Originally posted 9/2/2014
Have you ever had someone ask you a question that made you stop in your tracks and think – “wow! I never thought of that! “ A dear friend posted one of those questions to me: “What do you do on the days when you can’t find the joy?” All of us have had those kind of times when you have just had it, when you want to run away, when you say “Why me, God, and No More!” Many of us have more than our fair share of hard times, of loss, of unexpected challenges and disappointments. It can become totally overwhelming, shutting us down and even paralyzing us from being productive or happy. You know – the kind of events that make some of us just want to stay under the covers and hide. At other times, it becomes self-destructive or fills us with anger and terror. Not a pretty state to be in. And when we go there, it is so hard to dig back out again.
I really had to think about her question long and hard. All of the really basic, and sometimes trite, responses come out: “One day at a time. Live in the moment. This too shall pass.” While all true and important, they somehow feel too removed, or over-said, to do any good when you really need a springboard to that joy you so desperately need. So what do you do?
“Joy is that pilot-light we have constantly burning deeply within, quick to grow into an intense heat when fueled by meaningful experiences.” Starla J. King, author of “Wide Awake. Every Day. ”
Here are my best, simple ideas you can use every day – to help you be uplifted and in action and to see the sunshine again. They are little “experiences” that become truly “meaningful” and will bring more joy each day:
1. Take action – even if it is to move your body. Lift your head and look up, get off the chair, go for a walk, take a class, listen to music that moves you. Sit outside and write your little heart out. Start that journal. Meditate. Sing or dance. Do or see something new.
2. Set a time limit. I find this is a really effective way to get yourself out of your funk and find some joy. Set your alarm for 30 minutes, or 10 minutes or better yet, for 5 minutes. Let go of the drama. And when the buzzer goes off, get up and physically move yourself. Physical movement creates different chemicals and feelings in your body. Be AWARE of your feelings and how you are moving from not so good took to maybe even great. It is pretty amazing once you focus in on it and feel the changes taking place inside of you.
2. Find support. You CANNOT do this alone. By yourself, you get stuck in the space between your ears – just you and your negative thoughts and feelings that tend to feed upon each other.
Reach out for a support team – a trusted friend, a life coach, a counselor, someone from the clergy – whomever you feel comfortable with, someone you trust who help you to laugh a little and move on.
3. Do one or ten things that make you smile.
4. Do one or ten things that make someone else smile.
4. Reach out and find someone who needs help and then help them.
5. Treat yourself to a little joy – a piece of chocolate, looking at photos that make you smile, calling a friend, watching a favorite movie, listening to wind chimes or a seashell, smelling flowers. Use all of your senses.
6. Repeat items 1 – 5 as needed. Be committed and dedicated to being in joy every day.
By taking these simple actions, you start to get rid of your feelings and behaviors that no longer serve you and you then will build a new habit which nourishes you and others.
We all have, and will have, incredible challenges and not-so-fun times. There is always beauty in a storm. It is up to us to lift up our eyes to find it. And yes, it is not so hard when you know what to do. Joy is closer than you think – it really is inside of you. Do you feel that you are bored or exhausted at the end of the day and need something different? Are you not working in your best space and want to feel more alive and fulfilled in your work? Is it time to renew your spirit? If not now, what are you waiting for?
Now is the best time and let me help you on your journey to figure out what inspires you, what your unique skills and talents are, what is next. I can support you in finding answers and inspiration in our programs, career and personal coaching, and workshops developed just for you.
Come join me for a complimentary personal ‘retreat’ where we can explore options and ideas to help you on this journey. Please go to: http://www.icwop.com/introduction.html
“Wide Awake. Every Day” Starla J. King. 2013 Little Big Bay Company LLC. Available on Amazon.