Recently I went through some tough emotional stuff that left me in a vulnerable space. Relationships can be brutal sometimes! Enough said.
When I was in that place where you start feeling sorry for yourself; when you start feeling the tentacles of despair wrapping around your heart, I had the presence of mind to stop and ask myself, “What would you coach your clients to do when they find themselves in a dark place like this?” I basically started a self-coach.
The first thing was to acknowledge the awful emotion I was feeling; to get curious about it and to ask myself what it is telling me. I realized that it was perfectly normal to feel that way, bearing in mind what I was going through. It was actually to be expected.
The next step was to use my rational brain to get away from this feeling. What is the opposite of despair? What could lead me to a place of hope? I landed on happiness or—even better and deeper—joy. So I turned body and mind to an exercise to find places of joy in my life.
I’m a very visual person, so I got up (movement) and put a big white sheet on the flip chart, wrote “JoyMakers” in big, bold letters at the top (visual) and simply started jotting down all the joy makers I could think of. I kept the sheet next to my desk for the next two days and kept adding to it.
Very soon I found myself focussing on these positive thoughts, and the dreads of despair evaporated. I even had the chutzpah to prioritize the list, so now I have my own personal Top 10 list of JoyMakers!
My next step is now to become intentional about this list. I am planning to spend more of my time pursuing the items on my list. I have also asked my wife to make up her own list, so that we can find some common ground and that I also can know more about what brings her joy.
What is on your list?
I want to encourage you to find out! Let’s explore together how we can experience and spread more joy. We all have only a finite number of days on this planet and I cannot think of any better way of spending them than full of joy. Let’s all fill up with joy, so we can overflow onto this world and everyone we touch!