Let me introduce you to…Barney*!
(*not his real name )
And nooooo, despite his soft, fluffy cuteness, Barney is NOT my new dog!
But he IS one of my new adventures!
Here’s how it all started…
I was over at my friend’s last summer, telling her about my upcoming plans (or lack thereof) when I blurted out:
“I need some new adventures!”
Cuz life was starting to feel a little…well… humdrum.
And I knew I needed to stir things up. To find more joy.
As luck would have it, later that same day I got a text from another friend of mine.
(I love how the Universe works!)
She wanted to know if I’d be open to dog-sitting her lovely dog. But not in my home, in hers. Something I’d never considered doing before.
Her condo was downtown. By the sea. In one of my favourite Vancouver neighbourhoods.
Ah ha! Adventure had just come knocking!
And my body replied with a “HELL YES!”
Woke. Me. Up!
It helped me remember things I truly value (and was craving):
- being near the sea
- living in a vibrant community
- moving my body every day
Ever since then I’ve been dog-sitting in different neighbourhoods around the city.
Whenever I feel the need for a new adventure — and some canine love.
(and a little extra cash for my travel fund!)
So what’s this got to do with you?
(It’s NOT because I think YOU should dog-sit! But by all means do…IF it brings you joy!)
Cuz while dog-sitting is my thing, it may not be yours!
And that’s OK! We’re all different.
My point is this…
Do you know what YOUR *thing* is?
Or better yet…
Do you know what brings YOU joy?
And lifts you up? Energizes you? Makes your heart sing?
Maybe your answer right now is: “NO! I have no flippin’ idea!”
Perhaps you’ve been on the hamster wheel of life. Just going, going, going. With no time to check in with yourself.
Or you’ve been so focused on taking care of others, that you’ve lost touch with your own needs.
Here are 4 simple steps to help you find more joy in life:
1. Experiment and explore. Try new things, big or small, it doesn’t matter. The point here is to mix things up and go down new paths.
2. Pay attention to how your body and spirit responds when you try new things. Be a detective. And notice how you feel.
3. Make two lists: 1) Bliss (feel good) and 2) Non-bliss (feel bad). Start recording which things (or parts of them) go on which list.
4. Use your lists to guide you forward, towards more joy. Do more of what makes you feel good. And less of what doesn’t. Simple as that. (really it is!)
Bonus: Be kind to yourself along the way. As you try new things, give yourself permission to feel whatever you feel, without judgement. Cuz it’s all a learning process!
As for me and my dog-sitting adventures (with Barney, etc), I’m taking my own advice. I’ve got my bliss vs non-bliss lists. And I’m continuing to use them.
To navigate my way forward, and find more joy. Every day.
By adding a little more of *this*! (aka neighbourhoods near the sea)
And a little less of *that*! (dog walking in the cold winter months when I’d rather be inside!)
Cuz it’s my life, and I get to choose! And so do YOU!
So my friend, here’s to choosing your own unique path in life…towards more joy!
P.S. To learn more about how to find more joy in life, get on the waitlist for my new course Finding Joy After 50: A 5-Day Mini-Course to Reclaim Your Happiness & Create a Life You Love. Launching in Jan/Feb 2024.