Life’s Short: Choose Joy
Have you ever had days – or weeks – or months – where things feel overwhelming? Bills are piling up, people aren’t returning your calls, and it seems like you’ve done all that you can do, but still things aren’t happening the way you’d like them to?
Do you ever just want to call a time out and say, “This is not what I signed up for?!”
If only you could control other people things might be closer to perfect – if by some magic mind trick you could make the client call and green light their project, turn your kids into perfect angels, or suddenly manifest a spouse who remembered to pick up the laundry and take out the trash.
Unfortunately, that kind of power is really just a fantasy, or at best, an illusion. The only things we ever really get to control are our own thoughts and actions. But the good news is, we still have a lot of say in how we go through life and experience the world.
Most people have something going on that is causing them stress – a money issue, a health concern, a troublesome relationship or some other matter. What’s interesting is that sometimes the smallest shift in our own perception of the situation can actually make the biggest difference.
Everyone and everything is constantly emitting energy. Have you ever met someone and immediately liked them – or had the opposite reaction? The way that you feel about the person is, in those first moments, your instinctual reaction to their energy and non-verbal cues. When you start to realize that this is true, and learn to change your own energy, you quickly see how you can use this to your advantage.
And it goes beyond just being the popular kid in the room to something way more ethereal.
A few months ago in my small business I was experiencing what we affectionately call a cash flow crisis. It seemed like everything was blocked in the way that water from a garden hose gets stuck when there is a kink somewhere before the nozzle. Checks I was waiting for were nowhere to be seen, despite all of my follow up, and bills were piling up on my desk. Every day I’d come into the office, look at the bills, and immediately start to feel anxious and tense. Then, when I didn’t see an ACH deposit in my bank, or a check in the mailbox, the anxiety would increase.
I was so tense I was not in the right state of mind to talk to new clients or grow my business and the whole thing turned into a vicious cycle. Because I’d taken every action I could think of around this problem I decided it was time to try something different.
So one morning as I was lying in bed and thinking about the day ahead I made a conscious decision to just be full of joy and gratitude. I promised myself that for that one day I would forget about the invoices and the bills. I would just focus on being happy and curious and working on moving my business forward.
When I came into the office I announced it. “Today I choose to be joyful.”
I got some strange looks, but that one decision made all the difference, as the floodgates of energy flow burst right open. Not only was I more relaxed and nicer to be around, but I was noticing the world in a whole new way. I started to see the beauty again in the sun and the trees. I noticed details that had escaped me for weeks when I was focused only on my problems. And I was able to bring this energy to conclude several successful talks with both new and existing clients.
That particular day several unusual things happened. First, someone we had never worked with before walked in off the street and hired us to do a job. For us acquiring clients usually takes months and some serious relationship building. Because we don’t rely on walk-in customers we are also not on any main thoroughfare, so for him to just show up and hire us was definitely out of the ordinary.
That same “joyful” day, we also got “random” calls from three separate people, asking us to collaborate on new projects. Some might call all of this a coincidence, but I don’t buy that. I’ve experimented with this conscious shift of energy time and time again and consistently see positive results when I follow these steps:
- Think about your patterns and identify where you’re experiencing anxiety or stress. If you don’t know, try writing out a list or sit quietly and meditate on this topic until things become clearer. If there are multiple areas, choose one to focus on.
- It’s important to take a two-pronged approach. Take action if you can, to work on your problem (even small steps that you believe will move you towards resolution), then be ready to step back and allow the Universe to work its magic. Don’t worry about controlling every part of the process from problem to solution.
- Set a time frame for yourself where you promise to be conscientiously joyful and stick to it. Whether it’s a day or a week or even a few hours, do not allow anything to interfere with your priority, which is to simply be happy and grateful.
- Take stock of what you experienced during your vacation from stress. Did you have a more enjoyable day? Did you receive any blessings, whether in the form of a friendly smile from a stranger or an unexpected gift or money from a new source?
- Journal, reflect, and if you feel inclined to do so, repeat the process.
Once you experience this shift for yourself, and practice these steps a few times, you’ll quickly be able to identify when the negative thoughts come creeping back in. You’ll also be able to easily flip the switch that will help shift from blocked energy to harnessing the vast power of positivity. Letting more joy in your life is a win-win, so what are you waiting for? Today is a perfect time to choose joy.