Finding your joy again

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”
― Roald Dahl

pure joy....if only one could recapture this type joy again - Childhood  Memories / Childhood Happiness: Photo Session Ide… | Happy kids, Funny kids,  Children images
Photo taken off Pinterest

“Believe in Your Heart

Believe in your heart that you’re meant to live a life full of passion, purpose, magic and miracles.”
― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

When you were a child, from the earliest that you can remember, what did you say you wanted to be when you grew up?

When you were a child, you understood how to live fully. Staring and admiring at stars filled you with delight, I remember laying on my back in a start-lite night, counting all the stars. Running in a park made you feel alive. And chasing butterflies flooded you with joy. Oh, how I love butterflies.

Then, as you and I grew up, we forgot how to be human. We forgot how to be bold and enthusiastic and loving and wildly alive. Our precious reservoirs of hope faded. Being ordinary became acceptable. The lamp of our creativity, our positivity and our intimacy with our greatness grew dim as we began to worry about fitting in, having more than others and being popular.

Well, here’s what I say: participate not in the world of numbed-out grownups, with its scarcity, apathy and limitation. I’m inviting you to enter a secret reality known only to the true masters, great geniuses and genuine legends of history. And to discover primal powers within you that you never knew were there. You can create magic in your work and personal lives. I sure have. And I’m here to help you do so.

Here are my thoughts:

A Guide for Foster and Pre-Adoptive Parents
Reset your goals

Sometimes tough seasons require you to adjust. You likely don’t need to focus on long term goals that make you who you are, concentrate more on the daily/weekly goals. I have decided that I am going to focus on what I most wanted to accomplish in a particular season and work towards it. By setting short term goals, I find that I am able to take the focus off my circumstances and focus on something else.

Connect. Open up to what is.

“It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tired into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one destiny, affects all indirectly.” Martin Luther King Jr.

Connect deeply. Connect deeply with your body. If you do, you will feel the energy of life stream through it. You might get overwhelmed by gratitude. Gratitude actually could be a whole point in this list by itself. Connect deeply with your feelings, your higher purpose. No words needed there. Connect deeply with friends & family. They are human beings that want to be seen, known and share. Believe in them, for your believe is part of their growth. Connect deeply with nature. Go there. Listen to the wind. Watch leaves move on a plant. For an hour. Do what helps to feel part of a forest, a river, the universe. We are part of nature. Our disconnectedness often hurts in ways we are not aware of. I just feel we are part of a magical story.

Re-ignite your self-belief

In many traditional up-bringings and educational systems we may have it drummed into us from a young age that there is one correct answer to everything and it’s ‘wrong’ to make a mistake. This builds up over the years and can lead to a negative self-belief and negative bias towards ourselves. Children have no idea about these rules. They do not understand judgment in the way adults do. So try throwing away the rule book on ‘you.’ Start with a clean slate. Visualize yourself as you want to be, maybe incorporating some of the great qualities that you liked about yourself when you were younger and bringing them back. This is as good a time as any for a fresh start.

Our souls yearn for magic. Kids love all stories about magic and fairytales. Even as you get older magic and fantasy still have their place in your heart, but it gets easier and easier to forget the “spells” that bring it out. And that’s when attracting magic into your life becomes a fundamental need. Step into the knowing that magic exists for you no matter how old you are, and I guarantee you will begin seeing, feeling, and experiencing the magic again instantly.

Befriend a kid
Follow the sun

If you’ve ever watched the sun rise or set, you know what I’m talking about. I’ve found that it’s a good reminder that no day is guaranteed.

More than that, though, it forces me to hone in on the moment. There have been so many times where I got so caught up in photographing the sunset, that I managed to completely miss it. In a world where we’re practically glued to our smartphones, you have to make a conscious effort to look away from your screen and toward the horizon.

Celebrate your unique gifts

There’s no one else exactly like you in the world, even if you have an identical twin. As part of the exercises above, you likely found your unique gifts. Celebrate them! They make you special. Focus on how they make you feel, rather than the feedback you receive from the external environment. Remember, happiness comes from inside!

Recognize that we’re all our own worst critic! We can be especially cruel and judgmental especially when we see our friends “appear” to be so happy all the time online. Remember, social media is not always reality. It’s often a highlight reel of the happiest moments in life – births, marriages, and life milestones.

Give yourself grace because no one can be good at everything (or at least not all at once or overnight.) Face the reality of constraints related to time, money, or job/family responsibilities.

Start saying no to things that detract from your ability to leverage your special offerings to the world. Do you find yourself spending a lot of time doing things you don’t like that someone else could or should be doing? Do you need to be in every single one of those meetings at work, even when your attendance is optional?

If you spend a few minutes each day noticing things you do not need to be doing or could be done more efficiently or less frequently, you will begin to identify ways to increase the amount of time you have to do the things that make you unique.

Be present. Have you ever watched a child so immersed in their current activity they have no sense of past or future? If so, you may have also noticed the light shining from their very soul as they bring all of their awareness into the present moment. As adults, we tend to split our attention by worrying about the past or the future while completely missing the magic of the moment. If this is the case for you, it’s time to reconnect with the present moment and take in the amazing experiences right in front of you.

Love, Love, Love…and Forgive.

This one is closely tied to the previous but important to single out when it comes to romantic relationships. Remember before you had baggage (think back to your first crush) and love was promising & exciting. You did silly things like leave notes in their desk or dedicate them a song on the radio. Fear of rejection, following the “rules” and bitterness didn’t play as big of a role. What if we loved this way again? I struggle the most with this one. If you’re like me, you invest less of yourself with each new start (or even within an existing relationship) out of fear of getting hurt…yet again. Let’s give love the keys to our car instead of fear. If I remember correctly…it always led to a better destination. Also, kids forgive so easily. You get in a fight and it’s over by the time school is out for the day. Let the small stuff go! And if you do get in a tiff, try baking your partner their favorite homemade good or write them a handwritten note and hide it somewhere for them to find. Don’t worry about how silly it seems. Don’t worry about who has the power. Just LOVE BIG!

Meditation: Clearing the mind, connecting with a You that is beyond your thoughts. Being quiet with just yourself and your breath! Is there anything more magical? Be warned, meditation will give you access to a world beyond this one!

Beat the feeling of shame

We’re constantly bombarded with messages that tell us we need to look, act, or be a certain way in order to be happy and successful.

All of these false promises given to us each day are what causes us to portray ourselves in a way we think others want us to be so that we can fit in. The sad part is that many of us do find ways to fit in, but we never actually feel like we belong.

When we don’t feel loved and understood for who we truly are, there is no way we can ever be happy. The reason we are often reluctant to be our most authentic selves is because of shame.

At some point in your life, you will run into shame and it will make you feel like there is something wrong with you. Whether it was getting teased at school, not meeting up to your parents’ expectations, or being harshly judged by a peer, shame makes you hide your true self and wear a mask to show someone else.

Look for miracles. Miracles, both large and small are happening around you every single day. Unfortunately, most people tend to overlook or ignore them altogether. Want more magic in your life? Look for it! Recognize the magic, miracles, and blessings that surround you and you can be sure that by doing so, they will multiply tenfold.

Joy can come when we trust the Lord

PSALM 40:4, Oh, the joys of those who trust the Lord… (NLT)

Placing our trust in God brings joy. We have a God who loves us more than can we imagine, a God who is more powerful than we can comprehend, and who has promised to help us if we put our trust in Him. Settle it in your heart God wants to help you!

“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.”
― J. M. Barrie, Peter Pan

“Hope can be a powerful force. Maybe there’s no actual magic in it, but when you know what you hope for most and hold it like a light within you, you can make things happen, almost like magic.”
― Laini Taylor, Daughter of Smoke & Bone

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