What Makes You Smile?
I've been working on my next book, a memoir about the perils and pleasures of aging consciously. I'm doing my best to live each day awake and aware of the finiteness of life. As I make decisions, I keep asking, "If today were my last day on earth, would I be satisfied with this choice?" By doing so, I'm becoming acutely aware of what adds comfort, contentment, peace, and meaning to my life. I'm realizing some pretty interesting things.
One thing is how little value I've attributed to the simple things that bring me immense joy - watching the twinkling white lights on the tree in our backyard, playing fetch with my cat (who thinks he's a dog), sleeping with an open window so I can hear the owls hoot at night, or listening to the rain without doing a damn thing but enjoying the sound.
It's so easy to put all of our energy into what we've been trained to value -advancing a career, making money, building a business, or completing our to-do lists. In our drive to succeed, we tend to miss, (or dismiss) the events that bring us joy. They seem secondary, a reward after a hard day’s work, or a peripheral pleasure we happen to stumble upon.
I'm making pleasure a primary goal. I've been tracking the little things that bring me joy every day for over a year now and it's always a surprise at what makes the list. Simple things. Tiny things. Things that often cost nothing at all.
What if making space for pleasure in our busy, technology driven lives became a highly regarded goal? How would life be different if we valued peace and delight and joy as much as (or more than) striving to succeed?
What if...the little things that leave us breathless might be big things after all?
These are some of the questions I'm living with these days and I invite you to join me.
Take Action Challenge
This month, become aware of the little things that make you smile. As you notice them, pay attention to how they make you feel. If they feel good—really good— attach value to them immediately. Tell yourself, "This is the kind of experience that matters. I want more of this in my life." Awareness is a powerful motivator for change. If you keep up this practice, you'll start to see things change, almost effortlessly.
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Create a life that honors your soul.
Infuse each day with positive intentions and pleasure.