How many times have you done something because it brought you joy? Do you go through your day working out of joy and enthusiasm or driven by obligation?
In the Ze Frank video I posted recently, he ends with a laughing, “God let me enjoy this…”. I am reminded of all the times I’ve done something for so many reasons that had no bearing to “I will enjoy this”.
Women our age feel obligations. Don’t we? We are the ought, should, have to generation.
We were raised to feel that our duty, our job, our role is to _______________. Fill in the blanks. It’s a long list, at least in my case.
How do we get to the place of doing what brings us pleasure or satisfaction?
One of the worst travesties of my married life was the thought that I had NO options. I felt tied to that marriage, those sacred vows, that man, that life.
The second worst travesty was having sex because I felt that I had to. He was less moody when he got laid, so I often gave in–taking myself mentally to a far-away world. The sad part is that he never noticed.
It created an atmosphere that reinforced the notion that I had to follow the rules. I had to do what was expected–without expecting to find enjoyment in what I was doing.
We can create an enjoyable life for ourselves
We can’t and shouldn’t feel expected to create a joyful life for everyone else. And I think that’s where we get caught up. In gross generalizations, women are the peacemakers, we want everyone to be happy. We try to fix the hurt when our children are little and we sacrifice our own happiness and goals in order to sustain a marriage or a relationship. We say Yes, when we want to say No. And, we don’t say Yes to the things that fulfill us or bring us satisfaction as a person.
I believe it’s way past time for me and many of you to embrace the fact that we can make choices. We can create our own happiness.
In fact, it’s time.
We’re not getting any younger! I’m not saying we fail to pay the bills or abandon responsibility. But there is a way to create an environment that nourishes us and brings us pleasure.
How Do We Create Joy in Our Lives?
- Create a clear vision of what we want.
- Surround ourselves with people who “get” us…who understand, support, step aside, acknowledge and love us. And let go of the Naysayers.
- Practice clarity and honesty in conversations. Be willing to trust and share. You know what you want–speak that truth.
- We let go. Of the bad stuff, of past frustrations, disappointments, expectations of ‘how it was supposed to be’.
- We practice compassion for ourselves and those people around us.
- We bring play, laughter and lightheartedness into our lives.
- We indulge our sensual side. We connect with our senses, our body, our desires.
Is it going to be easy? No. We have habits, deeply ingrained, that serve to keep us stuck in our daily lives. Even when we’re in pain, its familiarity feels safer than the unknown.
When the pain becomes too great and seeps over into other aspects of your life, it’s absolutely time to make that change.
You can create change and move toward enjoyment with a series of baby steps if that’s easier for you. Or you can make the big leap.
Today I’m asking you to figure out what doesn’t work for you and plot out at least one change you can make.
Write it down if that helps. Paste it on the bathroom mirror, put it in your calendar. Find a way to put your vision front and center–to remind yourself of what you want for your life.
We can’t move towards a goal or a vision if we don’t know what it is we want. Like the first step on that Yellow Brick Road–sometimes we need a little direction. If we want to bring more enjoyment into our lives we are going to have go and get it ourselves. No one is going to bring it to us.
What one thing isn’t bringing joy to your life right now? What will you do to change that? And, when are you going to do it?