Left Brain/Right Brain Experience Joy Differently

Joy is an interesting thing. Before I became involved in this “joy project” with Chris and Dr. Wilder, I’ll confess that I had a rather fuzzy idea of joy. I know what happiness is and know when I am happy. But, joy? Mmmm…I was not quite sure what that looks like. Can a mere mortal experience joy? I had this vague idea that joy was something very big and profound; maybe ecstatic would be a word to describe what I sensed joy to be. Yet, that wasn’t quite right…see what I mean? It was definitely more than happy but exactly what…well, I was a little fuzzy on that!

I used to teach language and when teaching new vocabulary I gave students a whole series of varied exercises before they were able to competently grasp the meaning. There are four avenues through which formal learning happens—reading, writing, speaking and listening. When we run through all four of those (and some people need multiple trips through that sequence) we will have a good grasp of meaning.

So let’s do the reading/writing part.

“Joy is the feeling you have when someone is glad to be with you.”  Hmmm. Okay. That takes care of the left brain.

What does joy look like? How about this:

sharing joyPhoto courtesy of Thrive

And this:   (Photo courtesy of Microsoft)

couple ongrass









And this…

Photo Courtesy Of Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad

MRSR Delight






and this…thrive2011brochure2 (Photo courtesy of Thrive)









What does joy sound like? I wish I could embed someone saying, “I am so glad you are here” “Daddy!” “Welcome home”. Children laughing…happy sounds that make you smile.

Reading and writing activate the left brain; it informs the mind. The seeing/doing activate the right brain! The smiles start and the emotions lift. Suddenly the information in the mind has context, texture and form and knowing drops from the mind to the heart and there you have it–the whole brain experiencing and responding to joy and you know what joy means.




Action Step for this week: Make  joy sounds happen at least 3 times this week.





May your joy be full,

Chris & Carol

Chris Coursey, MA Theology — Author, Speaker and Thrive Trainer, www.thrivetoday.org 

Carol Brown, Author of The Mystery of Spiritual Sensitivity and Highly Sensitive                            www.fromgodsheart.com

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