Yesterday was supposed to be my first entry for this week’s challenge…as you can see, it didn’t happen. Well, that’s not entirely true…I did follow through with the challenge, just didn’t have the opportunity to post my experience. So here it is, and I consider day 1 to be a success! It’s amazing how much of a positive change took place for me by the end of the day. In general, evening tends to be better for me in regards to my mood and energy levels, though I can’t help but feel that this challenge played a part in my improvement yesterday as well.
Here is my diary entry:
So, today has been the first day of my challenge to experience joy…my focus today has been on recognizing joy. Oftentimes, I feel that I am so consumed with the details of life that I don’t stop to notice the small moments…the everyday moments…the moments where joy is abundant in my life. I think that the biggest culprits in this problem are guilt, stress and worry. It is impossible to feel joy when these three feelings abound.
I began the day with sincere prayer. That is always my favourite moment of the day. It is the time when I can pour out my heart to my Father in Heaven and in turn feel of his love and comfort. I read Dieter F Uchtdorf’s conference address, “I Wish I Had Let Myself Be Happier,” and absolutely loved his analogies and wisdom. I recognized my need to stop and enjoy life’s little moments…now…this very moment, and every moment for that matter. Drop by drop, little by little…it is the small and simple things that ultimately bring joy and result in a life filled with joy.
All too often, I worry…I worry about time…I worry about what others think…I worry that I am not doing enough or working hard enough to accomplish all that I need to. The reality is that I am putting these unreasonable expectations on myself, and what good comes of it? Not much.
I found it very helpful to refrain from negative self talk (something which I do all too often) and instead focused on gratitude and things that bring me joy instead. I chose to make my family the focus of my thoughts today, and every time a negative thought crept its way into my mind, I replaced it with thoughts of my husband and children. This was empowering for me.
One of the assignments today was to make a list of things that bring me joy. As I started thinking about this list, I realized that I couldn’t put everything on it…the list was just too long! So here are a few of the things that bring my joy:
Family, Friends, Babies, Photo Albums, Sunsets, Starry Nights, Watching My Children Play Sports, Hiking, The Beach, Service, Random Acts of Kindness, Dessert, Flowers, Fresh Homemade Bread, Prayer, Scripture Study, My Saviour Jesus Christ, Date Night With My Husband, Christmas, Art, Music, A Clean House…this list could go on forever! There is so much that brings me joy!
The other assignment today was to post a picture to social media with #joy attached to it. As my family was the focus of my thoughts to day, I chose to post a picture of them to Instagram. My husband and children constantly make me laugh…at times they are so ridiculous, and I absolutely love it. This picture was taken on Halloween, and you will see what I mean about how silly they are. I’m smiling right now just thinking about them. Truly, I am so blessed. My joy is full.
Day 2: Finding Joy in the Journey
- Pray, listen and feel.
- Read “Finding Joy in the Journey” by Thomas S Monson
- Do something nice for yourself that will bring you joy.
- Choose one thing that brings you joy and reflect on it throughout the day.
- Take a photo of something that brings you joy and post it to social media with #joy
- Be accountable to someone
- Reflect in your journal