Let Joy and Ease Be Your Guide
When it comes to navigating the ups and downs of life, it can be easy to get caught up in stress and worry. But what if there was a way to approach things with a sense of joy and ease?
My resolution, wish, and hope for 2023 is to let "joy and ease" guide me. This mantra can be a powerful tool for living a more fulfilling and happier life.
First and foremost, it's essential to understand that joy and ease are not the same as happiness. Happiness can be fleeting and dependent on external circumstances, but joy and ease are more about a state of being that can be accessed at any time. By letting joy and ease be my guide, I am choosing to focus on the present moment and to find contentment in my current situation through gratitude for what is rather than constantly striving for what could be.
I decided to come up with five proactive ways to let joy and ease be my guide this year:
Practice gratitude: One of the best ways to cultivate joy and ease is to focus on what you are grateful for. I plan to take a few minutes each day to reflect on the things that bring me joy and appreciation. You, too, can keep a gratitude journal or share your grateful thoughts with friends and family.
Let go of expectations: Expectations can be a significant source of stress and disappointment. By letting go of expectations, we can release the pressure to strive for more constantly and instead find contentment in accepting things as they are. I don't mean we should not be ambitious or do our best work, but setting expectations for how things “should be" can lead to disappointment. I plan to be open to all possibilities.
Engage in activities that bring me joy: Whether it's a hobby, a sport, or a creative pursuit, I plan to make time for activities that bring me joy, even if previously I thought they were a waste of time. Such actions can remind us of what truly matters and help us find a sense of ease. I’ve been trying my hand at painting with watercolors and exploring astrology which is a lot of fun.
Connect with others: Social connections are important for our overall well-being. The Covid years certainly proved that. Making time to reconnect with friends and family is my priority this year. I am calling it "webbing a web." I plan to actively seek opportunities to connect with others who share my interests and passions.
Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness is present in our lives instead of being on autopilot. By practicing mindfulness, we can become more aware of our feelings and catch ourselves before engaging in behaviors or thoughts that no longer serve us.
By focusing on the present moment, letting go of expectations, engaging in activities that bring me joy, connecting with others, and practicing mindfulness, I plan to cultivate a sense of contentment and well-being actively. Remember that joy and ease is not something you have to chase. There is a big difference between searching and finding. This year I hope to find peace, joy, and comfort by being true to myself instead of searching for them outside myself.
I wish the same for you. Happy New Year, everyone.