At a time there were structures of my life that were particularly challenging. I was losing sight of my joy and I wanted to reinforce all the graces in my ordinary days.
For a period of six months every time I was aware of something drawing a literal YAY out of me, I wrote down what prompted it. Being schooled in what a simple, good thing actually IS makes it easier to invite it on purpose.
Making a List: Recognizing & Tracking What Causes You Joy
I chose this period of time, six months, for several reasons. Prevailing wisdom says that doing something for thirty days makes it a habit. I wanted my capacity to seize the simple, good things of my life to be stellar! So I committed to six months of "seeing."
I knew the joys were there but I'd opted out of readily seeing them. I carried a small journal with me everywhere I went. When I was aware of that little lilt, that recognition of a sweet joy, I wrote down whatever it was that caused it.
You will discover, as I did, the things that draw out the YAY are very ordinary things. In this same period of time large events occurred, important announcements were made, significant business relationships were forged. Those are not the things found in this list.
This list is made up of the things that perennially pour honey into my heart. Perhaps you will recognize some of them from your own experience. What would YOUR list look like if you kept a "YAY in ordinary days," list? What do your simple good things look like?
Finding & Creating Reasons to Celebrate
We tell the tale of our lives by the stories we repeat in our day. Take that principle outward, the environments in which we work, live, and play tell stories to us and about us every day.
Coming into my space for the first time, someone would be tempted to observe the obvious: the first thing that I see when I wake up in the morning is a messy pile of books and magazines. What I see, really, is a stack of reasons to celebrate. Each thing is an invitation to celebrate and allows me to call to mind a very specific YAY which is invigorating and empowering.
In this small space I daily re-discover the stories of thoughtful friends, meaningful gestures and commitments that I have made at my core. This is just the first YAY I encounter in my day.
Setting the "Yay" Tone at the Start of Your Day
The opportunity to contemplate such things is a key to being able to identify the small celebrations that come to me. On those days that my eyes do not "see," and I jump into the day, pressured by that cacophony of "so much to do," I am less inclined to see the opportunity for joy, for the exclamation of pleasure and delight. Setting the tone at the start of my day is significant, if not essential.
What is the first thing you set your sights upon in the morning? And how do you invite yourself in to a day that you intend to savor? I've shared with you a window into my way, now take a good look at your way.
©2012 by Mary Anne Radmacher. All rights reserved.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher, Conari Press,
an imprint of Red Wheel/Weiser, LLC. www.redwheelweiser.com.
This article was adapted with permission from the book:
Honey in Your Heart: Ways to See and Savor the Simple Good Things
by Mary Anne Radmacher.
Honey in Your Heart is filled with touchstones to connect readers to their own rich and poignant daily experiences, and live a more joyful and inspired life. With original four-color lettering, art, design, motivational quotes, poems, and aphorisms about the importance of savoring the simple good things in life, Mary Anne Radmacher offers a funny, sweet, and perfect gift for any occasion.
About the Author
Mary Anne Radmacher is a writer and artist who has touched the hearts of many with her popular cards, books, posters, journals, and gift books. She conducts workshops and writing seminars on living a full, creative, and balanced life. She is the author of Lean Forward into Your Life and Live Boldly. She lives with her husband near Seattle, Washington. Visit her online at www.simplyaninspiredlife.com or www.maryanneradmacher.net.