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Cary Bayer, Life Coach, author of Prosperity

Aerobics and Meditations on Enlightenment

Happiness and Joy I have understood formyself, aftermuch soul searching over

decades, the distinction between happiness and joy. Happiness is not the same as joy.Although I may still use the word happy, it is not at the top of my wish list these days. Top of the list is peace in my heart and joy. I think we all know the feeling of peace even if it’s temporary at times. It is that place of complete calm, of feeling at one with the world, of feeling no conflict within or without. While it may be confused with happiness, joy is different.

Joy, tome, feels like a quietly intense spark of bliss surging inmy heart. I feel joywhen I hear the birds singing as Iwalk. I feel joy whenmy grandchildren run tome. I feel joywhen I see the “aha” moment in a client’s eyes. Joy and love are synonymous for me. It seems you can’t have onewithout feeling the other. Forme, joy feels like a burst of love and gratitude exploding in my heart…a heartburst!And, joy lingers. That moment of joy expands me. It is something I remember in my being and that I carry with me. Happy iswhatwe feelwhen something on the outsidemakes

us feel good. It could be an invitation, a purchase, a compliment or anything else that makes us feel validated…for the moment. It is much more personality, or ego, centered than joy which is a more spiritual feeling. It is somewhat of a “fix” in that it only lasts as long as it lasts. The distinction between joy and happiness is not just a

matter of semantics although I confess, I ama sticklerwithwords but the distinction may help us to understand ourselves and our relationships better. It matters if we are unhappy and feeling dissatisfied yet think that we “should” be happy because of all that we have.Agood partner, great kids, abundance and yet…it feels like something is missing. This could leave us feeling ungrateful for all the blessings we do have.We might even feel guilty.What if, in spite of being happy,we still feel there is some- thing missing? Maybe it’s because happiness is relatively easy to achieve theway I’ve defined it as satisfaction fromsomething external. Joy and peace aremuchmore internal.We feel themin our heart. They are deeper and require our attention to achieve them.

Your relationshipmay provide safety, abundance and fun. It

can make you happy but is the happiness from those outside things enduring? If something is missing in spite of being “happy” ask yourself some questions.Does your relationship fill

your heart? Does it make you feel joy and peace? Does it make you feel satisfied and fulfilled as a man or as a woman? Do you have a connection that deeply touches your soul? Is there conflict between you in your relationship? Ifwe are feeling dissatisfied or unfulfilled, themissing piece

may be peace and joy in our hearts.Work, kids, family, finances, socializing and difficulties can distract us from each other. We will always have distractions, happy and challenging ones, but let’s dealwith themconsciously. Let’s communicate and connect keeping peace and joy as our intention so that when the distrac- tions are gone, we will still have each other. To find this peace and joy, it is valuable to listen to our-

selves and observewhatwe are really telling each other.Arewe sharing our feelings and letting our partner know what is really going on for us? Are we asking each other, “What are you feeling?” “Do you feel loved?” “Do you feel appreciated and acknowledged?” These might be scary questions if we don’t have that kind of intimacy but that is exactlywhatwe need to do in order to foster intimacy, peace and joy. Intimacy can be defined as “into me see”. The only way to

see into me is if I share my feelings with you, if I make myself vulnerable, if I am authentic. When we both do that we are sharing truth and have the possibility of enriching our love and creating peace and joy in our hearts. It is a deeper space than “happy” which is also important but doesn’t bring the same rewards. If this article is inspiring you to reach for more in your life,

please remember that everything in life is a choice. If we want joy and peace as well as happiness, let’s go for it! Let’s start by being in gratitude for what we already have andmake conscious choices to createmore of what we want. Let’s set an intention to harness joy and peace along with happiness. They are all aspects of love and in the end LOVE is all that

psychology, spiritual principles and an energy based perspective in herworkwith clients. Shewelcomes anyone ready towork on personal or relationship issues. She can be reached at 201-967-9377 or visited at

matters! MarinaMaurino, is a teacher/therapist who integrates

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