Saturday, June 22, 2013

On Harvesting Joy

Hey folks! I just wanted to write a little blog about harvesting joy.
There is a lot going on in life, things can be thrown at you pretty fast.
And I know for me, having an INFP personality, it can be easy to let things get me down, to feel overwhelmed.
That is why I have to actively do things that I know will bring me joy. I have to actively set out time to do things that replenish my well of joy and happiness and positive energy. And I thought I would share my method with all you lovely people and hopefully you all can harvest some joy for yourselves!

First, make a list of about five things that bring you joy. Don't think too hard about it, these things will probably come to mind petty fast! You can always have more or less things on your less than five, that's fine! Mine has six!

1) Nature
2) Music
3) Writing
4) Art
5) Connecting with people
6) Mindful breathing

Now, the thing is, all of these things bring me joy. But when I am not actively and mindfully participating in them, they can start to feel like chores that drain my energy! So, it is important to really be in the moment of these actions, not going through the motions or having your mind preoccupied with worries or negative thoughts!
Now you can take the list and elaborate on how activities based on your list can harvest joy for you!

1) Nature- Collect leaves, acorns, and flowers. Spend time with these objects; feel them, examine them, draw them, smell them. Really experience them; meditate with them. Use flowers to create inks to write with. Boil them all in water that you can carry in a vial to keep their energy with you, or create a refreshing and uplifting body mist spray.

2) Music- Create a playlist of songs that make you happy; positive energy songs, songs to dance to, or meditate to. Let it wash over you, feel it course through your veins. Focus on each part of the music; first the drums, then the guitar, then the voice, then the words. Draw or paint while you listen; don't think about what you are making, allow the music to come out through you onto the paper.

3) Writing: Make lists! Make lists of things you are grateful for, people who inspire you, and all the things you love about yourself. Do a flow of thought page and just write without planning, without inhibition. Write haikus about silly things, or simple things that you love.

4) Art: Finger paint! Finger paint with your eyes closed. Draw something that you are looking at without looking down at the paper. Draw something from memory, with your eyes closed. Feel the brush stroke, watch the lines appear on the canvas. Breathe deep and slowly. Do not rush.

5) Connecting with people: Write letters to friends that don't live nearby (or even if they do!). Make little gifts (bracelets, drawings, cookies, ect.) that you know will make someone's day, especially if they are going through a hard time. Get lunch or a drink with someone you haven't seen in awhile. If you are up to play host(ess), cook up something tasty, invite people over, and have a game night!

6) Mindful breathing: Meditate. Try mindful breathing while hanging upside down off your couch. Try mindful breathing while going for a walk. Try mindful breathing while cooking, or painting, or even in conversation with a friend.

So, those are my ideas of way to harvest joy for myself! When you intentionally do actions mindfully that bring you joy, you can store it up for when everyday life sneaks in, when hardships and stress and negative thinking want to take over. You will have a store of joy and peace waiting for you. Just don't get complacent! Don't go through the motions! Focus on the things you are passionate about and allow them to wash over you, allow them to sink into you. Focus on the experience, on the moment, on the harvesting of joy.

What things bring you the most joy and what do you do to harvest that joy in your life?! Please share in the comments!

Monday, June 3, 2013

The Growing Art of Letting Go (Or How It's Just Too Tiring to Keep Wallowing)

So, a while back, I wrote on my 750 words account about the pain I still felt at the lose of many old friends, due in part mostly to their indifference to whether we interacted or not. I reread what I had written and made a vast realization of what I had stuck my own self in.
I realized that I was indeed stuck in the mire and simply wallowing in it. Funny how we do that, eh?
I needed to take true affirmative action. I needed to lift myself out.
 I realized that this was serious business, I really could not keep going on like this. I was making myself sick.There was no way I was going to grow and heal going on like this.
People have really hurt me. And I was holding on so tightly to that hurt. I wanted them to feel it, to feel the burning I felt inside, but they were indifferent.
They were not going to change. They were not going to apologize.
And so I had to step up and do the forgiving myself. I had to heal myself. I had to really forgive them. I had to really let them go. I had to abandon any thoughts or hopes of changing them, of making them care.

True friends act like friends, they support you, they seek out your company. If someone really loves you, they act like it. You do not have to chase after them, begging them to acknowledge you. And that is a very important, almost essential thing to realize, and realize it early. Because you can spend years or even an entire lifetime trying so hard to be around people that do not care, that do not support you, that do not think about you when you are not around. And they do not deserve your time and energy and emotions. I am not saying they are terrible people, they are just not the people that you need in your life. They are not the people that are going to help you grow and heal and build yourself up.
So let them go, truly and fully. Write them letters, real and raw, deep and dirty, but also full of forgiveness. Really write out how they have hurt you and really write out why you are forgiving them and letting them go. And then burn those letters, and really watch these chains you've created burning, turning to ash, and dissolving into the wind.
And feel the freedom that brings. Breathe the air through lungs unburdened with the weight of sorrow. Take those very strong feelings of being unwanted, of being invisible, of being abandoned, of being unworthy, of being insignificant, and burn them.
Meditate on friendship, on what it looks like to you, on how it manifests in your life, and focus on creating that energy in your life, and true friendship will find it's way into your life. It may take time. It can take plenty of sifting through not so true friends, but the real ones will find you.
You will slowly create your life tribe. The people that you can call family, the people that will help you create the best you, but also love you through the times when you are the worst you. They exist, and believe me, they want you just as much as you want them.
Delete those old numbers that never respond, delete "friends" from Facebook that have no desire to interact or connect with you. Let them go. The negative energy of holding on to those that have hurt you, it does not affect them, no matter how much you want them to notice. But it affects you, severely, in a very damaging way. And you need to let it go for the sake of your safety, your health, your well-being, and your self-healing. Let go of the mire, of the feelings that are influenced by the actions of others. And pick up the mantras of self-love, of worth, of being loved, of acceptance, of meaning. Because you are the embodiment of all these things. You know you are. And by focusing on these energies, you will attract those that know you are as well. And you deserve them. Never doubt that.

The above advice has helped me significantly, in ways beyond words. They have allowed substantial healing to occur in my life and I am so thankful for that. It helped me and I am only sharing with the hope that if any of you every find yourself in a similar situation, that you may find peace and healing as well.

I love you all and am very thankful for your friendship, your positive energy, and your supportive words.
I thank you dearly for that.