hi lovely- as a joy seeker myself I've thought a lot about what joy means, how it manifests, how to get more of it, how to share it with others, how to make it last...
Since becoming a mom, what brings me joy and what I do in order to feel joyful has changed -simplified, in fact.
I realize more and more that joy truly isn't about the big extravagant things we do once in a while (although they are certainly joyful too), but lasting joy or leading a joyous life is the result of the small things we do consistently every day.
<---- Here I am doing the most joyful thing in the world: hanging with Felix and watching him grow, giggle, and taking in the richness of life in the most curious ways.
Can you tell how proud he is that he is standing/ wobbling on his own feet?
So that begs the next question: What kinds of consistent things should we engage in to create lasting joy? No, silly, I am not talking about a daily box of chocolate chip cookies ;)
Here is what I suggest:
Nothing is more joyful in the long run than watching something you created grow and flourish. Nothing creates greater fulfillment, more positive self-esteem, or a deeper sense of accomplishment than actually getting in there and seeing your work contributing to an actual outcome.
Note that I am not talking about having to contribute to something insanely significant aka. you don't have to go and save rhinos in Africa, but I am talking about APPLYING yourself in a way that takes your interests seriously and provides an outlet for you to contribute on an on-going basis.
I think that this is why motherhood is so immensely joyful: It is challenging as heck, but if you truly apply yourself in a consistently loving way, the rewards of watching your little one grow, smile, flourish and thrive, is better than anything in the world.
Obviously I am not pushing motherhood on you right now, because the good news is that you can start applying yourself whenever you want:
Ask yourself the following 3 questions:
1. What do you enjoy doing? What makes you forget time and space? What gets you into a feeling of flow?
2. How can you elaborate on this interest of yours, make it even more beautiful and become your own expert in this field?
3. How can you create space for this activity every day?
Here is an example:
Let's say you like to decorate your home, then you might subscribe to a few more home magazines for inspiration, you might start a photo collection of pieces that inspire you, you might plan a weekend activity to just stroll through cool design stores with your friends, you might look into DIY activities for how to beautify or change the things you already own and make them more YOU, you may play with colors, shapes and moodboards, you might explore the power of feng shui, you may even learn how to knit your own pillows... the possibilities are endless.
In essence, I am suggesting for you to allow yourself to REALLY get into something and explore it with zest or the fierce curiosity of a child who sees snow for the first time ;) It doesn't matter how good you are at it, what matters is that you APPLY yourself with your full heart and soul.
An extra bonus result of when we apply ourselves in this passionate way is that you become a more interesting and fulfilled person, which leads to better connections with others and greater relationships, which is obviously also an immensely important factor for a joyous life.
What do you choose?