Experiencing Simple Joy
a feeling of great pleasure and happiness.
Life is short.
When we are young, the future seems so far away. In a blink, we are 20. In another blink, we are 30.
Have you ever stopped and asked yourself "Where did the time go?" Me too.
If we are not careful, we will spend our days and nights worrying and working. We will fill our time with the insignificant. Until, one day, we wake up frustrated and angry that our life is passing by us so fast.
So, today, I want to encourage you to experience simple joy.
Too often, we turn the pursuit of pleasure and happiness into an all out race for THINGS. A nice house. A sexy car. A job title that everyone respects. Designer clothes. A "who's who" list of friends.
In our crazy frenzy to replace happiness with feeling important, we lose what matters most. And sometimes, we lose ourselves.
It doesn't have to be this way. Your life can be different.
Imagine a life full of peace and meaningful connections. Imagine being able to rest in a contentment that does not lead to frustration or worry.
Yes, it is possible. I know it is possible because I have created such a life.
No, my life is not void of challenges or disappointments. But it is full of the "experience of simple joy." I want you to be able to experience this same joy.
Here are five simple practices that can help you break free:
Focus on your true priorities. What are the top 3 things that you value most? Now cross off anything that is related to money, popularity, or physical appearance. What is left? If your answer is "nothing," I encourage you to go no further until you clarify your true priorities. Not sure where to start? Here is a great resource that I have found: The Dragontree Apothecary.
Reconnect with your faith. We often forget that we are not just physical beings. We are mind, body, emotions, and spirit. And in our fast-paced, techno-addicted culture we often forget to take care of our spiritual selves. Are you connected to a local faith community? If not, this is a good place to start. Being around people who will encourage us to ground our spirits can refresh us in a way that can't be "bought." I have personally used Dr. Cindy Trimm's 40-Day Soul Fast to clear my head, heart, mind, and spirit. You may want to join me in that journey starting March 1st.
Surround yourself with nature. We spend way too much time in buildings and cars these days. I travel quite a bit. Just the other week as I was driving down the road, I suddenly thought to look upwards at the beautiful blue sky and soft white clouds. I looked left and right and saw beautiful trees and pastures. In our everyday hustle and bustle, we often forget to pause and take in the small and beautiful pleasures around us. America's State Parks are a great way to get out in nature without breaking the bank.
Listen to your "feel good" music. There are so many different genres of music out there these days. The type of music I am talking about here is the music that evokes absolute joy when you hear it. It is the music that makes you bob your head and tap your foot. Try turning up the volume and cutting a step or two (that means dancing for you young folks). Having a hard time thinking of songs? Here is a quick list of happy songs from Billboard.
Hang out with your "life of the party" friend. As adults, we often lose our ability to play and just have fun. We are so serious. I spent many years being dead serious...and being miserable. Find someone in your circle who is just a fun person - the kind that makes you laugh and be silly. Do something ridiculous (and moral and safe and legal) that makes you laugh. Here is an article from the Chopra Center to get you started.
Now get started experiencing simple joy!
P.S. Do you know someone who could use this encouragement? Forward this
message to encourage them to experience simple joy.