I spent my day doing things I really like to do. More importantly, I have somehow changed and now allow myself to really enjoy things I do. This may sound weird to many of you. For some people it is just second nature to find fun things and enjoy them, looking forward to the next fun thing to do. I must have been like this at some point in my life. I can’t recall that feeling at the moment, but I am sure it existed. I know I get extreme pleasure from planning vacations. I cannot put all my eggs in a travel basket. I am not that girl who can afford vacations 3 times a year. Impossible. I need to feed, clothe and provide shelter for the offspring (unless they plan to run off and join the circus – clearly I just read Water for Elephants and Picky Niki). I cannot depend on planning travel to be my joy forever. I need to find other things that do it for me. Laughing with my best friend brings me joy as well. But we can’t spend every waking moment together, it’s just not possible. Nor is spending endless hours on the phone. I’d like to…but my BFF has a life, I need one too.
Way back in August 2010, you may recall (or not if you just recently started reading my Tourist Adventures) I was unhappy and was determined to change things. There is no point blaming others. There comes a point in everyone’s life where you have to pull up your boot straps and realize it is YOU to blame for the life you lead. Sure circumstance has not been kind, but it taught you a pile of stuff that will be useful, you just need to figure out where to put the useful stuff! Anyways… since that day (August 15, 2010) I have made a ton of changes to my life. Some things are fantastic (lifestyle change in terms of healthy eating and exercise) and some pretty terrible things I tried (reading Science Fiction – that genre is just NOT FOR ME). I am getting a pretty good sense of what brings me joy. Now here is the kicker…
I don’t let myself feel joy.
I know…crazy right? It’s not that I don’t think I deserve it, I think all souls deserve to feel happiness. It’s not that I can’t find things that bring me joy, I just need to look into my Offsprings eyes and I know it’s there. It goes deeper than that.
This is tied to my food addiction. Emotional eating 101. I have talked at length about this to my Sports Dietician. She suggested I read Wired for Joy by Laurel Mellin. So am I. It is very compelling because it absolutely applies to me. It talks about things that I have been trying to do on my own for the last year. I plan to talk about this at length over on my Mo blog, but lets just say, finding joy that is not related to stress is the key. I apparently don’t handle stress as well as I thought I did. It sucks me into a deep dark cavern that eradicates all joy from my life. The daily drudgery of routine becomes the focus to get through my life.
Hold the phone….
Routine has become the medium I use to get through my life. I don’t know about you, but the LAST THING I want to do is just get through my life. I don’t want to fast forward to the end. There was a time where I thought dead sounded relaxing. Are you kidding me? I need to find relaxing in my daily doings not at the point of dead.
So Edmonton Tourist, how are you going about this?
Well… it’s hard.
I want to be all things to all people. Ha… That just creates stress and causes all kinds of problems. I have decided I will pick a cause or two, and help where I can. Keep the mouth closed and let others figure out their journey. Sometimes it is appropriate to speak up and sometimes it is not. I am learning the difference between the two.
I want to make a meaningful difference in the world. No I am not that Barbie in the bathing suit with the Miss Canada sash saying things like “I want world peace and to end hunger.” Sure those are nice things. One person can’t do it on their own. I am all for cleaning up your own back yard before tackling the worlds problems. I choose to do that in my career, with the couple of charities I support both through time and money, and I tried to do that through friendship. Sometimes all 3 overlap and that is great. Often it is just two things that do or I focus on a single project. Yes this brings me joy. I even let myself feel it sometimes instead of focusing on the stressful part of it. My Dad says ‘Rob, you have to just let it go, you can’t save the world.” True, but Daaaaaaaaaad its so haaaaaaaaaard!
Another thing I do is exercise. Ha… a year a go it was a dirty word or cuss word even… I now love it, miss it when I am not doing it and plan activities and goals that are fitness related. I may not have the body of a fitness freak…but it is getting there! I participated in a Vata Dosha workshop today. A year ago yoga was hard a difficult. after a year of regular practice I felt joy in doing difficult poses. I felt invigorated by the strain my muscles felt, I felt peaceful during shavasana – corpse pose. This was a moment I was present for. I loved it. I felt joy.
I realized my intention – transformation of ego (worded differently in my head but you get the idea) was very different from an intention I used a year ago… Love Self. I have come a long way!
The other thing I am doing to alleviate stress and feel more joy is Be Open to new things. I always thought I was, but I was kidding myself. The greatest gift I have given me has been the gift of YES. I say yes way more than I say no. I went to this Vata Dosha (come to the next one, it was fabulous!) because I said yes. Part of the event was a dinner afterwards. It was a Malaysian Fusion Vegan (gluten free option too) let me just say….It was a delight to my senses! I loved it! The best part? No it wasn’t the Chocolate Gelato with Saigon Cinnamon, it was my dinner companion. I went alone. I met people because the world is an incestuous playground and I knew people who knew people. The man I sat beside captured my interest and we chatted all evening. We talked about fitness, weight-loss, culinary delights, renovations, childhood and trying new things. While others were engaged with TV conversation, who watched this or that, my dinner companion and I talked about living. Realizing this THRILLED ME! I have become a person who LIVES her life! If I am living my life, then I am not using routine as a means to get to the end of my life anymore! This news brings me JOY. Maybe now that I realize this, I can let myself feel joy and happiness much more frequently. I hope so because it is a tremendous feeling that I could easily become addicted to.
As I left, my new friend (who could EASILY be my grandson) asked me if I was coming to the next one… I said I was. I was rewarded with a big smile because he said it was excellent meeting me. It was excellent meeting him too.
Thank you Universe for showing me YES can lead to Joy and eating had nothing to do with it.