Adding JOY to Your Life
This past weekend was one for the books my friends. It was filled with so much community, happiness, and all around lovely things. I enjoyed a gorgeous evening at Burnt Toast Farms in Marysville playing in fields of flowers, meeting new friends, and eating delicious farm-to-table food. The next morning was spent singing with my Peace Lutheran community, and I enjoyed a summer baseball game with co-workers and friends in the evening. It was wonderful. The entire weekend reminded me just how important it is to make time to do the things that bring me joy and to surround myself with the people who truly LIGHT me up.
This is my girl Kelli (also the beauty behind Blissful Blooms Florals ) who invited me to this lovely event :)
Do you want to know a secret? I almost bailed on all of those activities because I was too “busy.” Boy am I glad I changed my mind.
Let’s back up for a second. The new school year started 2 weeks ago, and ever since, I’ve found myself getting caught up in the old busy mindset again (a word that I have REALLY been trying to ditch from my vocab). With a full time choir job, an after school show choir, a private piano studio, a church job, AND getting my health coach certification .. my brain has been a bit on overdrive. I was getting caught up in all the “to-dos” and I noticed that I was letting the activities I love most slip away. And although I love all of the things I am doing, I’ve been questioning…
Am I really doing things that bring me joy every day?
Some people might argue that it is near impossible to do something that lights you up on a daily basis, but I want to challenge that idea. Lately, the same thought keeps popping up in my mind, what is the point of being here if not to enjoy it? And to enjoy it as much as possible! This may sound cliche, but we really only have one life to live, and I just don’t want to waste it anymore!
Think back to the last time you really felt joy in your life. That feeling of lightness and ease; like your entire body was vibrating at a higher frequency. When you felt connected to those around you, and most importantly, you felt connected to yourself too. That wonderful sensation that fills up your entire body and makes you feel, well … HAPPY.
I have very specific activities in my life that seem to bring about these feelings, and every time it happens, I wonder why in the WORLD I’m not experiencing them more. This past weekend was one of those times. So, I want to prompt you to think...
what are the things in your life that bring you the most joy? And are you making them a priority throughout your week?
(Our GORGEOUS dinner table at the event)
Here are a few of my joys:
Spending time with friends - laughing, talking, and just BEING.
Surrounding myself in nature
Listening to live music and vocal performances
Exploring and experiencing new places/activities with those I love
Our truest, most authentic selves, come forward when we spend time doing activities that we love.
It’s in these times that we hear the messages our soul is trying to speak, and it’s when we feel most alive, and in our bodies. So what’s holding us back from bringing on the joy?! I believe that a lot of us deal with the internal struggle of believing we deserve happiness on a daily basis. There are so many reasons why we shouldn’t be spending time celebrating ourselves (insert work deadlines, kid’s schedules, household to-dos), but when it’s all said and done, are you really giving your best to these activities when you haven’t filled up your own cup first? Usually, that answer is no. When we celebrate loving ourselves first, and engage in activities that make us feel truly alive, we can then put that positive energy into our daily tasks and family obligations.
So, let’s get to it. Here are my go-to steps for bringing joy back into your life:
Step 1: discover what makes you happy!
Not sure what that is? No problem. You’re definitely not alone. So many of us, (women especially), spend so much time trying to make other people happy, that we have completely forgotten how to do that when it comes to ourselves! Start small. Start experimenting. I tried yoga for the first time on Youtube 4 years ago. I had no idea that it was going to spark so much happiness and calm in my life. It was a total experiment! Since then, my love for yoga has developed into so much more (a meditation practice, journaling, and even starting my podcast to name a few!)
The beautiful thing about discovering your joy is that when you start small, it opens you up to endless possibilities. If there has been something on your mind that you have been longing to try, listen to that voice and GO FOR IT. At the very least, it might spark your interest in another direction!
Step 2: Learn to say “YES!”
I almost said no to my wonderful weekend and I am so glad I changed my mind. Think back to the last time a friend invited you out, or you were just dying to try out that new workout class, but life got in the way. Maybe you have been longing for a girls weekend for months, but you keep pushing the thought aside. We tend to make excuses around money, and our lack of time, when it comes to trying new experiences and letting ourselves have some fun. But I want to challenge you to start saying YES when these opportunities and thoughts arise. The next time someone invites you to out, or you are presented with a new adventure -- practice saying yes (if it serves you of course). If any little part of you jumps at the invite, don’t let your logical brain get in the way. Your soul deserves the time to let go and have some fun!
Step 3: Schedule Your Joy
We all have calendars that are packed to the brim, but in all of the madness, have you scheduled any activities that you enjoy? The things that we actually want to do tend to be last on our lists. This might sound familiar to you... “Oh, if I have extra time today, I am going to run that bubble bath and settle down with my new book” or “If I get all of my work done today, I’m going to finally go to that yoga class.” More often than not, that time just doesn’t come. What if instead of giving yourself ultimatums, you actually schedule time around the things that bring you joy? Make it a point to prioritize something you LOVE doing every single day. You may have to re-organize your schedule, and perhaps make some mind-set shifts, but I assure you that your mind and body will thank you for the much needed positive vibes. We have been placed on this earth to enjoy life. Don’t let the the day to day obligations overpower the things that make you excited and happy to wake up each morning. Make them a priority!
The more joy you experience in your day to day, the easier (and more fun!) all of the other “life” tasks will be. Your spirit will feel lighter, your positivity will be radiating, and you will wake up each day with more gratitude for what this life has to offer. It may take some practice and prioritizing, but once you make daily joy a habit, it will be hard to go back. Does this mean you will never have busy and stressful days? Goodness, I wish! But I promise you the good days will be far greater than the bad. Why? Because you will make it so. You have the power to build in joy every single day, and believe me, we need more people cultivating their happiness and sharing that beautiful energy with this world now more then ever.