Joy, according to the dictionary, means a feeling of great pleasure and happiness. It seems like such a good thing and something we would want to foster.

Yet, have you ever wondered why people, even yourself perhaps, refer to the beginning of their relationship as fun, joyful, exciting and so on. But then a few months or years later, they are already complaining and feeling that the spark is going or gone. They do not know what happened or how to get the joy to return. Is this a description of you and your partner?

And, there are also couples who do things together, and enjoy even the small things like shopping, making food, reading books, watching television. They seem content to be sharing these moments. It is in the moments that build togetherness. It is the moments that are small yet significant. The expression that small is beautiful applies to every relationship. Small is incremental and becomes conscious and builds upon itself. When there is joy, moment after moment can make for love after love.

Sadly but truly, we may not know how to create joy. We look around and do not see joyful couples or individuals. This perception indicates that we have lost our center. Joy is part of what is our center and what centers us at the same time. It is an attitude of expansion and growth. Perhaps we have gotten out of the habit, thought or focus on the joy that we need so essentially for health and well-being in our body mind and soul.

We are left with the question of how to find out what makes joy for yourself and your partner. If people can pay attention to the small moments, they become increasingly aware of their precious gifts. These can be used to be able to healthily and happily give and take from each other.

Again, joy is a simple feeling that can be easily met in the small ways and yet it is also complex in that it cannot be taken for granted and wants continual notice. It is one of those emotions that keeps on being needed and continues to grow once it is watered with attention. The intent to be joyful helps make it happen. The focus on making this intent conscious to yourself and your partner furthers the possibility of it occurring. Joy requires the kind of communication that is both verbal and non-verbal. Joy creates trust and safety. It makes love deepen. It makes trust occur. It even changes our brain patterns.

See what happens when you make conscious your need for joy. See what happens if you are open to the possibility of joy. You might start the day with the intent to make joy happen for yourself and your partner.

Author's Bio: 

Susan E. Schwartz, Ph.D. is a Jungian analyst trained in Zurich, Switzerland, as well as a licensed clinical psychologist. For many years Susan has enjoyed giving workshops and presentations at various local, national, community and professional organizations, and lectures worldwide on various aspects of Jungian analytical psychology. She is the author of several journal articles on daughters and fathers, Puella, Sylvia Plath, a chapter in the four editions of Counseling and Psychotherapy textbook and a chapter in Perpetual Adolescence published in 2009.

She is a member of the New Mexico Society of Jungian Analysts, the International Association of Analytical Psychology, the American Psychological Association, and the Phoenix Friends of Jung.

Susan maintains a private practice in Paradise Valley, Arizona and serves clients in the greater Phoenix area, including Tuscon, Mesa, Glendale, Chandler, Scottsdale, and Tempe.

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