December: Cultivating Joy

November 30, 2018

We often search for joy as if it’s something we chase, we catch it for a moment and then it escapes us again. We look for it in the future, thinking if we are just a little better parents or thinner or more successful we will catch it once and for all. Even when we do feel it, generally fear of disappointment or embarrassment or loss or unworthiness are the thieves that come in right as the joy was about to settle in, pretending to save us from future danger. I don’t believe that anymore. I don’t need negative emotion to protect from possible future negative emotion. When I feel joy, I am learning to LEAN INTO IT.

I think joy is available to us morning and night, happy baby or crying baby, money or no money, 300 pounds or 100 pounds. I think it’s actually standing right next to us, available to us at any time. These past few months I’ve even found it while in the thick of anxiety. It doesn’t replace it, but when I open myself up to it, it holds my hand showing me that even in all the hard there is beauty, even in all the darkness there is light. I promise it is possible. Our #MotherYourself theme this month is JOY. Feeling it, cultivating it in our families and knowing how to access it, especially this holiday season. xx Elle



+ What does “joy” mean to you? Write it down.
+ Get your morning routine in gear! Go to bed thirty minutes to an hour earlier than you usually do and then get up like you mean it (ideally at least 15 minutes before your little ones!), get ready right away, all the way down to your shoes, and take at least 5 minutes to meditate, pray, and/or set a few intentions for the day.
+ Notice throughout the day when your brain goes to negative thoughts. Don’t push them away, but consider if the thought is serving you and perhaps another way to view it.
+ When you see something or hear something that makes you happy, say it out loud to someone.
+ What inspires you? Schedule it in your day, even if for just 5 minutes. A little can go a long way.
+ Assume that everyone you come in contact with is going through something challenging. Treat them accordingly.
+ Gratitude and joy are BFFs. The more you cultivate gratitude, the more you will open yourself up to joy.
+ Take 5 photos of every day of things that bring you joy. They don’t have to be high-quality photos, it’s all about the process.

 


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