There is no greater motivator in life than joy. When we do something that makes us feel good, joy bubbles forth to ignite the yearning for more of the same. Joy is healing, it’s celebration. It transcends barriers and allows us to be truly ourselves. It has an intensity about it all its own. It helps us experience life full-heartedly. My suggestion? Do more of what you enJOY and keep filling your happiness tank.
- have a good laugh. The pee in your pants and cry and hold your sides kind! You may need a to massage your cheeks later, but the massage you’ll just have finished giving your heart will have been worth it.
- seek emotional connections. A chat with a friend, a good long hug with a loved one, an afternoon of play with a child, a snuggle with your pet….
- give more of yourself in things big and small. It doesn’t really matter if anyone else appreciates or gets what you do, knowing that you did your best at a task at hand will always feel great!
- sweat the small stuff. Go hard at it on your next workout! Let those armpits ripen and release whatever is nagging at you. If it’s bothering you, it’s not worth carrying.
- do something that makes you lose track of time. Always a sure sign of fun:)
- participate in new activities that take you out of your comfort zone. When we overcome awkwardness and feelings of uneasiness to successfully acquire a new skill, the confidence boost can be exhilarating. Personally, I’m happy to know I summoned the courage to try, success is simply a pleasant surprise.
- speak words that are encouraging and worthwhile. Keeping positive doesn’t mean spewing empty flattery, it means you made a point of noticing the beauty and goodness in others and are courageous, nice, kind, caring, and supportive enough to share it. See?
And on a parting note, allow me to bring in Webster:
Joy -the Greek word for joy is chara (Antonym: anxiety and worry). It comes from the word charis, which is derived from the word we know as ‘grace.’ The wonderwall here is that charaor, or joy is borne of the Divine Grace within each of us. Need I say more?
- Hello 2013 :: Joy (littlebitofthyme.com)
- My Word For The Year (cindybarganier.com)
- The Pursuit of Happiness (lukebinder.wordpress.com)
Have you ever thought about what your own unspoken message may be? When other people meet you, what do they notice, perceive and guess about you? Granted, a lot of what others think of us is coloured by their own experiences and perception, but there is always a grain of truth in the feedback we get. I’m not suggesting you start surveying your friends or obsessing about what others think, but I do believe we should choose our personal labels wisely. We all carry stories, dreams, energy that reads like road signs everywhere we go. Without our realizing it, we’re constantly processing this information and choosing accordingly.
We’ve heard the saying “Actions speak louder than words” and most agree to this time-tested wisdom. Then why do our words hold so much power? If this were true, nice gestures would cancel out hurtful words. The verbally abusive husband should then be able to erase hurts with a guilt-token. Similarly, telling someone “I love you” while betraying them doesn’t hold much significance. There needs to be consistency. Taking pause to get acquainted with our truth is the first step in fulfilling who we are. Expressing it outwardly sets our intent and invites everything and everyone to support our truth, but this alone is not enough. When you define who you are, the assumption is that this is who you wish to be. Therefore, your actions and words should reflect what is important to you, to your story, to your purpose. Once we proudly wear our skin, we may begin to feel charged, newly aware, wonderfully able to see clearly into our own hearts. However, if this knowing isn’t followed by supporting actions, we can begin to lose confidence in our dreams see ourselves as frauds.
So the next question may be, are you in alignment with what is at your center? Most of us are triggered by hypocrites, think of people who claim to be very religious and then act maliciously toward their neighbours; it is not enough to boast about going to church every Sunday if your actions define you differently. We are more able to trust others when the things they tell us are in synch with their behaviour. Likewise, we are better able to trust in ourselves and our journeys when we speak our truth and have the courage to live that way. Our actions need to mirror what we believe in. This is true integrity; approaching each of our lives from a “whole-istic” place.
My hope is that we each take a moment to honour who we are, begin our days with the courage to consciously choose how we’ll take part of this journey.…listen intently to the song in our heart and begin to dance.
Sometimes things don’t turn out as we imagined or hoped for. This doesn’t mean that a situation is not good, just different from the version that played in our heads. Too often, not getting our way translates to disappointment or hurt instead of having it simply be an opportunity to experience something as is, without judgement. After all, if life unfolded exactly as we wished, it would make for an incredibly boring existence.
It is not difficult to see how the need to control our lives helps us guard against hardships. What could very well be an act of self-preservation has become deeply rooted in every aspect of our society. Its evidence can be found in creams that guarantee wrinkles from setting in, pills that help us avoid our feelings, regimens and air bags that keep danger at bay, and websites that promise to find our soulmates. In reality, nothing is fool-proof. This should in no way stop us from intending and planning the kind of life we want. However, it is equally important to know how to release the kung-fu grip we have on those expectations and learn to roll with it. Any woman who planned for the birth of her child knows this well. We can plan and hope and prepare, but when it is time, we must simply accept what is happening and do our best with whatever comes at us. Typically, the most impactful experiences in life are the ones that unfold despite our efforts because in those moments we are challenged to bring our best selves forth. It is easy to be present and prepared and centered when we puppeteer a situation, but our ability to adjust, our ability to find grace in response to any given experience is when we see our spirit shine.
Last weekend I hoped to create a memorable day for my family as we set out to find our Christmas tree. I made us a pancake brunch and we left shortly after 11am for Horton’s Magic Hill where a tractor ride, bonfire, and festivities awaited us. We scoured the fields singing “Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree, oh where are you hiding…” My girls chose a beautiful tree and not surprisingly, a very special one that had an abandoned nest perfectly placed near the top branches. We enjoyed a hot apple cider near the bonfire and took leave in early afternoon. We must have gone through a time warp, a worm hole, a mini Bermuda triangle that temporarily moved north… It was an extraordinarily long drive home. I still cannot wrap my head around the fact that the ride back took five times as long as it normally would have. This was not part of my grand plan for a fun day. I had to be at a Christmas party at four and I was in charge of food and drinks. As time got away from me and four o’clock approached, my lack of control over the situation ate away at all the peace I had felt earlier that morning. I didn’t want to disappoint my friends by being late and was so worried about letting them down that I failed to see how I was already letting my loved ones down by dissipating all the joy felt earlier. Even when I finally did make it to the Christmas party, it took some effort to relax and actually be present. I kept wondering at how the day could have gone better.
Things took an unexpected turn, a different ending, that’s all. So instead of going home and decorating our tree while singing carols and finishing the day off with hot chocolate and holiday cheer, we hurled the tree in the house and raced out muddy and dishevelled. I had no control over the delay that derailed my day, but then again, I had not counted on having extremely grateful kids that made the best of their time and didn’t complain once -and I certainly hadn’t planned to find my new favourite ornament nestled within tree branches. Each time I look at it I wonder if its architect had ever pictured this nest tucked among gold stars and twinkle lights. I bet that talented mama bird hadn’t planned for her beautifully crafted nest to gift another mama with much heartfelt gratitude.