Sunday, December 1, 2013

Cultivating JOY!

The holiday season is upon us and I can't think of a better topic to talk about than cultivating joy.
It's the common desire I hear the most from my clients.
Some tell me they aren't sure if they know what true joy feels like.
Joy is the feeling you get when your heart is full, your body feels light, and you lose track of time. That's it.
It doesn't have to feel like ecstasy, just JOY! 

Dr. Martha Beck wrote a book called "The Joy Diet" in which she says there are ten ingredients for joy: 
nothing, truth, desire, creativity, risk, treats, play, laughter, connection, and feasting.
Some of these ingredients may sound strange to
you, but there's a method to her madness.

Nothing is actually just doing nothing for 15 minutes a day. Call it meditation if you like, but it's the time to quiet the unruly mind and become still.

Truth is uncovering the real feelings you have that you are pretending not to know.
Yes, I said pretending.
As in, making something ok that actually isn't.
A huge dose of truth is essential to joy- even though it may be painful at first to allow.

Desire is the truth about what you really really reallywant. Follow the bread crumb trail of your desires to joy!

Creativity is the antithesis of stagnation.
Find new solutions to your problems, drive home a different way from work, do tasks in a different order, or pull out some art supplies and go wild. 

Risk is doing more things that scare you, make you nervous, or feel somewhat out of character. You'll be amazed at how alive you feel when you break out of your patterns.

Treats are, well- treats! They don't have to be food treats. Think of them as random acts of kindness that you perform for yourself!

Play is critical for cultivating joy.
All work and no play does indeed make Jack a very dull boy. Go do fun stuff- that's called playing.

Laughter is the best medicine- we all know that. Make sure you are deliberate about more laughter in your life- go to a comedy club, see a funny movie, play with your dog, or watch You Tube videos.

Connection is KEY to joy. 
Put down your phone, open up your heart and really look at and converse with someone you care about.

Feasting is nourishing your spirit with celebrations and gratitude-or pie, there's always pie. 

Put all of these ingredients together and you've got a recipe for goodness- soak it in!