The first time my mentor, Natasha Reilly, asked me this question I was stumped! It wasn’t something I spent a lot of time thinking about. I’d been plugging away at being a mom, being a teacher, being a wife, wearing a multitude of “hats”, but I hadn’t been doing much for myself. That question opened things up for me in ways I couldn’t have imagined at the time. I started looking around with new eyes. What DID light me up? What brought me joy?
I had a little journal I’d been carrying in my purse and I started using it to keep track of the things that brought me joy each day and also the things that drained me. Looking back at it now I can see that the things that brought me joy still do and there are more of them in my life. The things that drained me still do, and there are fewer of those things in my life.Often the joyful things were very simple; walking a nearby labyrinth, really seeing a snail, petting my cat, reading Women Who Run With the Wolves, doing yoga outside in the park, hopping from rock to rock with my son, watching Grimm with my husband, eating almond pancakes. The things that drained me included volunteering for a PTA event that didn’t feel comfortable, worrying about not having enough money when I quit my job, and yelling at my son to stop doing things that he does almost unconsciously.In the past three years I’ve continued to add to my JOY list. Hiking, belly dancing, painting and writing have all brought me an amazing amount of joy. Enrolling in the Martha Beck Life Coach Training and becoming a coach has brought me joy. One of my favorite parts of being a coach is helping my clients discover what brings them joy and finding ways of weaving that into their lives. Of course we also work together on reducing the draining stuff and the painful beliefs, which can open up more room for joy in your life.
So, now ask yourself the same questions.
- What lights you up like a Christmas tree?
- What brings you joy?
- What makes you feel young again?
What would happen if you tracked it for a few days with the intention of actively including more joy in your life? If it feels like there’s something stopping you, feel free to reach out for some coaching around it. The first session is complimentary and it would bring me joy to work with you!