Monday, May 21, 2012

Finding Joy [Part Eight]

Again, taking a prompt from Shelley Seale's article Finding Joy: Tips for creating your own 30-day Happiness Project:

Act the way you want to feel. Doing this often helps propel us in that direction. Try a smile, even if you don’t feel like it; try helping someone else, even if you don’t feel like it. You might be surprised how those feelings change.

Acting the way you want to feel seems to always have nice repercussions, doesn't it? Even if it's just feeling... good inside. Nothing wrong with that.

If you've been reading along, you've probably noticed there has been a whole lot of walking and adventuring lately. This is because I was actually embarrassed at how little we were doing in New York City. People would ask what our plans were for the weekend, and we would mumble something about making brunch, and possibly taking the baby to the park (the park is literally half a block away). Granted, Ian and I make a mean brunch, and Riverside park is lovely, but sometimes we get stuck in our routines. It can get a little sad. So, staying active every day (walking over a mile), and trying to explore the city - these were things I want to do so I can feel like I'm taking advantage of living here. I want to feel like a New Yorker, thus I act like a New Yorker (but am perceived as a tourist when the camera comes out).

Many of these prompts (and the general idea of a happiness project, in general) seem to focus around the being present, at least that is my interpretation. Sometimes it's hard to be present - to be in the moment and appreciate where you are, now.

How else do I want to feel?

I want to feel organized:
  1. I need to have at least one room "cleaned" before bed each night. We're getting better at tidying throughout the day. My mom's "Only touch something once" rule is, once again, the best way to keep things neat. My mother, national treasure!
  2. I need to get to the Container Store (or an equivalent) and purchase a few organization bins.
  3. We need to go through all of the paper in our apartment and file or shred. 
I want to feel more at peace:
  1. I need to not be on the defensive all the time. Sometimes I catch myself disagreeing with Ian because I feel what he said is a fraction off from what my perceived "truth" is. This is petty, and it really bugs me when he does it. (Ian, argumentative, philosopher, what?)
  2. I want to read a book on meditation and peace. I think The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living by the Dalai Lama is in order. I need to request this from the library.
 The smiling more couldn't hurt either. I definitely see a strong correlation of smiling at the baby (it's impossible not to smile at her!) and finding my mood improving. Not to say that I'm a crabby-cakes, but gosh, we all have our days, don't we?

Question: How do you want to feel? What is one thing you can change in your behavior to alter how you feel?