A few years ago I read Gretchen Rubin’s book entitled Happier at Home. Although she was already a happy person, she decided to give thought to things she could do to make her even happier. I was reminded of this book recently as I started thinking about how I could use the resources I have to improve my life.
My life is already pretty joyful; I start each day with prayer before I get out of bed, have a job I really enjoy and that I believe is beneficial to others, I spend time in nature, keep a gratitude journal, and am abundantly blessed by the people God puts in my path. What I have found is that there are joyful things that I’ve done in the past but that are somehow no longer part of my life. I’ve been making a list of them in my phone as they come to mind and have started incorporating them now instead of making them New Year’s resolutions.
The first thing I added was to read the poetry of Mary Oliver before I go to sleep at night. Her book Devotions is jam packed with beauty that resonates with me. I used to keep this in my car so I could read a poem here or there when I arrived early for things. I’ve also memorized a couple that I would say out loud while practicing yoga. I had actually brought the book inside with the idea of reading it more often, but it became buried under other books and forgotten about. It’s just been a few nights now, and I’m really enjoying ending my day with her thoughtful words and the peace they bring.
I started meditating on a regular basis during yoga teacher training. It was something that was encouraged, I really enjoyed it, and I even made meditations for my Pocket of Peace Yoga YouTube channel. Although I include a short meditation at the end of the yoga classes I teach, I had somehow stopped doing this just for me. Now I’ve been adding 10 minutes of silent meditation at the end of my personal yoga practices. A dear friend says that meditation is sitting quietly with an open heart, so that’s what I do. It’s been lovely.
I’m a big promoter of happy movement, do what delights you. For many years my happy movement was running, to the point of me saying that my Indian name would be Runs With Joy. With the addition of so much yoga, and a rough season of allergies, my runs have been few and far between. As soon as this cold front moves through I plan on getting in some miles on the greenway. An added bonus will be warming up first with jumping rope, which is definitely happy movement.
I delight in the freedom that running brings
To go this way or that
As far and fast as I please
The sound of my footsteps and breath
A soft melody for the thoughts in my head
So what about you? Can you think of some happy things you used to do that have somehow disappeared from your life? Or maybe there’s something fun you’ve been wanting to try but just haven’t go around to it. As people around us start making resolutions about what they feel they should do, maybe you could be making plans to do things you want to do that bring joy. I’d be delighted to have you share your ideas in the comment section.
2 thoughts on “Adding More Joy”
I want to do more yoga with you and have a more disciplined morning routine dedicated to quiet time of reading, prayer etc. whatever brings me peace and joy for that time
I love this! Great idea 🙂 instead of new year resolutions let’s bring back the things that make us happy! Being born and raised in Sarasota Fl it was always so easy to hit the beach for a nice sunset picnic or book read. Now a days there’s so many people moving or visiting that it’s extremely hard to get to the beach without hitting bad traffic and I hate traffic. But I need to remember and embrace how happy sunsets on the beach make me. I want to bring back sunsets on the water. I will turn on a fun song that makes me happy, roll the windows down and sing at the top of my lungs in traffic to make traffic more fun so that I can bring happiness back into my everyday/week life 🙂 thank you Glenda you always know how to get these brain wheels turning 😉
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