Archives for posts with tag: joy

I’ve learned to find quiet moments almost anywhere that isn’t ridiculously noisy or busy. Handy. Sometimes I do find that I’ve got to search out that moment of quiet, or build it from unexpected circumstances, but now and then some perfectly lovely moment of quiet just happens to be where I am sitting.

I didn’t sleep well last night. I woke often. I returned to sleep with relative ease, mostly. I never felt wholly awake and alert (which might have made getting up make sense), and I didn’t feel particularly sleepy at the time (even immediately before falling asleep). “Wakeful” night. I seem to have managed to get enough rest, anyway. 🙂

There was this one quiet moment, during the night, that I sat contentedly, relaxing in the dim glow of the Giftmas tree lights, just enjoying that quiet moment. It was lovely. There was no pressure to do more, or do differently. No rush. No stress. Just quiet time, there in the holiday twilight alone, while my Traveling Partner slept on, in the bedroom. It was precious.

Today is lovely, too. Beautiful moments. A soak in the hot tub on a misty cold autumn morning. A quiet cup of coffee shared with my partner. A spontaneous exchange of yule gifts, because… why not? It was delightful. 🙂 The recollection of it still is.

I sit smiling in this quiet moment, retrieving joyful memories of other quiet moments. Enjoying joy through recalling joyful moments. Easy. (And yes, it’s a practice, and yes, there are verbs involved, and results may vary…but how pleasant to practice it? Why wouldn’t I? 😀 )

Here. Now. This is enough. I fill up on the joy and contentment, smiling. It’s the middle of a work day… time to begin again. 🙂

Or, you know, “make a joyful noise”, or… whatever. Some days feel made for joy. 🙂  Enjoy them when they turn up. 🙂

Seriously, wrap yourself in joy once in a while. Totally okay. Don’t let the world bring you down every time. Rapture? Real. Joy? Legit. Delight? There’s a ton of it to experience. When it over takes you? Savor the experience. Let your face hurt from smiling. Go ahead and cry happy. 🙂

Feeling happy? That’s more than okay – it’s also quite fleeting, sometimes. Embrace it. Enjoy it. Enjoy you. ❤

I woke this morning, too early. My fitness tracker buzzed me; my Traveling Partner reached out in the wee hours, checking in, not feeling well. I drift in and out of a light sleep for another few minutes, simultaneously relieved and regretful that we’re not in this same space… I would do what I could to provide comfort and care (that’s the regret; I am too far away for that)… but… I’m also glad that my own rest was not disturbed through the night by his discomfort. Yep. Very human.

I’m not hard on myself about the regrets I have in life. I mean…. not anymore. I used to be the one boldly and firmly asserting I had no regrets. Well… snarling it, really, as if I had something to prove. Funny that “regret” is something we seem to look poorly upon, as if there were no opportunity to learn from our regrets. How do I offer a sincere and heartfelt apology if I am not able to acknowledge and regret my error? It’s an odd emotion to discourage, is it not?

No regrets? Really??

I frankly regret tons of stuff – mostly small things. I regret every time I’ve hurt someone’s feelings with careless words. That’s one of my most common regrets. I regret the pleasant moments I overlooked because I was more invested in pissing and moaning about something else, that mattered less. I regret every affectionate embrace I was too awkward to welcome, and all the ones I was too self-conscious to offer. I regret severed connections, and lost friendships – whether or not it was the wiser choice. Those are generally the sorts of things I do regret. I’m not the slightest bit uncomfortable with admitting to regret – if I didn’t regret those things, what would it say about who I am?

You know what I don’t “regret”? I don’t regret being human. I don’t regret that I have some quirks and limitations that may not be immediately obvious to the world, day-to-day. I don’t regret that it has taken many years (decades) and many relationships to find my way to this place in life where I am mostly pretty able to adult for myself with fair skill. I don’t regret not having it all. I don’t regret not being the prettiest, the smartest, the fittest, the sexiest, the richest… I don’t see those as things to regret. (How much misery in the world is caused by our creating a “best” characteristic, placing it on a pedestal, and saying “there can be only one!” Never even giving ourselves a chance to just be?)

Regret gives me a moment to appreciate a better path, and to calibrate my personal intent with my real-life actions, choices, and behavior. Regret reminds me to keep up on the housework (I definitely regret it when I find I’ve allowed things to become untidy). Regret reminds me to choose kinder words, and gentler behavior. Regret asks me to consider my choices with greater care. Regret nudges me to book a camping reservation, buy concert tickets, and make time for my friends – because the alternative is regretting that I have not lived my life.

This morning I pause for a moment of regret. I’m okay with that. 🙂 I also pause for a moment of appreciation, a moment of gratitude, a moment of joy. Life is rich with moments. It’s a lovely morning, and it’s enough. My moments of regret keep me focused on where I am headed as I begin again. 🙂

It’s the last day of a long holiday weekend. I generally wrap up long weekends or vacations with chores, the sort of day-to-day housekeeping sorts of things that return life the a more practical experience consistent with ordinary days, and weeks, eventually putting a bit of distance between the experience of celebration, and the experience of ‘everyday life’. This morning I find myself engaged in many of those same practical endeavors, but somehow still celebrating, still wrapped in joy, still feeling grateful… I’m not bitching. I’m finding it quite wonderful, and making a point to invest generously in this morning of practical joy, and everyday gratitude.

This morning it feels very ‘natural’ to feel grateful while I sort laundry, to feel joy while I empty the dishwasher, to feel a sense of worthiness while I vacuum. I won’t dissect the feelings right now – it is worthwhile to embrace and enjoy them, to savor this moment and let it become more of who I am. Sure, there are verbs involved, and it’s taken a lot of practicing of a variety of practices – many of them incredible difficult to pursue at a time when I didn’t value or appreciate the woman in the mirror. Getting to this place where it feels natural to feel good, and feels natural to celebrate, and to enjoy my experience, has taken almost 3 years now (more, I could count way further back, but my path took a significant turn about 3 years ago) of practicing, of meditation, of study, of learning to treat myself well, of learning to love – and to allow myself to be loved in return – there have been (and are, and will be) verbs involved – and a personal commitment to action, to change, and to beginning again when things don’t work out well, and letting go of attachment to expectations, and outcomes.

The most delightful thing about being here, this morning, on this day, feeling the way I do right now is that there will be other days when I am having a different experience altogether – and I will know to treat myself well, I will know that challenging moments and experiences will pass, and I will know that however bad it is, I will be able to begin again. I’ll have this moment, right here, to remind me of the vast potential for joy and gratitude – and delight, and love – that is near at hand when I am ready and able to reach for it. It’s a pretty big deal to find an emotional anchor to a moment of profound contentment and delight within reach in other less pleasant moments, it’s an even bigger deal to build one with my own choices.

There is value in learning to allow joy to cast a bigger shadow than my sorrows do.

There is value in learning to allow joy to cast a bigger shadow than my sorrows do.

Today is a good day for practical celebrations and taking care of home and hearth with the eager commitment of preparing for an honored guest, to really welcome the woman in the mirror home. She is worthy of the best I have to offer the world.

There is so much free will in life. There are so many choices! I like that about the experience of living. Similarly, I am sometimes frustrated by the limits I place on myself, often without recognizing that I have also chosen those.

Even when we are awake, aware, and observing the world through a beginner's eyes, we choose much of what we see.

Even when we are awake, aware, and observing the world through a beginner’s eyes, we choose much of what we see.

Mondays get a bit of bad press. This morning I’m choosing a different Monday. (Because I can, that’s why. lol) This particular Monday is one that I will use to make choices, eyes open, willfully, in favor of things I enjoy. Today, simply, I am choosing joy, choosing delight, choosing pleasantness, choosing small things that put big smiles on my face. Will it be time in the garden after work? Will it be pen & ink sketches on my lunch time walk, or photographs of spring flowers? Perhaps I may choose to create small figures from colorful modeling clay to create a tiny world at the foot of my wee ornamental pistachio tree? I could choose to create order from chaos with mindful service to home and hearth; a wonderful way to put practices to good use on a number of levels. I could read a great book I love – or a book I know nothing about, but comes highly recommended by someone who matters. I could wrap up a productive work day over dinner with a friend, or in meditation. I could share a movie night with family, or enjoy a long walk.

Choosing my path with care seems worthy as choices go...

Choosing my path with care seems worthy as choices go…

What I’m saying is that I choose a lot of my experience, and it begins with a pretty vast menu of options. I filter those options – we all do – down to some much shorter list of things that in that moment seem most probable, most ‘do-able’, then peculiarly I sometimes find myself left with the illusion that this much shorter list is actually the whole of it – ‘all’ my choices. It isn’t. There are so many more choices than I generally lay before myself for consideration in any one moment.  This is not an uncommon experience, I see it in others – most often that scenario that begins with distress that ‘there’s no other choice’ or ‘nothing else I can do’. My reaction is often one of commencing to throw other options into the mix for consideration – behaving as if that person is unaware of the vastness of their unlimited options. It’s not helpful; people know they have more choices. They have excluded many of them, by choice. I am learning to take a new approach – even within myself – in the face of ‘I have no other choice’; I am finding value in asking to what purpose the choices have been limited thus, rather than offering more choices. Sometimes it isn’t at all that ‘I have no other choice’ – it is more likely that I have made the choice, and am not content with either the choice itself, or the anticipated outcome. It is an interesting exercise in perspective to make a point of changing what I anticipate the outcome of an uncomfortable choice to be, and reconsider it – it has the power to change what I think about the choice, and has often proven as likely to be a valid possible outcome, in practice. My ‘outcome predictor’ is quite broken; I anticipate catastrophe far more often than I anticipate profound success. I am regularly wrong, in both cases.

It feels very different lately to make more of my choices based less on some predicted outcome, and more on what the experience itself feels like for me – and to choose more frequently from the list of ‘Things I Enjoy Greatly’ rather than from the list of ‘Things I Must Do Or There Will Be Consequences’, or worse, the very short list of ‘I Have No Other Choice’ (a list most of us have, I suppose, and it seems dreadfully short on options, and usually made up of unpleasant ones).

Today is a good day to do things I enjoy, because I enjoy them. Today is a good day to do things that must be done – and to choose to do them, also, in a way that I enjoy. Today is a good day to choose well, and to choose wisely, and to keep myself high on my list of priorities. Today is a good day to explore The Art of Being, by being – artfully, joyfully, and fully embracing the best of who I am, from my own perspective. Today is a good day to take the time to enjoy my experience.