One of my challenges this summer has been physical. For many weeks I’ve been dealing with sinus issues leaving me feeling yuck, plugged-up, stuffed-up, headache-y, and also triggering times of vertigo (an off-and-on thing for several years when I’ve had sinus problems). I’ll be the first to admit I don’t handle physical problems as well as I should.
When I don’t feel well physically, it can impact my mood. And it can try my patience.
I’ve had days of feeling frustrated this summer… frustrated about feeling so bad, frustrated about not being able to take nightly walks with my husband, frustrated about not being able to do all the things I’d hoped to do.
Also frustrated because for so many months this year I was physically dealing with the effects of my fall in January. Actually, the physical impacts are still with me to an extent, but for several months I was severely limited with what my right hand could do (and I’m right-handed, so it was a challenge!). And then came the sinus problems and the sometimes-vertigo.
My decision to consciously connect more with joy – to do, as much as possible, only things which truly light me up inside – well, I made that decision before all the sinus stuff flared up this summer.
But the health challenges led me to re-commit to it.
Feeling bad physically is a big part of what led to my decision to do this personal blog challenge.
In the past couple of months or so, I’ve noticed something important.
I’m becoming more aware of joy.
I’m becoming more conscious of when it’s present, even as a very underlying feeling, even when I’m not otherwise feeling well or even feeling happy about what’s happening.
I find myself checking in at night: Did I connect with joy today?
Did I do something to make my heart sing?
Did I do something that made me feel alive?
If I needed extra self-care, something to help me feel a sense of ahhhh inside, a sense of more spaciousness and ease… did I do it?
In the mornings, I find myself asking: How can I connect with joy today?
Sometimes I know the answer right away. Sometimes I don’t.
(and I really don’t believe joy is something we can chase… that’s not what I’m talking about here)
I’m talking about being more aware.
Because you want to know a secret?
Sometimes I’ve been surprised to realize I don’t feel joyful – surprised by this especially when doing something I love, or thought I did, or at least I used to love.
(which has led to some soul-searching about those things…)
Sometimes I’ve been surprised to find, even in the midst of feeling otherwise lousy, even when I didn’t realize I felt joy, I am connected to joy after all.
And when that happens, it can shift my attitude in an instant.
Awareness – and joy – can be magic like that.