My body gives me great feedback on my state of being, and I try to pay attention. How swiftly I fall asleep at night lets me know how at peace I am with my life. How happily I wake up in the morning, tells me how much joy I have in my heart. When I notice changes in how my body functions, I know it is time to make some tweaks in my day to help grow happy things.
I’ve been thinking about what it means to have a good day. And while I have a lot of good days, sometimes on the days I wake up feeling apathetic about the day ahead – I wonder, why? What can I do to have a good day?
It isn’t often that we have a day full of only wonderful things, or a day full of only awful things. We tend to get a mix of both, along with some neutral tasks and events too.
I consider my “work” of the day to not be only to get through my daily to-do list, but to make each thing I have to do into the most wonderful thing it can be.
Here are some ways I do that:
Wake up in the morning and dwell in gratitude
I have made such a consistent practice of gratitude in the mornings over the last decade, that now, if I wake up without it, I know I’ve missed the entire point of the day.
I’m awake. I’m here. I’m alive. My loved ones are alive. And I have 24 hours ahead of me that I can use to spend on what is most meaningful to me.
Before every task ask yourself: what is happiest and calmest way I can do this?
I try to do this at the beginning of every task – big or small.
For example, I once noticed myself rushing through washing the dishes. When I examine my state of mind, I notice that I am wishing the moment away, I am uncomfortable, I am in a rush, I am a little frantic, and I am already onto the next thing in my mind. Oh and I also really need to pee but decided to hold it in so that I can add an extra layer of unnecessary urgency to my experience 😛
Now what I do is this:
I realize I must wash the dishes, and take a moment to decide on the happiest and calmest way I can do this task.
First, I can use the bathroom so that I am not in any needless discomfort, lol. Peace.
Then I may decide to listen to my favourite song, or a podcast while I do the dishes. Or perhaps I decide to simply be fully present as I do this task with no distractions (as per my conscious moments practice). Joy.
Making these little tweaks before I engage in any activity allows me to embrace the things I do. I opens me up to these little moments and simple delights that would have otherwise remained hidden.
Create or experience one beautiful thing every day
One thing I tried in the month of June was a “30 day beautiful things” challenge where I endeavoured to create or experience one beautiful thing every day.
It could be a beautifully and consciously prepared wholesome lunch.
It could be a poem that’s been sitting on my heart for weeks.
It could be a walk holding hands with my husband.
It could be a meditation at sunset.
It could be playing with my daughter and listening to her giggle in delight for 10 minutes straight.
In doing and documenting this challenge, I have learned that:
I love creating beautiful things, or beautiful moments in beautiful ways.
Creating a beautiful/wonderful thing is a sacred act.
And if I can’t create something, I can simply tune in and witness the endless beauty that surrounds me and is always available to me.
The more you look for the magic, the more that is revealed to you.
Flow with the natural energy of your day
As I said, my body tells me everything I need to know if I pay attention. It tells me exactly where I am at, and it even tells me exactly what I need to find my center.
I try to plan my day according to what feels right for me. When I flow with the energy of my day, I feel no resistance, only alignment.
Alignment allows joy to flow!
Connect deeply with all those who cross your path
Cultivate the presence of mind to truly see, hear, and cherish whomever you come into contact with today. Be present with them. Say what you mean. Listen. Experience them, understand them, learn them, love them, hold them. Express the kindness and appreciation of your heart.
Get into a state of flow
Initially I was going to say “be productive.” but then I realized that it isn’t productivity per say, that makes me feel like I’ve had a good day. It’s actually the time I spend in a state of flow. It is in engaging in intentional, meaningful work. It is in working intensely and happily. It is in keeping my word and doing as I promised. It is in improvement and refinement. It is in doing my best. It is in exceeding my own expectations. It is in the work that is done just outside my comfort zone.
Go on A 5 minute joy spree
To get joy you must give joy!
Take 10 minutes and see how much joy you can spread. Reach out to people. Express their impact in your life and your gratitude. Send a few messages/e-mail, leave a comment, make a phone call. Share encouragement and support. Spread joy and delight. Pour your light onto others. Play with your child, or your dog. Have a 5 minute conversation with someone where you tell someone what they truly mean to you. I aim to do a minimum 3 delight-giving acts every day when I do my “joy spree.” Sometimes 3 turns into 10. Those are such fun days!
Self Reflection prompts:
🌼 Brainstorm the happiest and most peaceful way you can do some of your daily tasks
🌼 What makes you feel at peace?
🌼 What makes you joyful?
🌼 How do you feel when you wake up in the morning?
🌼 How do you fall asleep at night?
🌼 What activities put you in a state of flow?
🌼 What is something beautiful you created today?
🌼 What are three things you could do today to spread joy?
🌼 What would your perfect day look like?
🌼 What is your partners/loved one’s perfect day? Can you make this happen for them as a surprise?