What Gives You Joy?

"I sometimes wonder whether all pleasures are not substitutes for joy." C.S. Lewis hit the nail on the head with this line. 

In my coaching lately, I've been challenging people to think about what gives them pleasure, makes them happy, brings them joy. Besides food or eating. It's been interesting to watch how difficult it is to answer that question. 

Many of us are so busy "doing" life that we neglect taking care of our inner selves. We do our jobs, take care of kids, pay the bills, clean, cook, run errands. We "do" our life. Is everything we do simply a function getting things that need to be done, done? I wonder if we miss the fact that we need to be doing something for ourselves that nurtures the very basic need of bringing happiness deep inside: to bring joy. Dr Melba Colgrove wrote, "Joy is the feeling of grinning inside." I just love that visual :)

For many of us, food brings great pleasure. We love licking ice cream from a cone, crunching on crispy chips, and savoring sweet, smooth chocolate.  We love to eat. But, are we indulging in the pleasure of eating because we don't recognize a spot deep inside of us needs to grin? Are we failing to do anything else that truly brings us joy?

This week, I want you to think about yourself for a little while. Write down everything you do that brings you joy that does not involve eating. Does escaping in a book bring you happiness? What about having coffee with a friend, delving into your spiritual side, drawing or painting a picture, creating something, needlework, woodwork, writing...you get the idea. Next, plan to do at least one of these things for yourself this week. Write it on your day planner, schedule that time into your life. Then, do it!

When you start filling up yourself from the inside out (instead of the stomach out,) you may just find that you don't feel the need to overindulge on food quite so often.

Get your JOY on this week!