I am a morning person.
I make tea and start work while the rest of my family is still asleep.
Still in my pajamas I jot down my daily “to do” list. Housework, writing, homeschooling, errands, classes, laundry… You get the idea.
(Quite well I suspect.)
Like yours, my day is often full before it has begun.
But recently I wondered: what would happen if I began today without the “to-do” list, but instead with the simple intention of having more fun?
What if I made joy my top priority?
“I’m going to be happy. I’m going to skip. I’m going to be glad. I’m going to smile a lot. I’m going to be easy. I’m going to count my blessings. I’m going to look for reasons to feel good. I’m going to dig up positive things from the past. I’m going to look for positive things where I stand. I’m going to look for positive things in the future. It is my natural state to be a happy person. It’s natural for me to love and to laugh. This is what is most natural for me. I am a happy person!”
Yes. I am a happy person. But sometimes I forget that joy and play are worthy of a spot on my “to do” list.
Sometimes I even behave as though work and joy are mutually exclusive.
But they’re not.
In fact, when we raise our vibration and tune in to our happiness everything changes.
We are more productive. We are more at ease. We are more connected. We are more patient.
We find meaning where before there was only work.
Ready to find your happiness?
Me too. Here are some shortcuts to help you along the way.
“Worry is the misuse of imagination,” said Dan Zadra.
And as a certifiable worrier I agree.
Worry erases the present in exchange for a troublesome future. A future that often exists only in our heads.
Reach for gratitude
Sometimes I want to pinch myself when I see the school bus go by. Because I get to hang out with my (amazing) kids all day.
What a gift!
Being mindful of the many things we have to be thankful for is – in my opinion – the true key to happiness.
Each day we are blessed.
When we go outside something transformational happens.
We slow down. We breathe deeply. We relax.
Go outside and find your center everyday.
Joy is close at hand when your body and mind are at peace.
Remove “should” from your vocabulary
When I do something because I should I’m rarely having any fun.
If “should” is your only motivator take a moment to consider your options.
Is there is a more joyful and fulfilling way to meet the need? Just asking the question often transforms a “should” into a “want to”.
Celebrate your child’s playful spirit. Get pulled along by their joy.
Play games together. Go swimming. Race bikes. Be silly.
In short, lighten up. Act like a kid.
Surprise yourself (and your kids)
These are often the most simple ways to find your joy.
How about you…
- Toss the “to do” list and take a mystery drive that ends at the beach.
- Run through the sprinkler in fancy clothes.
- Go to the grocery store dressed like characters from the Narnia books.
- Have a dance party in your underwear.
- Serve popcorn and ice cream for dinner.
- Sleep in the yard under the stars.
Shake things up a little. You won’t regret it.
Find your sense of humor
Let’s face it. Grown-ups sometimes take things too seriously. Especially when events take an unexpected (read: negative) turn.
When your day gets hard reach for your sense of humor.
I backed over our lunch as we hurried to a homeschool gathering last week. (Really.)
And how could I respond to a shredded cloth bag dripping pickle juice, broken glass, bits of lunch and exploded ice packs?
With either frustration or humor.
Neither would make our lunch edible nor make us on time for our gathering.
So I consciously embraced the ridiculousness of the moment.
I put the to-do list aside and realized that sometimes life happens. And this day it happened with the help of my car tire and it smelled like pickles.
Which really was funny once I got over the urge to be irritable.
The upshot is, we get to choose what today feels like.
So while I will keep my to-do list, I will also prioritize joy.
Because today there is both work to be done and happiness to be found.
And I don’t know about you, but I think those two go together beautifully.
How do you connect with your joy? How do you balance happiness and productivity each day?