Dear Soft Hearted Loves,
Life can be so weird and hard sometimes that a moment of joy can be something we really want to revel in. I have two suggestions on how to let the joy sink in deeply. Practicing authentic gratitude and creating a reel of other’s appreciation can be just what we need.
It can be difficult to practice gratitude when we’re feeling down or grieving. Gratitude can come from an authentic place by reflecting on what you’re grateful for and why you’re grateful for this person, thing or experience. For example, rather than saying you’re grateful for a roof over your head you might say something more specific and include your why such as “I’m grateful to live in a sober home with locks because it makes me feel safe.” Or you might write, “I’m grateful for the feeling of the sun on my chest in this moment because it makes me know I’m okay and part of a bigger plan.” Again, there are things or people who you may be grateful for and it can expand the joy to share it with them too. So if you catch a couple of the gratitudes you wrote down being about someone you love or work with, consider letting them know. Imagine what it’d feel like to hear that someone wrote about your work, cooking, presence, listening, or something else. This allows you to feel your reality to it’s fullest extent with both validation for the moments of suffering and fully experiencing the moments of joy by sharing them with someone you trust.
You can also take a few minutes to reflect on what has felt affirming or praiseful in your life. Has someone recently expressed appreciation? Do you have a friend who tells you kind things about yourself? Do you have a client who really appreciates your work? Put together a few of these experiences in your mind. You can write/record them if that helps or you can create your own acronym to help you remember. Then come back to this on a regular basis so you can breath in the praise. This is a sweet gift we can give ourselves. Sometimes the inner critic comes in and while we don’t want to argue with her we do want to give ourselves a gentleness break with some praise and appreciation when we can. Practicing the praise reel often better assures that we can come back to it in a time of stress and need.
Feeling your feelings to the best of your ability can be hard for a variety of reasons. If we can better experience our joy moments to the fullest then we can welcome the full experience of life. Sometimes I have fear the joy will go away. That’s okay too. In fact it’s pretty common to worry that joy will escape us quickly when in reality all feelings will come and go like rain being soaked into the Earth and come back up again. Wishing you many sweet rainy, sunshiny days ahead.