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Where's the Joy?

Today I’m inspired by this Huffington Post article by Laura Munson. I definitely recommend reading the full article, but here are a few of my favorite parts. The article was a refreshing reminder and crown polish that we need to seek the joy in our day-to-day lives, even when life seems uneventful or not so great. It’s not a one-time decision, but rather something we need to wake up every day and choose to pursue. Enjoy!

Our answers to “how are you” help influence the general pulse of the human heart and our society at large. I want to start saying, “Great” even on a crappy day. Because there is something great about even a crappy day and why not think about that! It just plain feels better. I want to feel better. I need to remind myself to see what’s “great” in my life and spread that around town. (And sure — at length because that’s the way I fly. Sorry, grocery line.) It’s almost a social responsibility, really. Community service. Spreading the joy.

I want to see the joy. And I want to find mine, even in the most mundane moments. And then I gave myself a challenge: think of five things you like about yourself. It was hard. It spun another half an hour or so of self-flagellation. Because every time I thought of something, I weed-whacked it. “You’re a good mother” quickly turned to “I haven’t taken my daughter to visit enough colleges yet and she’s going to be a senior this fall” and “you didn’t read enough with your son when he was little and now he watches too much TV.” Ugh. Five things you like about yourself, Laura. Finally, I got three and called it good. Three positive, thoughts about myself to stabilize and soak in, without whacking them. And interestingly, in order to do it, I had to think of myself from the perspective of the little girl I once was. She told me: You’re a good cook. You’re funny. You eat chocolate cake without apology.

We have to re-train ourselves back to that child in us who joyfully woke up to the possibility of the day. Who loved herself. Whose goal was to play. And be joyful in it. When you wake up tomorrow and see this blog post, take a moment and try it. Think of five things you like about yourself. Or maybe three. But please…at least one. And hold it close all day, saying it over and over to yourself. And when you’re in that grocery line, and someone asks you, “How are you,” think about that thing… and say, “I’m great.” Because you are.

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