I’ve been having a number of conversations lately about how the busyness of life can get in the way of living. Commitments and responsibilities can squeeze our precious time to the limit that we end up finding little joy in our everyday activities. Today, all too many of us feel these things and make it through days that are flittering away. I’ve learned that it doesn’t have to be this way.
Within our everyday lives we CAN experience joy on a daily basis. If we want to find magical moments in our everyday lives, we have to make room for JOY! Joy requires emptiness – space and inattention.
Joy can be with us on a daily basis, just like the chores around the home or office. When we become aware of all the little things that fill us up with joy, we discover that magical moments already sparkle in our everyday lives. It’s not enough to expect magical moments however. We must learn to actively make room for them.
- Get rid of the clutter that clogs our homes, our hearts and our minds and make room and time for things that fill you up with joy.
- Deal with any issues around anger, resentment, and bitterness. Apply the greatest gift of all – forgiveness. Learning to forgive ourselves we become more able to forgive others. This loosens the debilitating constraints of anger, resentment, cynicism and despair and frees up our hearts to swell with joy.
- Let go of the mental chatter of what you need to do in the possible future or what you could have done in buried past. By learning to be present in the current moment we open to the treasures that it offers.
- Fill up with gratitude for all that you have. It’s nearly impossible to be gloomy when acknowledging the gifts that are present in our lives.
- Start each day with a CAN DO attitude. We then experience the joyfulness of self-discovery and accomplishment.
- Banish worry. Worry serves as a signal that we must tend to something, but when we have done all that can be done for the moment, it’s time to let go of worry and surrender to the joyous support of people and possibilities.
No one can tell you what will bring joy to your life. While the experience of joy is universal, it is also fundamentally personal. I can’t tell you that if you attend an art exhibition, go for a walk, or bake cookies with the kids you will feel joy. These might work for me, but not necessarily for you. But I CAN guide you toward four ingredients common to many different recipes for joy.
- Surprise Your Life: Do something you really love to do (before this day is out) that is full of fun and freedom.
- Cultivate Beauty: Create beauty in your everyday activities and celebrate beauty in your everyday surroundings.
- Embrace Laughter. We are a nation of people who are gifted with our ability to see the funny side even we are in a crisis.
- Give yourself simple extravagances and healthy indulgences: Garnish your life with little pleasures that don’t destroy your pocketbook…or your health.
When you create your personal recipe for joy-full living, when you get rid of the clutter that keeps joy at arm’s length, and when you come to believe that magical moments are awaiting you in your everyday life you will discover that each joyfully crafted day lasts an extraordinarily long time.