"When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around."
“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.”
“In ordinary life we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.”
“The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated.”
“Happiness is itself a kind of gratitude.”
I've been thinking a lot about joy lately and I don't think we can experience pure joy without first expressing gratitude for the multitude of blessings bestowed on us. What do you think? Here's hoping that you and I remember, daily, to express gratitude and receive joy.
Blessings to you,
Flash mobs bring me joy!
Do What You Did When You Were 10 Years Old:
Think back on your childhood. What did you like to do most?
It's pretty amazing to me that the things I liked to do in my childhood are still mostly the things I like to do today.
Try it! Think back on the top 5 or so things you liked to do when you were little. See if they are things that bring you joy being involved in today. You might be surprised and it might remind you of an awesome way to put some joy into your life today!
For me, when I think back on when I was a kid here my top 5 things I liked to do.
Megan's Top 5 Fun Things to Do (when I was 10 and still today)-
1. Explore the neighborhood.
When I was ten years old we lived in the beautiful European city of Wiesbaden, Germany. There were many summer days where I would take off in the morning after breakfast and explore our American neighborhood and the surrounding 'economy' (code word for the German neighborhoods, orchards, parks, and city). I said good-bye to my mom and was out the door, not to return until hunger or thrist set in or maybe the need for the bathroom. My trusty bike and feet took me all over the hood. I remember walking through beautiful orchards and city parks with my friends feeling as if we were in a different world exploring a new place..
Today exploring is still one of my very favorite things to do. Whether I am in a new city or my familiar neighborhood. I love walking through our neighborhood, walking around a quiet lake, or exploring a new park. Nothing brings me more joy than being outside in the fresh air, feeling the sun on my face, and a breeze on my arms listening to the birds chirping away.
2. Hang out with my friends.
My parents used to return from every single of my parent/teacher conferences with the same phrase, "Your teachers say you talk too much in class". It's true. What can I say? I guess I had a lot to say to my friends. I LOVED being with my BFFs!
It hasn't changed a bit. There's nothing better than getting together with a BFF over lunch or dinner or for a walk around a lake to share what's going on in our lives and bounce ideas off of each other.
3. Sing along to music.
What kid hasn't grabbed a hair brush and sung into it pretending to be a pop star? I had a small collection of records at the age of 10 (The Captain and Tennille, Donna Summers, ABBA, Helen Reddy) but I remember playing them over and over and over.....
It's the same today! I love music! Maybe now I graviate towards Broadway Musical Showtunes or country music but I still love music. Recently, I downloaded my favorite Captain and Tennille record to my ipod. I was amazed at how I could remember each and every lyric from each and every song after 30 years!!!! That brought me a ton of joy! Luckily for my family, I was able to belt out each line to that album on a business car trip...alone! PURE JOY! How about for you? Do you have a favorite album from your childhood? When was the last time you listened to it?
4. Be physical.
This one has to do with my number 1: exploring the neighborhood on my bike and by foot. I can remember hours and hours of neighborhood Kickball games. How much fun was Kickball? Why did we stop playing Kickball? It probably isn't allowed at schools anymore, is it? But, oh, how much fun it was! Nothing beats running up to the mound and smashing a really great kick blasting through the air.
Okay, maybe I haven't played Kickball since I was 10 years old but I still love being physical. Maybe it's a run around a favorite lake or trying to learn how to surf or waterski. There's something so wonderful and joyful about productive, fun sweat!
5. Be quiet.
Around the age of 10 is when I started really being a reader. I remember checking out Judy Bloom books from the library and curling up on my bed to read them. Something about her writing and her relateable characters spoke to me. Another activity I liked to do alone and quietly was any kind of craft project. Back then I think it was cross stitching or needlepoint.
I guess I am an introvert at heart. I heard that how we need to regroup for the next day identifies whether we are an introvert or an extrovert. I definitely love people and love talking to people but I need a little bit of quiet each and every day to refuel my energy. Now, the ways I like to be quiet are: decorating, reading, or walking around that favorite lake.
It's true that things change. It's a fact of life. Someone said that the only thing we can count on for certain is change. But, having said that, I believe the core of our personality, who we really are, doesn't change. I still get an amazing amount of joy out of the same 5 things that I did when I was 10 years old. Now, I just need to remember to incorporate these joy moments into my life daily.
How about you? What brought you joy at 10 years of age? What brings you joy now?
A Quiet Spot to Read Brand Spanking New Magazines:
I am filled with pure joy when I have a comfy quiet place to read a big pile of brand new magazines. Ah! Heaven! I'd love to curl up in one of these spots:
Where do you experience joy rising?