It seems that I forget to allow joy into my life. Oh, it’s not that it’s not there. I am just very quick to nod at it and dismiss it. I move on to the next thing that needs to be done rather than allowing myself a moment to experience pleasure.
I came to this rather surprising insight while talking with a health coach. We were talking about exercise. She was hoping I’d find something I really like to do. I told her that historically, as soon as I find something I actually like to do I stop doing it. Something else takes precedence, especially if I might be having fun.
I also mentioned that even when good things happen to me I am reluctant to take the time to gloat. Isn’t that an interesting word choice? If I celebrate, delight in the moment, allow myself to experience joy the voice in my head accuses me of gloating. Unpacking the old baggage is a significant part of the work of exploring spirituality, but sometimes it feels like reaching blind into a bag of mousetraps!
Dare I admit that if it wasn’t for my dear friend Kate (THANK YOU!) I probably wouldn’t have even celebrated having my book accepted at the publishers? It’s true. She called me up beaming for me. She had a beer in her hand and insisted I get myself a drink and toast across the phone lines. She gave me permission to actually take some time and bask in the moment. Yes, as stunned and pleased as I was I needed permission to be joyful.
So now I have taken up a daily practice of actually looking for things that bring me joy. I find myself singing along more to the radio. I find myself turning off the TV and reading a trashy novel. I find myself thinking about flowers.
I used to fill my house with flowers. Every month I’d spend money at the florists for an armload of blossoms. I’d fill in with flowers from the garden or my blossoming plants. I know I stopped the florist because of the budget, but when did I stop bringing flowers in from outside?
Every time my hibiscus blooms it makes me smile. It’s like a present for the day. I delight in walking past the flower displays at the grocery store. I even enjoy the little flowers at the top of my chives. So I’m going out to the grocery store and getting myself a bouquet along with my milk and eggs. I deserve all the joy I can get!