Ode to Joy

In last week’s blog I shared with you about how health and happiness has been somewhat of a struggle for me through life. Last week I covered the health part and this week I want to share the happiness part.

I don’t want to be dramatic….although you’re already learned from my previous blogs that I can be.  I can’t say that I’ve been “unhappy” throughout my life.

I think content would be the best adjective.

Yet I yearned for zest. For that laugh so hard until you pee your pants, unadulterated joy. Daily.

What you yearn for, the universe eventually provides.

I went out on a limb and decided to do this crazy health coaching program at Institute of Integrative Nutrition. I’ve always been a very science based, type A, inside the box kind of person. Their curriculum boasted all of the nutritional facts, studies, diets, and clinical education that I was seeking to learn more about after my research during my husband’s health journey. They also took an “Integrative” approach which I thought was “cute.”

When I started the program they sent me this “cute” little daily journal. Each day you had to fill out your feelings, intentions, intuitions, goals, self care tasks, what you ate/drank, and

(drum roll please)

Fun, relaxation, and adventure for today: Blank Blank Blank

The first few days I thought it was “cute.” Didn’t fill it out.

In a few weeks I deduced that area to fill out was for someone who “wasn’t working full time and going to school.” Still didn’t fill it out.

More weeks went by.

What I once thought was “cute” was now really pissing me off.

I wanted to fill out that stupid blank.

I once watched a video that (and I’m sorry that I can not quote this source as I didn’t write it down in the first place) explained that when we die, we have to answer to 4 questions.

  1. Did I accomplish what I came here to accomplish?
  2. Did I live open and spiritually?
  3. Did I love myself and others unconditionally?

And here’s the kicker:

4. Did I make myself happy while I was here?

“What would bring me joy? What activities do I enjoy doing?” I asked myself. It upset me even more that I really couldn’t answer these questions.

It also boggled my mind that it was MY job to make me happy. Wasn’t buying something supposed to make me happy? Wasn’t it somebody else’s job to make me happy?

No. It was my responsibility.

The first thing that I did was sat down and made a list of things that I thought I would enjoy. Every week I picked one thing and made time in my schedule to do it.

It took time. It took effort. It took commitment. It took money sometimes.

But it took my health and happiness to a whole new level.

It made me feel better than any smoothie or helping of broccoli ever could.

Health is more than just diet and exercise. It is a beautiful balance of several areas.

This is The Circle of Life Activity that I include in my Integrative Health Coaching Program. It includes spirituality, creativity, finances, career, education, health, physical activity, home cooking, home environment, relationships, social life, and last but not least, joy. Clients rate themselves in each area to see what area is out of balance for them. It’s interesting too that once they balance one area usually other areas balance out quickly.

Do you have enough joy in your life? If you had to write down something that you did today that was fun, relaxing, and adventurous would you have anything to put in there? Or just a question mark?

#healthismorethandietandexercise #InstituteofIntegrativeNutrition #IntegrativeHealthCoachingProgram #joy

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