I love this week’s blog and hope it will inspire you to try a few of the suggestions or put together your own list to create more joy in your everyday.
But first, a few stories to share that inspired this week’s content…
I’ve been in Northern Wisconsin the past week and Tuesday I popped over to the grocery store thinking the place would be empty after the Labor Day weekend. What I found were instead the longest lines I have ever seen… and only three lanes open. If this would have been five years ago, I would have either:
This time, however, I chose to walk the walk and use this time to just be present… and I am so glad I did because if I had done any of the three above, I wouldn’t have seen the person right in front of me. It was a woman who owns a well-known resort that is no longer in operation but for years even after the resort closed down, she had the most beautiful shop within the main lodge. Furniture, dishes, jewelry, paintings, etc. Just beautiful things but as we talked I mentioned to her it was more the experience of going there than anything else. She looked at me and said “the music, the candles burning, the ambiance… that was what it was about!”
Now isn’t this true? Walking into her place all five senses were lit up… the beautiful view of the lake, the comforting scent of the candles, the delicious candy she had out for customers, the relaxing music, and soft fabrics of the blankets and clothes. It was a reminder to me that we all have the power to create this experience for ourselves every day in our own homes and offices.
As we bid farewell, I smiled at the frazzled checkout woman. She replied with a not so nice cross between a snarl and a frown. Rather than get annoyed as I used to, I instead stepped into compassion. “Rough day?” I asked. Immediately, her shoulders sunk and she said: “I am so sorry… we thought the tourists would all be gone by now but they decided to stay… and several colleagues called in sick today…and I am exhausted.” We continued to talk and she thanked me for letting her vent and for not reacting to her initial vibe towards me. As I walked away I thought about how most often our surface reaction simply shields inner overwhelm and sometimes it just takes a little kindness toward ourselves (and others!) to step out of that space.
Lots of lessons just from one little snapshot in time in line at a store… who knew?
Next, I ventured over to the new coffee shop/bistro I had heard about in town. Well, the minute I walked in I realized this was clearly not your run of the mill coffee shop. Once again, from the minute I opened the door, I heard Frank Sinatra playing, smelled the Irish scones baking, and was doing an inner squeal of delight as I looked around at the beautiful tea sets, comfortable furniture, and overall special touches. I felt like I was in one of Louise Penney’s books walking into the famous bistro.. with a little bit of the Anne of Green Gables essence thrown in. Needless to say, I was in heaven.
As I sat there eating my tomato bisque soup along with the radish and cucumber sandwich, I realized the deliciousness of the entire morning had elevated my spirit. I just sat there in pure joy… and I didn’t have to travel anywhere, spend a ton of money, or being constantly “doing” anything to get to this place of contentment. It was the aftereffect of experiencing simple pleasures.
Sometimes do you forget the power of these lingering little sparks of joy that invite us in to experience not only serenity but hope… I know I do.
Friends laugh how I iron my pillowcases AND put lavender essential oil in the iron for steaming. I thought I was a rarity… until I moved into my condo building downtown. Did you know that some people (maybe you?!) send their entire set of sheets out to the cleaners EVERY WEEK? I was surprised… then envious!
Now some people might think this is a waste of money but I say “Live and Let Live!” Everyone finds value in different things and that’s just fine. For some buying a latte every day at Starbucks make them feel cozy… while others prefer fresh flower once a week.
The key is figuring out what simple pleasure makes YOUR heart sing… and then making no excuses to anyone about diving into them.
So, for this week, I’d love to share 20 simple ideas to create more happiness in your every day that I love and ones I’ve learned from clients:
So, there you go. I find it helpful to remind myself that time is the most valuable resource. How you spend it and who you spend it with really defines your life. How we do one thing, is how we do everything. So, choose to step into life through the lens of awe and appreciation and let the magic and mysticism of life envelope you with love.
I’ll leave you with this quote from the author of Let Your Life Speak.
“Self-care is never a selfish act – it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give the care it requires, we do it not only for ourselves but for the many others whose lives we touch.”
― Parker Palmer
See you soon,