Let’s face it, we all are going through something in one way or another.We all have bills, some of us have kids, families, significant others. Some are struggling at work, while others are thriving. I know I have had my fair share of bullsh*t in my life, which led me to do some heavy self-reflecting over the past few years. At first, I sat here contemplating if I was even qualified to write the article because of all the craziness I have experienced throughout my life. Then I realized, “HELL YES I AM!”If there is one thing I have been consistent about, it’s overcoming adversity and finding my joy through all of the Bullsh*t! I find if I input these things into my life in one way or another, my level of stress and anxiety goes down and my joy meter goes up!
Chill Out Dude.Drop what you’re doing right now and just breathe. In and out, in and out. Good! We live in a society where we get too busy to just be. Causing us to only exist instead of actually live. I have been victim of this my entire life. I’m a serial-workaholic! A single-mom! An over-achiever! A people pleaser! Until one day I came crashing down, and I crashed hard. I had to learn the hard way to just relax and breathe. I needed to learn to find balance in order to find my joy. I highly recommend getting into meditation and working on breathe work.
Get Over it.I know, it sounds harsh and insensitive, I get it, but it’s reality. We get in these phases where we feel completely stuck in our situation or the past. People have done you wrong, hurt your feelings, broken your heart, impaired you in one way or another. I get it, I’ve been there, and I’m totally with you on this one. The truth of the matter is, at this point, the only one hurting you is you. Allowing yourself to be consumed by such negative energy only hinders yourself from growth. It doesn’t help to keep a tight grip on those grudges either. Trust me, the universe works in mysterious ways. You may not see the silver lining now, but in time it will come to the surface. It’s time to forgive them and to forgive yourself.
Fuel the Fire. What makes your pulse come alive? What do you firmly believe in and could talk about all day long? Dive deep inside yourself and find what that is and run with it. If you’re reading this one and think to yourself, I have no flipping idea!, then it’s time to do some soul searching, try new things, and discover your inner FLAME. People make the mistake of thinking our passion has to be our career. That’s not what I’m referring to here. I’m talking about things you do that make you genuinely happy. Your passion isn’t your escape. It’s what keeps us going. It is the fuel to your fire.
The Giving Tree. Always loved this book as a kid. It taught us the wonderful lesson of generosity. As humans it is in our nature to want attention, love, and support. I was always thinking I couldn’t begin my life until I got everything I thought I needed. Rude awakening, when it all disappears over night. Let’s get real people, consider that you may not actually need what you think you need, instead it is just something that you really want. Keeping up with the “Jones’s” is cool, but living a generous life is cooler. I’m a solid believer that you have to give to get. Give out to others what you want or need. Pull out the stops in offering attention, interest, and care. Do something for someone besides yourself. It’s remarkably rewarding. Believing you can’t give enough becomes love overflowing.
Find your homies. Have you ever taken a moment, looked around at the people surrounding you and thought, “Damn. I love these people!” or maybe it was the opposite. Maybe you thought to yourself, “Why am I here? Why do I continue to find myself in this circle of drama?” It’s cool, I’ve been in both places before so I completely understand. I’ve also felt extremely alone at times as if no one in the world understands me. This is the circle of life my friends. Although life can seem lonely at times, I want you to really be grateful for specific people who are willing to listen to you when you need them. If you’re stuck in a group of friends who can be manipulative, controlling, and just a bad influence then it’s time to make some difficult decisions. Often times toxic people make these decisions for us subconsciously and we aren’t able to recognize it right away. When we finally step away from these draining connections, it can be freeing!
Get Creative. No matter what your talents, skills or desires, getting creative is a great way to find joy. Whether you write, draw, sing or decorate a cake, developing a skill that utilizes your imagination is going to bring you tons of happiness. Besides, who cares if you “suck” at it! It’s fun!
Be Your Authentic Awesome Self.We live in a world where we are surrounded by ideals, and with a tendency to compare ourselves to others, it’s no wonder so many of us feel like we’re not enough.I’d tell myself that makeup was a hobby, not a “real job.” I sought approval through promotions and success through status, neither of which made me happy.To find joy, we must be true to ourselves, create our own dreams, and be proud of what makes us unique. So, instead of comparing yourself to others, look to see if you’re fulfilling your own potential in accordance with what you value most.
Be a Big Kid. Remember what it was like to play as a child? Many of those things that brought you pleasure then still can today – but as a grown up, we often lose touch with that. Think about what made you happy when you were six or seven. Rolling down a grassy hill? Playing with your dog? Dancing to silly music? Give yourself permission to experience that again.
Follow the yellow brick road. Sometimes we’d like to change things, but it’s just too hard. We know we’re unhappy where we are, but the alternatives are too scary. Familiar feels secure, even if it doesn’t make us happy. For me, changing careers, leaving a relationship, and ending a business all left me clenched with fear.I was afraid of failure. But it’s only by facing these fears that we are able to grow into the people we’re capable of being.To get somewhere you’ve never been, you might have to do something you’ve never done. Life begins at the end of our comfort zone!
Find your Flex. Learn from experiences.To be joyful, it is critical that we embrace tough times, too. They come to us all. It’s how we deal with themand bounce back that impacts our happiness. This is our resilience, our “flex”.We spend much of our time trying to avoid the bad times and cling to the good, yet both will always come and go. Embracing this and shifting our perspective is key to creating joy.