Cultivating Joy for Happy Aging and a Meaningful Life

On our latest episode of IGTV, Business Director Vanessa Grutman connected with Jen Murtagh, Leadership Coach Extraordinaire, to talk about cultivating joy in our daily lives and living with intention.

You might be wondering, how might prioritizing joy support you on your journey of aging gracefully? As Vanessa explains in the interview, the impact of our emotions is profound. Experiencing more joy influences everything from our longevity to the strength of our immune system, and with respect to our skin in particular, may decrease inflammation, reduce redness and prevent stress-induced acne breakouts.

Project Skin Vancouver Vanessa Grutman Jen Murtagh 2

We love Jen’s story, and the take-aways for how to cultivate more joy in our own lives. You can watch the interview here, or read on for a summary of the discussion:

Jen look the leap just under one year ago to prioritize joy in her own life. As a mother of four who spent 18 years working in both the corporate and non-profit sectors, in C-suite positions focused on Gender Equity, Children’s Health and Women’s Health, Jen found she was always tired. She no longer wanted to be a model of exhaustion for her children, and through her work in Women’s Health, she knew all too well that she wasn’t alone – a whopping 75-90% of autoimmune illnesses are diagnosed in women, which has been shown to be directly correlated with chronic stress.

So what did she do? Jen took steps to get clear on what mattered to her so she could prioritize and create circumstances to access joy. And lucky for us, she shared some insights on how we might go about doing the same:

Get curious and clear on what brings you joy

For Jen, journaling, working with a coach and allowing herself to connect with her being-state, rather than her typical doing-state, helped her realize how she wanted to make an impact, what she truly enjoys and how she wants to live with purpose.

Be compassionate with yourself

Jen found, like so many others, she had previously derived her self-worth from her accomplishments and achievements. She had to stop hustling for her self-worth, and remove judgement around slowing down to access joy.

Create community

You can’t become yourself, by yourself, is a phrase Jen found to be true in her own experience. She feels therapists, coaches, friends and power partners can all play a role to help us reach our own potential and hold ourselves accountable to our aspirations.

Don’t wait for a life-changing moment to change your life

Taking inventory on what brings you joy will guide you on how to get there. For Jen, it is things like taking the time to laugh with her son at the breakfast table, reading and spending time by the water that light up her day-to-day life. While it requires self-reflection and a commitment to invest time and love in yourself, cultivating joy might be closer than you think!

P.S. Being the reader that she is, Jen mentioned a few books that resonated with her on her joy-seeking journey. We’ve listed them for you here:

  • The Second Mountain by David Brooks
  • The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level by Gay Hendricks
  • The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael Alan Singer

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