Cultivate Deep Joy
happiness is your right, make it your practice
Have you ever felt like you should be doing something else with your life? Maybe you have that uncomfortable feeling that your soul has a purpose, and you are not aligned with it. For me, the most suffering came from not knowing what I was supposed to be doing. In her poem, The Summer Day, Mary Oliver asks us, “what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” At times I wanted to scream, “I don’t know what the fuck I am supposed to be doing! Help me. Someone just tell me.” I was waiting for a sign. In his book The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho talks of learning to read “the language of the world,” and I wanted so badly to understand what the world wanted me to do with this life. This is particularly relevant for the well-educated individual who has access to many possibilities. I had fears of committing to one path, afraid it meant closing doors on all the other potentials.
I thought my calling was to be a classroom teacher. I love working with kids, developing curriculum, and creating a classroom culture. I am good at this work. I adore this work, but it was slowly hurting me. I would become depressed, overwhelmed by caring for ‘my kids,’ anxious about assessments, and stressed out by long hours. Over the summer I would recoup and then repeat a slow decline into depression, anxiety, and exhaustion. Mindful Homemaking was born out of a need to find ways to cope with this work that I love.
Are you struggling with Work-Life Balance? Check out the following articles:
- Integrate What Makes You Happy Into a Weekly Rhythm
Want to know your life's purpose, look at what you love.
But, in the process of trying to survive my work I discovered there was something else tugging at my soul. There always was, I just didn’t know how to listen. After my first two years at home with my kids, I fell into a sad and dark place of self-doubt. I was lost, not sure of what I was supposed to be doing with my life. I had tried going back to the classroom full time, and felt even more drained than before. I knew there was a dream inside me that wanted to be manifested. It was at this time that I discovered The Passion Test by Janet Bray Attwood, which helped me identify what truly mattered in my life. I also discovered Bullet Journaling and the incredible Community of Bullet Journalers which gave me a method for pursuing my passions. And, I am amazed how this work has changed me. There is something in the daily act of tackling my goals, moving myself closer and closer to an ideal life that I defined, that makes me happy. Because, as I do the work to manifest my dreams, I am training my brain to recognize when I am actually living them, which happens all the time. Each day I see some sign that my passions are threaded through my life, that I am living a purposeful life.
Want to learn more about connecting with your soul’s purpose and bullet journaling? Check out these upcoming articles:
- What is your passion? What I learned from Janet Bray Attwood.
- Living a purposeful life with a Bullet Journal
- How to Create a Five Year Plan for a Whole-Hearted Life
What can we learn about happiness from science?
We live in a time when there is actually research on what makes people happy! And, as I explore ways to deepen my own happiness, I look forward to sharing with you the lessons I learn. I am learning from the work of Brené Brown, The Happiness Research Institute, and The Greater Good Science Center.
Want some research-based tips on cultivating happiness? Check out these upcoming articles:
- How to Use a Gratitude Practice to Live a Joyful Life
- Believing We are Worthy of Connection: How to Spend Time with People
- Buying Happiness for Your Loved Ones: Spend Your Money on Experiences
- Get Hygge With It: How to Cultivate Happiness with Candles and Cakes?