Perhaps everyone has a unique understanding of the word JOY, and we may have difficulty expressing it in words. I would love to hear your definitions of JOY - I will start with the dictionary then move into my own, the way it comes to me and the best I can express it today.
Merriam-Webster defines it as "a feeling of great happiness". Many ancient languages had more words to describe our emotions. If you ask for a translation of joy in Sanskrit, the language of Yoga, several words come up. Examples are "Ananda" which seems closer to bliss and "Santosa" which seems closer to contentment. I have been told that the words don't have an accurate translation in English so it is difficult to explain their meaning.
JOY to me includes an inner knowing: a feeling of awe, gratitude, and satisfaction with who I AM and my part in the Universe. I feel JOY when I feel connected to others, nature, and all things. I feel JOY when I know I am acting in alignment with my passion, purpose, and wellbeing. I feel JOY when I am completely in the moment. I feel JOY in my heart as a physical sensation in my chest (my heart center).
I can still feel JOY when I am sad because of loss or empathy. I do not feel JOY when I experience self-doubt, anger, negative judgment, or I am acting against my wellbeing or purpose. I do not feel JOY when something blocks me from the true experience of who I am (such as a suconcious belief or an unhealthy habit).
I compare JOY to RESONANCE in Physics - vibrating at the same frequency as the natural frequency of the media or surroundings, which creates a much stronger vibration. Some extreme examples are when a high frequency sound wave shatters a glass, or the right wind brings down a bridge. When I am resonating with my purpose, my heart feels the resonance - a stronger vibration, and this is how I know what my purpose is.
Please share your thoughts, and know that if it resonates with me and it's something I haven't thought of, I will probably add it to mine! Many minds create a much better answer than one!