I’ve been doing my silent time after I wake up first thing in the morning, lying in bed. It sort of kills two birds with one stone because I get to stay in bed a little longer and do my daily meditation. Is it 15 minutes? Rarely. Do I fall back asleep a good portion of the time? Hmmm, yes. But it’s about a 1% improvement each day…not 25%.
After Vacation Once a Day and Tell Yourself the Truth, Joy Principle #3 is one of my favorites. Do what you love or truly desire, EVERY DAY. I know what you’re thinking: if you just want to lie in bed next to a box of donuts and wait for the day to end while spoon feeding yourself romantic comedies with a side of girl scout cookies and General Tso’s Tofu, you’re not alone. But MB explains that the key to this step is identifying a CORE desire, which is always accompanied by feelings of openness, peace, and expanding interests. A TRUE desire is marked with a sense of fulfillment, increasing inner peace, openness, joyfulness, and an ability to free and express the self. Even the best of donuts (the maple bacon donut I had in San Francisco, for example) has never given me those sort of highs.
You may have to get to your desires through slightly unorthodox channels. Maybe taking an art class doesn’t fit into your schedule, but can you get together a group of friends together and hire an art teacher once or twice a month? Okay, so music lessons aren’t in the budget, but you can learn some pretty gnarly things on YouTube these days. If your heart’s desire brings you joy, believe you can form your life around the fulfillment of that desire, and you will create the energy you want to manifest more of it everyday.
Make sure to check yourself (and your goal) by asking what happens AFTER you reach your desire. “Then what?” Are you fulfilled? More at peace? More joyful? If not, question what it is that enticing about what your pining after.
On my birthday every year and a few days here and there, I like to play the fabulous (and a little morbid) game I made up called “Last Day on Earth,” which drives your to maximize your day by squeezing in everything you adore and dropping the rest. Give it a try. I’ll admit that my “Last Days on Earth” usually start out with a donut (Old Fashioned, courtesy of Starbucks).
Principles courtesy of The Joy Diet by Martha Beck, photo credit l. shrewing