I’m up a bit earlier than I’d like but Ryan rules these days. Doc says little ones often peak in their fussiness around six weeks, as their tiny digestive systems mature, and judging by all of the squirming and tooting, this is definitely the case with Ryan. He sounds like a horse having a bad dream or an old fashioned machine that needs oiling.
So I’m sitting in my in-laws beautiful family room wrapped up in blankets with my favourite creature in my arms. I’m not sure life gets any better than this.
This is joy, pure joy.
It’s different than happiness. Happiness would be sleeping in, waking up late to go to brunch or yoga, lazing around aimlessly – in essence, my old life. I had to go hunting for joyous moments (see project joy). Now, despite the exhaustion and occasional weepiness, it overwhelms me.
I can only hope that my life is filled with more of these moments. I hope yours is too.
In both books, Rubin outlines her 12 commandments – her 12 principles for living her best life. It got me thinking about my own.
So far, I’ve come up with one:
assume the best
I don’t, at least not yet. I almost always assume the worst. I’ve even tried to convince myself that assuming the worst is a good strategy because if the worst happens, I’ll be prepared and if doesn’t, I’ll be pleasantly surprised. WRONG. In reality, you overreact to the worst and are only half present for the best – the other half is looking over your shoulder for the next disaster (something Brene Brown calls “foreboding joy”).
And you squander all of the moments in between.
So I’m trying the opposite on for size. I already prefer how it feels.
Nica is this incredible place where I can truly let my body, mind and soul rest. It’s the place where I can really connect with myself and those I’m fortunate enough to spend my holiday with. On this trip, someone said something offhandedly that really resonated:
“you can tell she just let’s herself be. she just is.”
This culture of ours is so goal-focused, so driven, so speedily pursuing some future version of something that I think we often forget the art of just being.
How often do you let yourself just ride the subway or bus without checking your phone, reading or listening to music? How often do you just sit there and take in the ride?
How often do you have a conversation with someone when you’re truly listening to them, without thinking about what you’ll say next or what they might be thinking of you? How often are you just there?
I wrote about this awhile ago, but I feel like it needs to be said again (translation: I need to hear it again). But really, how often do you just let yourself be?
Once you move past the initial anxiety of not moving at 1,000 miles a minute, you might just find that there’s something so beautiful in the stillness. It’s actually quite joyous.
Here are the top 25 that really resonated with me:
Start your day with 20 minutes of exercise.
Stop watching TV. (Bonus points: sell your tv and invest the cash in learning and self-education).
Remember that your diet affects your moods so eat like an athlete.
Spend an hour a day without stimulation (no phone+no FaceBook+no noise).
Write in a journal every morning. And record gratitude every night.
Do work that scares you (if you’re not uncomfortable often, you’re not growing very much).
Smile more (and tell your face).
Do a collage filled with images of your ideal life. Look at it once a day for focus and inspiration.
Plan your week on a schedule (clarity is the DNA of mastery).
Stop gossiping (average people love gossip; exceptional people adore ideas).
Do a nature walk at least once a week. It’s renew you (you can’t inspire others if you’re depleted yourself).
Do something that makes you feel uncomfortable at least once every 7 days.
Remember that to double your income, triple your investment in learning, coaching and self-education.
Achieve 5 little goals each day (“The Daily 5 Concept” I shared in “The Leader Who Had No Title” that has transformed the lives of so many). In 12 months this habit will produce 1850 little goals–which will amount to a massive transformation.
Write handwritten thank you notes to your customers, teammates and family members.
Use the first 90 minutes of your work day only on value-creating activities (versus checking email or surfing the Net).
Keep your promises.
Brain tattoo the fact that all work is a chance to change the world.
Spend more time in art galleries. Art inspires, stimulates creativity and pushes boundaries.
Read a book a week, invest in a course every month and attend a workshop every quarter.
Remember that you empower what you complain about.
Become the fittest person you know.
Become the kindest person you know.
Know your “Big 5″–the 5 goals you absolutely must achieve by December 31 to make this year your best yet.
Hope you can find something that inspires you this morning.
So much love, mxo
P.S. My “Peep in My Step” juice involved apples, kale, celery, swiss chard, and lots of ginger. Yum!
Recently, my hubby asked how I can use the word “love” so loosely. “I don’t!” I immediately rebutted, “I mean it when I say it”. But he had a point – my love for him is vastly different from the love I feel for my amigas, or for the guy who made me the most amazing Americano today, or Janey B who kicked my butt all the way to New Polynesia during my morning workout. And it’s definitely different from the love I feel for my cat.
Then, during today’s daily joyof devouring the newest Chaletaine with my favourite highlighter in hand, I stumbled upon the perfect explanation – we simply don’t have enough words for love. One?! Really?!! Whose idea was that?!
On this one, I have to side with the ancient Greeks – they had at least three words!
philia for friendship and affectionate love
eros for erotic love
agape for true, deep love of a spouse or a child
Slightly different, but all the same. They’re love. Love, love, love!
I leave you with a quote from the article by Sam Bee in the same issue,
“Wouldn’t it be great if we never had to feel this way again: “I wish I had just told this person how I felt about them” or “I wish my last words to that person had been loving and kind”?… So when is the right time to tell someone you love and cherish them, or even just like them, and wish you could be friends, or you think they are fabulous? It’s right now. Do it!”
So much love! mxo
P.S. After the chocolate settles in my belly, I will try their ab exercises. 🙂
Good morning! I have the incredible pleasure of having the whole week off. Joy! I’m currently sitting in my pjs, drinking a delicious coffee, listening to my beautiful friend Emilie-Claire Barlow’s new album, and contemplating this joy project of mine.
Next on the joyous agenda is the joy list!
If I want to add more joy to my life, I have to get pretty clear about what brings me joy. The instructions are simple:
take a piece of paper and your favourite pen (or some sort of techie device)
spend 10 minutes just free-flowing joyous ideas onto the page (or techie device)
no judging, no stopping, just writing
There! You have yourself a joy list.
Now go through your list and codify it according to 5 minute, 15 minute, 30 minute, 1 hour, half day or full day activities. Whenever you have 5, 15, 30 minutes, etc, simply refer to your list. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
As promised, here are my resolutions. Actually, here is my one and only resolution:
Now, let me explain. It took me awhile to arrive at Project Joy. I had several typical-Maya, type–A resolution lists which I kept dwindling and dwindling until two nights ago, in a moment of joyous quiet, I realized what I need most in my life: joy.
I need to slow down and focus on the small things that make life beautiful – the joyous moments that we remember in the end.
In 2013, I want to be a student of joy. I want to seek it, create it, document it and share it.