This Intentional Life


Live Date: March 1, 2021


Show Description: Need to inject more joy into your days? We all do, right? After navigating this last year, joy is something I’m desperate for. On today’s episode, we’re teaching you how to intentionally be a joy-seeker. Dawn Barton, an author, speaker, entrepreneur, mentor and a self-appointed JOYOLOGIST, joins me on the latest episode of This Intentional Life. Dawn has navigated some of the most heart-wrenching and challenging, grief-laden seasons you can imagine: a divorce, the loss of a child, the loss of a sibling, rape, cancer. Each one individually is devastating. She’s a survivor and a teacher and today we’re here to be her students. The fact that she’s survived each of these seasons and still continues to find joy in her days has blown me away. I’m honored to have Dawn walk us through her hard-fought lessons learned shared in her new book, “Laughing Through the Ugly Cry: And Finding Unstoppable JOY,” and give some really practical tips that you can apply right this very minute that will serve to benefit your every day. 


Link to Full Episode:


This episode will teach you:


  • The difference between joy and happiness
  • Finding joy in the unexpected
  • Ways to overcome seasons of pain and hardship and grief
  • Three simple ways to help our loved ones find joy 
  • Pushing beyond “I’m fine”
  • Living proactively versus reactively
  • The impact of intentionally developing a list of positive triggers
  • “Do Something About It” mantra
  • The power of little wins


The Big Three (Episode Takeaways):


  • The difference between joy and happiness
    • Joy – deep, peaceful feeling
    • Joy basics – looking for things that make you laugh, songs that make you feel joyful, getting outside is a positive trigger


  • Ways to overcome those seasons of pain and hardship and grief and inject joy
    • Quit with the victim story in your head
    • Decide what your story is going to be 
    • Learn from the season you are in 
    • We cannot isolate: relationships are critical
    • Surround yourself with relationships that fill your cup
    • Make the proactive decision: it’s a focus before it’s a feeling


  • Three simple ways to help our loved ones, find joy if they are processing differently than us
    • Be a model and beacon of joy for others
    • Reach out – check in constantly
    • Push beyond “I’m fine”
    • People desperately need to hear I Love you – tell them that they are valued in your life
    • Smile, especially when you don’t want to do it


Thoughts worth sharing:


  • (05:50) “I believe that that joy is 100% a choice. It’s a choice that isn’t always easy, but it’s not up to anyone else in our lives. It’s not up to our spouse or our friends or our political climate to make us happy. It truly has to be our own choice.”
  • (07:18) “I am someone who has lost a sweet child. I have been raped and my assailant was caught. We went through a divorce. I had stage three, triple negative breast cancer. My husband battled with alcoholism. He’s been sober almost six years now. And, I lost my sister to cancer. My mother had a brain aneurysm that burst and I say all those not lightly, but I tell you all of those because in some of those beginning things, the loss of my child and the rape, there was no joy to be had. I was miserable and it was later in life, actually during the cancer years that I figured out that it is my choice. You know, when you go through those just gut wrenching, tsunamis of pain your mind is a powerful thing and your ability to seek joy in those times.” 
  • (09:25) “Even in a tsunami of pain, there is still joy to be had.” 
  • (11:51) “Joy is a focus before it’s a feeling. So we have to focus on doing the things that bring us joy, just like we can focus on the things that we know don’t in the same breath. But if we focus on the things that bring us joy, it doesn’t mean that the feeling is going to happen right there. But you know that it’ll lead to it with repeated behavior.”
  • (20:26) “I believe that we all go through its very difficult seasons so that we can help the next person. I don’t think it should ever be wasted and that we can help others. There was a point where we are so in it, we can’t help others, but when you’re on the other side of it, I believe we’re very much called to help others through their difficult times. And we all have different kinds of difficult times so that we can help all different kinds of people.” 
  • (28:25) “I also think that people desperately need to hear, I love you. You are so wonderful. I love you. And I miss you. And you just telling people that they are valued in your life. It is so infrequently said right now, and it’s such a simple thing and that we can say it or FaceTime people so that they see you smile. I think a smile is like the greatest thing ever. I love to do it and push past my comfort level and try to smile in such a big way when I go out that you see it through my mask.” 
  • (37:51) “What are the small proactive behaviors so that you live your day proactively versus reactively. There’s a way to live our day where we’re reacting to everything that comes at us, but there’s a way to live our day that we decide this is what the day is going to happen.” 


Resources and Links from Show: 



AUTHOR: Haley Trejo
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