Bringing Joy to Every Day



 

“What is your intention for today?”                                                   

“My what?”

“Your intention. You know, what do you want this day to be like? How do you want to experience it?”

For a long stretch of time, questions like these sounded like whoo hoo from an alternate universe.  I mean, I had THINGS TO DO if I wanted a shot at accomplishing, acquiring, and achieving something in this life. I knew that I was a good student, a hard worker, and I had this vague sense that I wanted to make everything that I touched better in some way, or more beautiful. And I knew one more thing: I didn’t want to be poor. What did I want to experience?

Anything that would further my goals.

That was a long time ago, and, looking back, I know that by striving, planning, saving, and working my butt off, I’ve done alright. Those skills were my “Go To’s” and I have never taken them for granted. But the other stuff – the playful, fun, spontaneous, joy-inducing stuff – that’s what I’ve had to learn.

This morning, my virtual yoga instructor channeled the whoo hoo, inviting us to put a word to the type of day we wanted to have. Present to myself, I recognized the question as an “If not now, when?” moment of choice. Instead of “productive” or one of its equally apt, industrious synonyms, I reached for what I really want right now.

I chose “joyful.”

Post-yoga, and immersed in customer service snafus to unravel, articles to draft, courses to review, and doctor appointments to make, an incoming text challenged my resolve:

“Hey. Such a beautiful day. Want to do Happy Hour? Your place or mine. LMK.”

My To Do’s stared me down, taunted me. Instead of caving, I decided to put them in their rightful place by making the joyful choice:

“Sure. 5:00? Your deck. ☺”

Life is full of responsibilities, obligations, lists, tasks, challenges, upsets, curve balls and strikes. And on top of all of that, major stuff happens. In the midst of the many things that you cannot control, “saving a space for joy” is a worthy intention. While your path may have been much different from mine, you may also feel the limitations of a temporary rut or a prolonged routine. See that as a soulful prompt and then go for the joy.

Bring on the Joy

Spending “Happy Hour” with someone whose company you welcome is one of countless ways you can bring joy to your day. Here are others I’ve embraced:

Seeking out a novelty – a different Starbucks beverage this time

Contacting someone out of the blue – made my day and hers!

Walking my neighbor’s dog – talk about bonding

Leaving an unexpected something for a neighbor – a seasonal plant, pumpkin, or treat

Asking to speak to the manager – to praise their employee

Identifying five things I am grateful for

Stepping outside to take in the natural beauty of the air, the earth, the sky

Telling my sister exactly why I think she is an awesome human being

Exchanging recipes via text with my niece

Amusing myself by watching a series, reading a frivolous magazine, or starting a new book

Trying a different exercise routine

Changing up my morning walk by taking a different route

Being genuinely kind to someone

Decorating my husband’s grocery list with hearts and silly sayings

Stopping into a store where I’ve never shopped

Forgiving someone who has hurt me

Giving myself a pass on my daily routine, and:

Taking myself out on a spontaneous adventure


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