Much excite, many joy

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DAY 77

I have a cute and quirky friend, Katey,  who has an equally quirky way of telling the world about how happy she is. She often mixes up her verbs, nouns and adjectives. Instead of saying, “I’m really happy about this.” or ‘I’m having a lot of fun.” She will say “Ohhh much excite right now!” or, “This has given me many joy!” I can’t emulate her cute voice, but just the words being written in the wrong order, or out of context somehow makes me sit up and listen. I can’t even write the sentence without an exclamation mark, it carries so much emotion!

It got me thinking about how we can go about our daily lives and miss the extraordinary. How amazing things can become a bit ‘ho hum’ because we don’t acknowledge it. How we can miss the beauty of our world around us because we have forgotten somehow how to articulate it in a way that has meaning for us.

So how do we renew our passion and inspire ourselves? How do we jump start our hearts to see the richness and extraordinary moments and things in our lives?

Here’s 5 tips that may give you much excite and many joy!

  • Change your daily language to describe your emotions! You don’t have to do what my friend Katey does, but think about your go to words. I spent years saying, “that’s cool”, or “I love that”. Both words ended up loosing all meaning for me. They felt like dried out prunes. So something that really was cool was no longer really touching my heart. It gave me zero joy. Think about how we greet people every day with “How are you?” or “How’re you going?” the automatic answer is “Good thanks, and you?” After years of saying ‘good’ on auto pilot, it just rolls off our tongues like paper; dry and awkward.Try changing both the greeting and your answer. “It’s so good to see/meet you. How has your day been?” might elicit a different response. The other week I asked one of my sons this question and he said “Mum, I’m living the dream!” It’s hard not to have a conversation after this!!
  • Make a list of words that describe your feelings. Check out your words and their meaning on the dictionary online or my new favourite tool: visualthesaurus.com. Make sure that your words reflect who you are and what you feel. They should feel luscious and true when you say them. Put your top 5 words on a post it note and pop them in your diary so you see them every day. At the end of each day, I like to shift my post it note to the next day in my diary, so I see them every morning when I get to work. Or you could put them on your fridge, or bathroom mirror. Change your words up every week, or every month! It’s also a great way to expand your vocabulary.
  • Listen to your most inspirational role models. Who inspires you? Perhaps it is someone physically in your life like your mum or your best friend. A co-worker or a coach. Perhaps it’s someone you don’t know at all, a celebrity, a politician, a world leader? They could be dead or alive, it doesn’t matter. Focus on the things that they describe around them. How do they articulate the journey that they are in? They inspire you with both their words and their actions, so how do they communicate that with you in a way that makes you feel inspired to step up and be a better version of yourself. One of my many inspirational role models is Gala Darling. Her daily posts on both her facebook page and her website always make me think about who I want to be. When I have had a particularly shitty and disheartening day, she always draws me back to a place where I can find my own inner power and an acknowledgement that I am the decision maker in my life; I am the one who decides whether or not to fight. I am the one who chooses to love my self and to be happy.
  • Start with your heart. Your feelings are the most powerful drivers in your life. If your heart isn’t right , then your life will be a mess of spaghetti! If you haven’t already, do some work on your heart and your feelings. Who are you really? What are your go to feelings every day? What story do you tell yourself every day? How do you speak about yourself every day. What do you therefore see every day? If you are feeling like a complete waste of space, because the story in your head is that you were never wanted as a baby and nothing you can do will prove that you deserve to be on this earth, then you are likely to be telling yourself that you are powerless to change yourself and your experience of life. Your words will revolve around a deep inner sadness of abandonment and fear. Your expression of yourself will be full of pain. You will only see the grey mist. But if you can be brave and be honest about that one feeling that is driving your life and foundation story, and courageous enough to step up and change it, then you will change your existence. You might like to start with Gala’s Radical Self Love Project, or if you are feeling particularly brave today, try some Desire Mapping with Danielle LaPorte.
  • Try something different every single day for 30 Days. Write a list of 30 things that you think will bring you many joy. Don’t think big picture, just small every day things. Perhaps putting a bunch of flowers on your bedside table to wake up to every day because they remind you of love and make you feel like a goddess. Or perhaps small bunches of flowers everywhere you sit like your desk, your coffee table, your kitchen bench! Perhaps you could try a different morning drink, like a herbal tea because it makes you feel a little bit daring and adventurous. Maybe you could dress up in your favourite outfit to do the most mundane thing, like supermarket shopping, or going to work, or walking your dog because it makes you feel wicked and cheeky and happy! Put on false eyelashes, just because they make you feel glamorous. Buy a special pen because it feels exotic to write with. Write a card to your friend about how much you love and care for them because it makes you feel like a bloody good person. Eat one of your favourite childhood cereals for breakfast, even if it’s not too good for you because it connects you to your inner child and you feel palyful! What ever you do, think about how it makes you feel inside. Think about the words you are using to describe your experience. Do your words give your experience justice? Do they breathe life into the moment? If not, go on a quest to find that perfect word! Write it down and add it to your flourishing vocabulary!

Just a few of these things will not only change up the way you see and feel your daily experience, they will open up your heart and mind to the richness that is already present in your life. They will also open you up to new possibilities and opportunities.

Ah yes, much excite, many joy!

“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.”
― Dalai Lama XIV

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Dancing with my heart

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DAY 39

8th February, 2014

When I dance, it’s as if my body is singing.

I have this inescapable joy pulsing through my veins and an indescribable feeling of freedom. Somehow, with the music coursing around and through me, the people I am with, the thoughts in my head, it all comes together inside my heart and my spirit, and I can’t stop moving. I am vibrant. I am blissful. I am happy.

Our feelings are one of the main driving forces in our lives. When we strive for something with the same overwhelming passion that we feel when we are in love, we will stop at nothing to shift mountains and gain our desire.

It’s a little ironic then that we are told from a very young age, to deny the very feelings that inspire us to be at our best. We are told not to get emotional in our workplaces and our relationships. That decisions are made best without the messiness of feelings. It’s true that when we make decisions about our lives or our work we need some evidence. We need some research. We want some factual information, so we can make the best decision possible.

But here’s the thing: Living our lives without emotion, making decisions without acknowledging and engaging our feelings is a bit like fresh bread without the butter: very dry! We need to trust our emotional intelligence as much as the factual research. Especially when our feelings can be the difference between realising our dreams or not.

I am assuming that most of you, like me, wrote up some goals over New Years. You may have reassessed your achievements in 2013, and then spent the first day of the year writing up a plan for 2014, using any number of tried and trusted planning tools.

I have a very dear friend who spends his entire day, locked away in his flat on the first day of each year, painfully reviewing his achievements and failures in every aspect of his life: money, relationships, health, well-being, family, spirit, career and adventure. Then he spends the next day writing up new goals and strategies for achieving his goals for the new year. In many ways this has worked for him. As far as I know he has maintained this commitment for the past ten years, and over the past decade has achieved some amazing outcomes.

I have also used similar tools to achieve what I want to achieve throughout the year, and in many ways this has worked for me. But I always get to the end of the year feeling a little disappointed at the list of unmet goals. And I am always puzzled by the number of goals and dreams that seem to sit on my list year in, year out, never quite achieved; shoved aside or packed away, for more urgent or pressing work or responsibilities.

Why does this happen?

For example, I have wanted to travel to Ireland since I was fifteen.

For a long time I didn’t quite have the resources to go, but over the past three years I have definitely had the means and the time to travel, so I have placed Ireland at the top of my bucket list. ‘Travel to Ireland for two weeks.” I still haven’t gone.

Hmmmm…

The other issue is the weird, empty feeling that I am left with when I achieve some of my dreams or goals. Odd right? If you really want something, then surely when you achieve it you should be over the moon?

How different to the experience of one of my son’s who bought a jeep. It’s his first car, and he had worked hard and saved for it all year. He had magazine pictures of jeeps up on his bedroom wall and bathroom window. When things were a bit tough at work, he told himself that he was on a mission to get his jeep. But it wasn’t just the jeep. It was the feeling that he imagined having the jeep would give him. It would give him freedom. He wouldn’t have to rely on his girlfriend and his mates to drive him around all the time. He could come and go when and where he pleased. When he imagined buying the jeep, he imagined the feeling of being completely free and independent, and that’s what he wanted more than anything. That thought, that dream, was what he was ‘in love’ with. When he did finally purchase the jeep, the feeling of achievement stayed with him for a long time. He still has a delirious grin on his face when he arrives at our house for a cup of coffee. It’s because he can.

So, that brings me back to our feelings as a driving force behind what we achieve and what we really want to achieve.

Think about the goals on your 2014 Bucket List, or Yearly Life Plan that you are ‘in love’ with.

How do you know that you are ‘in-love’ with it? Think about why you want to achieve it. Why do you want this thing or achievement in your life? How will it make you feel? Will it make you feel the same way you do when you are dancing? Or something that for you evokes a similar state of bliss and joy? Or have you listed ‘lose weight’ as a goal, because you think you should or your mother will stop nagging you? Perhaps you have “buy a house’ on your list because that’s what everyone one does when they become an adult? Or perhaps you are losing weight to feel blissful in your own skin, and just the thought of feeling beautiful and strong in your own body makes you feel free?

Just a thought.

I took a good look at my Bucket List 2014 plan today. All four jam packed pages! Definitely enough here to achieve for the next few years!  Anyway, I started to work though the list of goals, experiences and achievements, placing a feeling next to each one. For each goal I asked myself: Why did I want this? How would having this or experiencing this make me feel in my life? What was I actually trying to feel?

I was surprised when I reached my precious goal about travelling to Ireland. Even though it has been my number one goal for many years, I have always put it aside. Why? Did I not want to go?

Was it not really a passion of mine?

How do I imagine travelling to Ireland will make me feel? Or is this goal sitting on my current Bucket list because it has been on the list for such a long time? It turns out that I wasn’t connected with how travelling to Ireland would make me feel at all! It’s been a goal on my bucket list for so long that I had lost that loving feeling…instead I had zero attachment to it. My choice was to take it off the list or reignite the romance I had. So a few travel documentaries and websites about the emerald Isle later, I looked into the eyes of my long lost love and wrote down ‘Travel to Ireland and do a 10 day tour’.

What about you? What’s on your list? How will each item you have listed make you feel?

Like you are dancing? Like your body is singing? Will it make you feel free?

“Last night I lost the world, and gained the universe.” – C. JoyBell C.