Riding Shotgun With Joy

I love seeing a dog with his head out the car window, ears flapping in the wind, tongue hanging out and a big ole grin on his face.  That fun-loving pooch is enjoying the heck out of life and loving every minute of it. Bugs?  Who cares!  He’s living in the now and experiencing his highest joy.

Animals have the advantage of knowing how to live in the present moment.  Humans, eh, not so much.  If we’re not ruminating over our past, we’re too busy worrying about our future. But when you think about it, right now is all we have.  

I decided to take a lesson from my pets and made a conscious effort to live in the now and incorporate more joy into my life.  Once I did, I felt an ease and happiness I haven’t felt in years. I shifted my focus on feeling happy and nurture it as often as possible.

A favorite quote of mine on happiness is by Iris Murdoch, “One of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats.

What small treats can you incorporate into your life that will bring you joy?  Grab a pen and a sheet of paper and come up with a list of at least 20 things that make you happy and you enjoy doing.

This is not a “should” list, this is a list of things that genuinely make you happy.  Ask yourself, “What can I do right now that will make me happy?”    

It could be having a favorite treat you enjoy eating.  Taking that dance class you've been putting off.  A meditative walk in the woods. Snuggling with your kids.  

It doesn’t need to be an earth-shattering over the top event for it to bring a smile to your face. The beauty of this is in the simplicity.  The simplest act now becomes a source of celebration. 

This week, I invite you to do at least one thing from your joy list every day.

So put on your favorite song and dance with wild abandon. Savor that delicious dark chocolate candy as it slowly melts in your mouth.  Take a well-deserved break and pamper your body with a massage or a long soak in relaxing bath.  Indulge yourself.

When you make space to entertain joy in your life, your life will start to change like magic.  I guarantee it.  Not only will you feel the shift but people around you will start to notice too. You will radiate a sense of bliss.   

Slide over, hand the keys over to joy and let joy take the wheel.  Go on, stick your head out the window and squeal with delight.  I double dog dare ya!

I'd love to hear what’s on your joy list.