Friday, May 27, 2011
Centering Life Around Activities That Bring Me Joy (by Saying No!)
How We Choose to Be Happy, Rick Foster & Greg Hicks studied happy people all around the world and noticed that the people they interviewed all spent time identifying activities that make them happy and then centered their lives around those activities. Since finding the courage to break up with my boyfriend and move out of our shared apartment two weeks ago, I have been taking steps to do just that – to focus my life on activities and pursuits that bring me joy. Some of these activities include Biodanza, meditation, dance, yoga, watching Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice, going to my Awakening Joy class, reading, and studying career development. I am increasingly realizing that they do not include happy hours, wine tastings, bar meetups, watching Mystery Science Theater, “singles” events, and taking doctoral courses just because I think that I “should.” The jury is still out on where bicycling, board games, skiing, and cooking fall into the mix.
Making these kinds of choices is not easy to do because it sometimes requires saying “No” and turning down invitations from other people – something that I am not ordinarily very good at. I tend to be a “go with the flow” kind of person and will generally say yes and try to enjoy just about any activity – especially if the person inviting me is determined and really prods me to do so. I agree that compromise is an important quality and a necessary component of every relationship, but I think that I have underdeveloped my discretion over the years, and I think it will be crucial for me to tap into my intuition and improve at voicing my truth(s) in order to successfully move into the next phase of my life – simply going with the flow is not by itself going to get me where I want to go.