What Does Joy Feel Like?
Have you ever thought about writing down what would make you happy? Not a 5-year plan or list of wishes and goals, but something more basic. What would a happy life look like [to you] on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis? I encourage you to get detailed when you write down what would make you supremely happy. Ask yourself, “What does joy look like, sound like, feel like, and tastes like?” This could include some gratitude statements for things that have already happened like healing chronic illness, getting a puppy, traveling somewhere new, or starting a business.
I can feel you judging me…
“You must be a millennial.”
“That’s a nice idea, but I live in reality.”
You Can’t Make Time
In the States, we have developed a collection of bad habits that won’t allow us to slow down, live in the moment, and act with intention. We don’t often ask ourselves what would make us happy because, we think, “I don’t have time for that.” But maybe this is the point: To make time. Time is our most valuable asset, but so many moments are given away like they’re renewable. If you were given a limited amount of money and told you’ll never have more, wouldn’t you be hyper-intentional about how you spent it?
the ask is the point
The point is the ask. After all, how can you know which way to go if you don’t know where you want to be? Once you’ve written down what joy looks like for you, start a list of ways you can make this joy a reality. For example, it is really important to Ben and I to be together as much as we can and to be able to live where we want. In order to do this, working remotely makes the most sense for us. We chose not to accept or pursue opportunities that would get in the way of this joy, even if it meant turning down great offers. We have the luxury of choice because we have no debt, which is another joy we took steps to achieve.
If you have a spouse, I recommend doing this independently first, then together. You might be surprised to discover the little things you could do to help bring your partner joy, like waking them up with a kiss, joining them on bike rides, planting a garden, or planning a trip. Then together, what would make you happy as a team? Maybe it’s a house, a diet change, new hobbies, or family planning.
Be Joyful Always
Let me end with this: For those who have made it this far, some might feel this exercise is depressing. Writing down what would make you happy somehow makes you sad because it’s highlighting all the things you don’t have. You can be joyful always, regardless of your circumstance. Perhaps some of the joys you would like to achieve are not for today but I’m willing to bet there is something to be joyful about while you move toward the things you want. Choose to focus more on what you do have and what you can do rather than what you don’t have or can’t do.
HEADSPACE HACK: Whenever we were in a season of waiting or processing, my favorite thing to say was, “It’s just for now, not forever.” Maybe this saying will help you while you take steps toward making the joys you wrote down a reality.
How to start? here’s mine for inspo…
A joyful day [for me] includes waking up feeling rested with time to enjoy a morning routine (skincare, coffee, read my bible, stretch, and make breakfast). Most days, I work from home in my carefully curated office which is bathed in natural light. The windows are open often to feel the breeze and hear the birds. My office either smells like surf wax and fabric softener or my favorite maple and creme latte candle.
READ: Stress-Free Secrets To Becoming A Morning Person
My desk is oversized and my chair is both beautiful and ergonomic. My work blends digital and physical creatives with a focus on branding, community development, and art. Workdays away from home are filled with energetic collaborations and meetings, creative campaigns, industry events, and artsy projects. Aside from my day job, I’m identifying new ways to invest in children and women, encouraging them to realize their worth, nurture their talents, and identify paths to achieving their dreams.
READ: Stoke The Fire, Embrace Your Differences & Stand Out
Work days wrap with device-free quality time with Ben and dinner is made with real, delicious ingredients – some from our greenhouse garden. We like to go for sunset walks after dinner or stargaze by a bonfire. It’s the little things that make our home a sanctuary like family heirlooms, soaking tubs, and homemade snacks. All who visit feel cozy, safe, and peaceful. Since I love design, cooking, and hosting, I’m making old-school dinner parties a thing, again. Years from now, we’ll have a collection of happy memories made over coffee, card games, bonfires, and movie nights.
READ: A Valentine’s Day Message – Show Love
Holidays and time off are filled with what Ben calls, “dink days,” self-care indulgences. and travel. Dink days typically include a mixture of random errands and shop-hopping with friends or family. We’ll stop by farmers markets for treats and flowers, pop-up events or art fairs for trinkets and puppy petting, plus a coffee stop or two before finding a patch of grass to watch live music in the park. I’m thankful to be letting go of the DIY years and finally investing in things like fitness classes, holistic health treatments, and beauty appointments. We like to get out of the country a few times a year with weekend road trips or meetups with loved ones peppered in between.
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