By Briana | November 27th 2013

Choosing wisely

Thanksgiving is tomorrow!  I can’t wait.  I love cookin’ up big meals and spending time with friends and family.  I hope that whatever you are doing, it nourishes you deeply.

I just got back from a family vacation to Mexico. I feel so grateful to have been able to take time in warm weather and ocean water to reconnect, read books, get perspective, and do some writing. (I can’t wait to share my upcoming book with you!)

While I was in Mexico, I kept dreaming up ways to vacation more often, to spend more time scuba diving, and to live part time in a tropical place.  And though these things are all possibilities, and possibilities I’m sure I can make happen with some attention, the real prize is in taking that feeling and having more of it in my daily life.

mexico

We tend to seek peak experiences, indulging in one day, one weekend, one vacation, and then returning to our lives with the feeling that they pale in comparison But, what you do daily makes a bigger impact on your life than what you do once a year.

We spend thousands of dollars and months of planning on our wedding days.  But fancy weddings don’t make a marriage strong.  The day to day communication and commitment of the individuals make a marriage work.

We go on 10 day meditation retreats and feel balanced and peaceful.  Then return to our jobs and families and stop prioritizing the practice that felt so crucial to our happiness just weeks before.

It works in the other direction also.  Thanksgiving dinner, for instance, is a time when I consume more mashed potatoes, gravy, and pie than the winner of an eating contest at a county fair.  But, then I return to my normal routine of eating smaller meals of healthy food the next day.  What we do and feel on special occasions ultimately has little effect on us, compared to what we do day in and day out.

Our routines and emotional habits define our lives, our health, our achievements, and our happiness.  Luckily, we get to choose them. – Tweet it

So what do you choose?

Are you going to choose to infuse your marriage with the love you felt on your wedding day?  Are you going to make a habit of meditation?  Are you going to train your emotional body to experience the feeling of joyfulness daily?

I deliberately curate my routines and habits, and refine them all the time.  Here are some of the ways that I choose to define my days.

  • Exercise.  When I stopped making exercise optional, my mood and body rejoiced.
  • Healthy food.  Though I won’t pass on pie at Thanksgiving, my meals on a day to day basis are balanced and nutritious.
  • Meditation.  Taking the time to center myself helps create the calm for the rest of my day.
  • Visualization.  Letting myself feel my graced future every day feels so good, aligns my intention, and brings my dreams into my present reality.”
  • Family time.  Spending quality time with those closest to me and expressing love and appreciation for them fills my heart.
  • Journaling. This is a habit that has taken years for me to adopt fully, and I am so glad that I have.  I work through so many challenges and evoke so much gratitude through this practice.
  •  Beautifying my surroundings. Fresh flowers, clean house, organized office – these are all ways that I express my appreciation for myself (and my life) daily.
  • Giving. Sharing my gifts with the world and helping others is something that I can’t do without.  It feeds my soul on the deepest possible level.
  • Listening.  Being conscious of my internal dialogue, and changing the story I am telling myself when I catch negativity lightens my day and makes a huge difference in my outlook on life.

These are the most vital habits that I have for creating daily joy in my life.  Sometimes I can’t get them all in – but the intention is always there.  It’s not about perfection, it’s about what you do most days.  And that you do it with a spirit of willing and enthusiastic participation, rather than treating it like a chore that you have to complete in order to get the reward.  Now, I would love to hear from you.  What habits and routines do you have that help you feel amazing?  That make you full of joy?  Scroll down to the comments and share them with me.

I am so thankful for you.

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