We dabble with recipes every single day. Between baking (Grandma's Secret Choco Chip Cookies - still trying to figure that out), communications (Good News Sandwich = Good news+Bad news+Good news) and parenting (Potty Training Reward System = potty+reward+praise). What about for Happiness and Joy?
So many of us are searching and searching but still find it elusive. We try:
-New Shoes+New Accessories
-Newest Fashion+Newest Scent
-New Flat screen TV+Newest movie
-Gossip Magazines+Gossip about closest friends
-New Car every 2 years
-New House every 5 years
How has that been working? It helps for a day, a week maybe even a month. But before long we feel dull or bored with what we have and the recipe has to be batched again.
What is missing?
What if happiness wasn't about the tangible things? What if we could tap into it by tapping into a new mindset?
Through the years I've been playing with my own recipe:
Abundance+Gratitude+Presence = Joy
Abundance - we already have more than enough of what we need: time, money, friends, clothes, etc. It's what we choose to do with those things that can be focused on. For example - I have an entire 24 hour day. What needs to get done vs. what "should" get done? I need to eat, sleep, work, spend time with family and be healthy. I "should" have a spotless house and "should" do that thing that I don't think is important and does not align with my values. If I make the needs a priority, the time I have for the "shoulds" falls out and can be prioritized or just falls off the list. Now I'm not saying never clean, I'm just saying that to stress out daily on not having a Showroom of a house takes away from the things we say we want (i.e. more quality time with the fams). Try listing out your priorities for the next day and making time for those important things first and seeing what else can be fit in AFTER the important things are done. How do you feel, what did you "not have time for"? Did those things truly matter? This exercise can also be done with money just as easily.
Gratitude - when we don't appreciate what we have, it's hard to feel abundant. Stopping to list all the things we have, days off, a car that gets us to work, a job that allows us to provide for our family, a home to feel safe in, a cell phone that provides access to the world and kids that make us laugh. What if Gratitude could be found in any situation or thing? When we appreciate what we have, we open ourselves up to receive so much more. Try it for a week and see if it helps you feel more abundant in your life.
Presence - living in the moment and focusing on one thing at a time gives greater awareness to the abundance and gratitude available to us. What if when you step through the door at home, you were able to press pause on any thoughts about your upcoming deadlines, because what can you really get done in this precise moment? What if you were able to come home and enjoy dinner with the family and enjoy every single bite, all the flavor and textures it has to offer; put away the phone for an hour - maybe two to focus on your partners day, when you ask how it was; or giggle with your little ones, when they come up and tell you that silly joke, they were creative enough to make up? Multi-tasking and juggling thoughts in our head take us out of the moment and reduces our ability to enjoy things and those around us. Try it for half an hour and see what you notice.
Once I was able to find this recipe, my life has quadrupled in joy. Do I always follow it? No. I'm human. Am I aware enough to know its a choice, yes. Knowing I choose happiness or choose stress is eye opening and humbling.
I'd love to hear from you in the comment section...
What is your go to recipe for living a joyful life?