it by sharing gratitude and including the character traits noticed. For example, when a friend goes out of their way to help. Say, “Thank you for helping me [insert what they did but be specific like “help me carry some things back to my classroom”]. Your caring support and generosity of time meant a lot to me.” 

Words are Gifts

When someone is placed on my heart and mind, I love to reach out and send them a quick message to tell them I’m thinking of them, ask how they’re doing, and to remind them of how much they mean to me or that I love and appreciate them.

When I share sincerely, THAT is a gift of words. It’s like I get to package JOY and gift wrap it with words. When you uplift someone, you cultivate JOY not only in their lives but your own.[scroll down to keep reading]

My JOY Grows & Thrives From Others

I have the belief that heartfelt words can be impactful and make a difference even in a small way. It can bring a sprinkle of sunshine into someone’s day and I so enjoy brightening someone’s day and making them smile! 

For example, I love to send texts or messages to people I haven’t connected with in a while. I can feel JOY grow inside when I do. Even the anticipation of my friend who will receive my words brings me great JOY. And truly, when I receive a response back, I can feel JOY in their words. It’s like a fun surprise! Knowing that someone out of the blue not just thought of them, but took action to reach out, elicits joy. It feels like my heart smiles along with the real one on my face. 

I absolutely love and appreciate it now when I receive a message out of the blue from others who reach out to tell me they’re thinking of me, ask how I’m doing, or send appreciation. It brings me great JOY! Words are received as gifts! Big smile on my face and my heart feels so warm. I AM instantly uplifted! 

See it like cultivating a joy boomerang out of nothing but words from our hearts. The more I cultivate JOY in others by reaching out, the more my heart thrives from others when they respond and vice versa.

The result? Feeling joyfully alive every day through the daily connections I make.

Call to Action

Challenge to all: Make every single ATOMIC interaction count. Each atomic interaction is a great opportunity to intentionally uplift others through our love, kindness, and gratitude. Do it as a way to serve others to help make their day a brighter one. You never know if it’s a moment when they really need it. If you work with children, experience how making warm, positive atomic interactions will bring more joy to you and them!

Go make an impact on lives AND an imprint on hearts. Remember, relationships are gifts. Value them. Treasure them. These actions will help you build better relationships.

Words are gifts too. Be positive, uplifting, encouraging, and speak from your heart. Who is on your heart and mind right now? Send them a message to let them know how much they mean to you and then joyfully wait for a response.

Go cultivate joy. Throw your joy boomerang out and get your heart ready to receive a gift of words right back!

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