“Some people have a wonderful capacity to appreciate again and again, freshly and naively, the basic goods of life, with awe, pleasure, wonder, and even ecstasy.” ~ Abraham H. Maslow
If there was a quote that defined me – this week’s would be it. I am pretty sure it was written with me in mind! How did that quote make you feel when you read it? I find it juicy and exciting…I want to jump up and down!
Remember my experience a few weeks ago with a CNIB fundraiser dinner? I shared how I will sometimes close my eyes for awhile and pretend I have never seen colours, shapes and when I open them pretend I am viewing the world for the first time.
I really like to stay in the place of wonder where the world always has something new and exciting to offer my senses. That little exercise is just one way for me to do that.
One of my absolute favourite things to do is to swing. I can’t get enough of that. I feel free and alive – like a child again. Moving through the air on a swing feels amazing. I love walks in misty light rain that falls gently on my face.
The kind of rain where you feel like you can really breathe deeply. I enjoy the last little bit of a soggy ice cream cone. And how cool is it when you take the lint off of the dryer screen all in one piece. Those are the little things that can make us smile in life.
And I often wonder why we can’t remain childlike and open in our attitude more of the time. That kind of attitude WILL definitely keep us young.
I love listening in on little ones talking and asking questions – it reawakens things inside me that I had long forgotten or needed to be reminded of. Their unique way of viewing the world, their delightful observations and awareness are so keen.
And – joy isn’t all about the happy moments. I find that we often think that life has to be perfect before we can be happy. We have a choice and we can choose to look beyond the imperfections and perceived flaws in our lives and in those around us. We have much to learn in the so-called unhappy moments.
Have you ever looked at a huge challenge in your life after it was all over and really seen the gift in it? At the time it sure didn’t feel that way, I know. But if we can take the time to ponder and reframe those times, we may realize how strong and resilient we are for having gone through them.
When we truly see the gift, we have gotten the lesson that needed to be learned. It’s not always going to be pretty in life; there is a natural ebb and flow of joy and pain that exists in our lives. We learn a lot through our experience of the polarities and opposites in life.
We may never know real joy if we did not have the opportunity to experience pain. I know personally that with deep deep grief I have learned to open my heart more fully. Going through the loss of my dog Willow was horrible at the time, but the treasures I found were invaluable.
And having more doesn’t always mean a better life either. We strive to achieve more, consume more and accumulate more. The media and advertising would have us thinking this is all normal and wonderful. I term this: “a beer commercial life.” We see commercials and TV shows with seemingly perfect people with their perfect faces, lives, homes and cars. Does this make us feel content?
I believe that happiness is the experiences in life, opening our minds and our hearts to those around us and embracing it all – just the way it is. Without trying to change it in any way…being with it – and being okay with that. It’s the swinging and the ice cream cone moments that can truly fill our hearts.
Here are a few ways to be happy now:
1. One of my absolute favourite lines is from Dr. Wayne Dyer – he says: “I choose to feel good.” I love it – simple and straightforward. We have the choice in every moment to choose how we want to feel. 2004 was the first time I saw him in Ottawa.
He said the outgoing message on his answering machine was this: “Hi, you’ve reached Wayne Dyer and I choose to feel good. If your message is anything other than that – call Dr. Phil.” I almost fell over laughing. Feeling good is a decision.
2. Tomorrow is always another day. We can take baby steps as we move through life – babies do. Did they learn to walk by running headlong at the beginning? Absolutely not. That’s where the saying came from: slow and steady. We have the opportunity to begin again, letting go of the previous day and all the self-judgment that went along with it. Think beginner’s mind as you wake up to your day!
3. It’s in the simple things…I love playing with my kitty in the morning, I take pleasure in the sound of the rain on the windows as I write this – the quote in the ezine says it all. It is those basic everyday delights that keep us intrigued and excited. Fall in love with the details of your day. Allow yourself to be inspired by the little things. It’s guaranteed to make your life feel richer.
4. Your wellness is greatly affected by your attitude and positivity. Be happy more of the time and you will live a long life of good health.
“What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.”
— Richard Bach.
Joie de vivre is a fabulous way to live our lives. This amazing French saying means joy of life or zest for life. Let’s embrace these words and live the life we were intended to live – our hearts and eyes fully open! Take pleasure in the little things in your life each day!
Wishing you an abundant summer filled with much love. As always – I am here to support you in this life journey and always love your feedback. See you soon!
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