Series Introduction: Joy

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BY: NIKKI MICHELLE CHARNSTROM

I’ll be blunt and say I don’t agree with the dictionary definition of the word “joy.” In my opinion, they’ve missed the mark and lost out on the true meaning of a word with the power to impact and change lives. The dictionary definition reads, “the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure.” Two things, joy is not an emotion nor is it the reaction of something. At surface level, if you were to simply accept “joy” as another form of “happiness” then this definition would fit the bill. I’d like to dig deeper and challenge this vaguely cliché understanding of joy, so you can use this word to its full potential.

If we were to follow the dictionary’s lead, joy would look a lot like circumstantial happiness. Our thoughts and emotions would depend on whether or not something good was happening to us. This is where it gets tricky, because my idea of a good thing might not be the same as yours. Don’t you see the problem here? If our perspectives vary on that which is “exceptionally good” then joy is inconsistent and fluctuating — much like an emotion.

I’m here to tell you joy is NOT an emotion. As a matter of fact, joy is a MINDSET. It is making an active choice to remain positive day in and day out despite what your situation looks like. Let’s be real, every day of your life isn’t going to be magical moments of perfection. Knowing that, wouldn’t you rather find it in yourself to carry a spirit of joy no matter what? It might be easier said than done, I’m not naive in that regard — but, there is value in achieving what’s difficult. 

Joy is a lifestyle and an orientation of the heart. For you to be joyful, even amidst suffering, is an ability that starts from within. Imagine waking up with a smile on your face as you walk through those seasons of hurt and exhaustion. You’d be unstoppable. 

As we carry on with the holiday season, I felt it important to remember the power of joy. It’s not just a three letter word above our mantles surrounded by garlands of green. Joy is our safe space and our secret weapon. Throughout the month of December on Crowned Chics, we will be revealing the joy that lies within our hearts. We hope it encourages you to clothe yourself in an un-circumstantial joy, detached from the stresses this time of year brings. Don’t sweat it, girl. We’re going to walk you through it, meltdowns and all.


Nikki is the owner and founder of Crowned Chics. She lives in the warm desert of Phoenix, Arizona with her beloved family. If she's not ferociously clanking away on her typewriter, she's behind the camera capturing moments for her business Charnstrom Captures Photography.