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!

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