Courtesy of www.eatfitlive.com
Recently I was chatting to someone about Make Me Joyful and the general sense of merriment I try to create. I explained about Random Acts of Joy, Happiness being Handwritten and Leveraging the Little Things. I described hiding book tokens, organising cupcake drops and tying balloons to trees. I chattered with excitement, passion and love. And when I stopped, she looked at me and asked incredulously: “Are you always this up?”
The thing is, I’m not. And that’s just fine.
It occurred to me that when you’re trying to live a joyful life and inspire people to do the same, you can look a little one-dimensional. Like Mary Poppins on speed, but without the accommodating bag and the small children. You can seem a little fake and a lot irrelevant. And that’s not helpful.
Thankfully, it’s been a few years since my face down on the kitchen floor episodes, since ringing The Samaritans for, you know, just a casual chat and since the days when I decided it would actually be quite nice to be committed and abdicate responsibility for all things me. But that doesn’t mean that I’m always up.
The last couple of days are a good example. From Monday’s inexplicable day of tears where I didn’t even stop crying during dinner (prompting the waiter to give me a free brownie as he clearly thought I’d been given days left to live) to yesterday’s supreme rage where EVERYTHING WAS WRONG and NOTHING WAS RIGHT. And I wanted to scream with foot-stamping frustration and stress.
It’s important to remember that even when we choose to build our lives with joy at the foundations, it doesn’t mean that the less joyful feelings will disappear or indeed that they should. They’re not ‘bad’ feelings. We may feel like we’re failing if we’re not happy all the time. But, no. That’s just a tricksy way to make us feel even worse.
So, what do I do when I just feel looooooow.
1. Allow myself to feel what I’m feeling without judgment or self-torture, but without getting bogged down by the details.
2. Mix things up by chatting to someone, playing a great song, moving around, watching a comedy clip, dancing, paying someone a compliment, smiling at someone new, doing a Random Act of Joy or doing anything just to change my energy.
3. Focus on how I want to feel and what that would look like. What would I be doing, saying and experiencing? How would I be standing? How would I be breathing? Visualise this version of myself mentally and physically.
Inexplicable sad moods are inevitable, but when we treat them with respect, decide how we want to feel and move towards feeling that way, we are no longer cowed by them. Mary Poppins comes back.
And now for today’s Random Act of Joy. It’s time for the Joyful Care Package to be delivered and this month it’s going to Melissa in Melbourne. Enjoy! Remember if you want to included in the draw for next month, sign up here:
And if you have any favourite mood-lifters then leave them in the comments below. Thanks!