Heart Expansion And Smiles On Faces

Over the next couple of months, every fortnight you’ll be hearing from an incredible soul within The Daisy Patch community in our Joy Embodiment Series. They’re sharing their own ‘Joy Stories’ – how they embody joy in their lives, what it has meant to them, and a few lessons along the way. I trust you enjoy connecting with them and their joy as much as I have. 


Danielle x 

Joy for me is when I don’t feel the heaviness of life, when things are flowing easily. 

Every day we are surrounded by things that make us heavy, being the news, the state of our relationship with someone, the amount of work and things to do that is always waiting for us… It’s easy to get caught in this feeling and let it contaminate a good portion of our day.  

We suddenly feel tired, or we find all sorts of distractions to avoid thinking about it, like having a snack or scrolling through Instagram. But if we pay attention to how we feel, and what we think about, we can let joy take more space in our life. 

For me I have learned to recognize when I am in that flow, when things are easy to do, when I can go on for a longer time.  

I also notice when my heart is expanding, when a smile comes to my face automatically like the good morning text from my lover. I don’t get to see him as much as I would like but instead of feeling frustrated and sad, I pay attention to how I feel when I do see him, at my reaction when I receive a text, the smile that comes instantly, the little jump in my heart and then I make it last, I expand on it and later on when my mood might not be so great, I remember it and how I felt and try to bring it back to my heart. 

I also have my son’s laughter. My son is a very good audience. He will laugh at all your jokes and we have laughed together so much over the years. He has that light laugh, neither masculine nor feminine, like a stream of water that bounces from one stone to another. Just hearing his laugh makes me feel like laughing. I can hear it and notice it from another room. Now that I think about it, I should record it and use it when I need a little shot of Dopamine. I am not that intentional yet but I can see how it could help me. 

I also love taking pictures. I am a photographer and I take pleasure in observing and looking for beauty and framing it, to be able to keep it. Unfortunately, as a business owner, taking pictures and videoing is only a small part of my time, and even when I do, it’s sometimes physically tiring.  

I have to stay aware and energised, when everyone else is enjoying themselves. I have to stay available until the event is over. I might need to take pictures of the wrap-up or the last speaker when I just want to sit down and close my eyes. But then suddenly I can notice something that catches my eyes, that person in the audience that has a beautiful smile, the father and his little one who are holding each other so comfortably, that detail on a door, outside or a flower and here I go again for 5 more minutes or walking one more yard. 

All that to say that joy is a powerful feeling. We might disregard it sometimes because it feels so natural, so easy and like our natural state, but if we pay attention, if we record how we feel, when we feel this way and try to have our body memorize it, I believe we can learn to intentionally try to remember all that when we don’t feel great too. To se it as a tool to help us shake that the uncomfortable or painful feeling, be grateful for the feeling of joy we’ve had in the past and will have again soon. 

In the Little Prince from Saint-Exupéry, the fox explains to the little prince why he wants to know in advance when the little prince will come to visit, because he can begin to have that wonderful feeling of joy in advance. 

Extract from The Little Prince

The next day the little prince came back. 

“It would have been better to come back at the same hour,” said the fox.  

“If, for example, you come at four o’clock in the afternoon, then at three o’clock I shall begin to be happy.  

I shall feel happier and happier as the hour advances.  

At four o’clock, I shall already be worrying and jumping about.  

I shall show you how happy I am!  

But if you come at just any time, I shall never know at what hour my heart is to be ready to greet you… One must observe the proper rites…” 

I love the essence of this part of the story, it reminds me too that I can begin to have that feeling in advance.  

Find out more & connect with Emma: 

Emma is an international brand photographer, having grown up in the South of France and now based in Philadelphia with her children – she’s never quite been able to stay away from Europe for too long. Incorporating her passion for travel and photography she helps business owners and influencers across the world tell their stories through authentic images. Having come from a photo-journalism background, Emma is all about story-telling and sees beauty everywhere. She wants her clients to know they can be fully themselves, and she’s here to support them to capture those moments and emotions. 

https://www.emmamedinacastrejon.com/ or @emma_mc_fr on Instagram and @EmmaMedinaCastrejonPhotography on Facebook.