“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh
When I lived in Santa Monica a few years back, I developed a friendship with a woman I learned a lot from. She was a yogini, writer, and actress.
One day she asked if I wanted to take a ride to her dentist’s office with her. She said it was fifteen minutes away but would take forty-five minutes to get there. Noticing the difference in the times, I asked the obvious question.
“Oh,” she said, “I always take the scenic route.”
Abraham Hicks said, “Reduce your workload by 30 percent and increase your fun load by 30 percent and you will increase your revenues by 100 percent. And you will increase your productivity by 10,000 percent (If there could be such a percentage). More fun, less struggle—more results on all fronts.”
My friend did this well. She always opted for the scenic route. It didn’t matter where we were going; she found a way to make it magical and fun.
Whether it was a meet-up for Banana Creme Pie at Babalu’s on Montana or an outing with our notebooks on the beach in Malibu, our lives were special today, no matter where we were hoping to get to tomorrow.
We think that it’s not until we get “there” that we can begin to enjoy what we have, but the basic premise of law of attraction is that what we focus on grows. So, wouldn’t we want to enhance that part of our life that we really want?
The only reason we want anything in our lives—more money, more freedom, more love, more friendships— is that we think we’ll experience more joy if we have those things. So, why not make the choice to experience more joy now?
I invite you to ask yourself this question: How can I bring more magic in my life today so that I can look forward to even more tomorrow?
This doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Just this morning I took a drive out to the most beautiful enclave of wildflowers and redwoods and on a wooded deck rolled out my yoga mat and did my own yoga practice.
Birds were flying above head, skies were blue, wind was rustling through the leaves of the tree nearby, and the sun was shining down blessing the day. Cost: a gallon tank of gas at $2.97. Joy factor: High.
If you’re not sure what will increase your joy factor, I have a few suggestions:
1. Decide this week to take a field trip somewhere that makes your heart sing.
It could be the ocean, an art opening, a museum, a road trip, karaoke night, a concert, an amusement park, a fine restaurant, a new yoga studio, an observatory, a trapeze class, a pottery studio. Book the date on your calendar. Make it something that you will look forward to.
2. Have a joy party.
Don’t know what that is? Good. (I don’t either). Make it up. Decide the rules for it. Everyone has to bring at least one ____________. Everyone has to share ____________. Everyone has to participate in ______________. Plan it out. Make it a potluck. Have fun with it.
3. On a budget? Take a book and go and enjoy a local park or lake or ocean.
Take a blanket and pack a picnic. Enjoy your afternoon.
4. On a deadline? Find out where they have WiFi and enjoy a cup of tea while you’re working.
If they have outdoor seating, all the better. Pick a location that makes you feel like you’re on vacation.
5. Belong to a local gym? Go experience their sauna.
Go relax your muscles, sit in the Jacuzzi, or steam sauna. Enjoy your membership.
6. Have a dog? Need some exercise? Do a search online of local park trails.
Try one you haven’t been on before. Bring water. Explore.
7. Live by a lake or a river? Find out what it costs to rent a canoe or a paddle boat.
Pack a picnic lunch and take a friend. Row your boat. Get a suntan.
8. Like to drive? Go explore the next town over.
Discover their downtown area. See what the local artists there are up to.
I was looking through a local paper and found this place called City of 10,000 Buddhas. I looked it up on the map and found out it was just over an hour away.
I drove up with my digital camera to see what it was all about and discovered that there was a whole city of practicing Buddhists there (as well as 10,000 Buddha), complete with their own elementary and high school for both boys and girls and their own vegetarian restaurant.
Their street signs read of Buddhist values such as “Compassion Way” and “Mindfulness Ave.” I took pictures and created an art piece out of it. It was one of my most fabulous road trips that I discovered simply by following a lead in a local paper.
In other words, when you set the intention to discover your joy, you never know what you are going to discover along the way. But isn’t that the beauty of it all? To find out?
Find out. Increase your fun load by 30 percent. Take the scenic route to your next destination toward success. Accelerate your joy factor and make every ordinary experience Extra-Ordinary by pumping some magic into it.
Get creative. Decide what that looks like for you. It can be more adventure, or more peace, more play, or more creativity. The main thing, though, is it needs to surprise and delight you.
Write your own prescription for increased joy and follow it!
Photo here kilgarron