Be Joyful

This website is pretty new for me. I love the format and the features, but one thing it is lacking just a bit is content. I had my previous website (though the focus of it changed a few times) for six years, so that one had plenty of content. I've decided that it might be worth my time to preserve the best of that content by sharing it here. For my first re-blog I went way back to the beginning of my old site, just to get a sense of where things had started. I found a post that was originally published on October 17th of 2010 that really felt like it was coming full circle for me. Without further ado, here it is:

I think it is in the nature of human beings to create ruts for themselves. We take comfort in routine. We do the same things every day because they are familiar and easy. And eventually we forget that we're just doing those things because we've done them before.

Life can often be stressful and unpleasant. You may spill your coffee, stub your toe, or get to the store two minutes after close. We obsess about the little things, mulling them over in our heads, repeating them again and again, imagining worst case scenarios in the most intimate detail. On particularly bad days you may feel the stress physically. It builds in the form of physical tension or repeated behaviors. Personally my shoulders get tight and sore and I pull them in toward my chest, occasionally it causes headaches. Maybe you clench your jaw or tap your foot, there are as many ways of showing tension as there are people in the world. Are you feeling tense now?

Stop it.

Take a deep breath.

Shake it out.

Make a face or a noise or a gesture.

Let it all go. Think: What can you do right this second to make yourself happy? Say it out loud if you can, “What can I do right this second to make myself happy?” Take a moment to be free. Do something tactile, like walking barefoot or cuddling a pet. Have a hot cup of tea or take a quick shower. Do a little dance, listen to your favorite song, or remove all your clothes and run through the house naked. It doesn't have to be complicated, attention grabbing or expensive. Anything will do so long as it gives you a moments pause. If you don't have the privacy to be loud and demonstrative just breathe deep, reach out with your hand, and touch something. Understand that you're lucky to be connected to the world. Revel in the fact of your existence.

Sometimes all we need is a moment of calm and a little perspective. Make time to treat yourself. Get up 15 minutes early so you can sip a hot beverage and read for a minute before work. Take a walk before dinner. It doesn't matter what you choose, just find something simple that brings you pleasure and create time for it. If you're going to have a routine at least make sure there's a part of it you enjoy.