With all our responsibilities and obligations, it is sometimes easy to forget the many sources of joy in our lives. Thinking about living simply has helped me put these sources of joy (both current and potential) into perspective.
I know that I have many goals and things I would like to accomplish in my life. But that doesn't really distinguish tasks of obligation and personal responsibility from those that really inspire true joy from the core of my being. To clarify this I've recently stopped and asked myself,
What are my favorite things to do?
Focusing my full attention on this question, I let the answers come naturally. Here they are, in no particular order.
I love to . . .
Take walks outdoors
Spend time with my husband
Listen and dance to music
Learn new things
This list, in all its simplicity, is different from other (albeit helpful) lists I have made in the past focusing on career goals, etc. This list is not about expectations, but simply to highlight what activities help me cultivate the most joy in my daily life.
Since identifying these activities, I have realized how essential it is to make time for them, everyday. As long as they are wholesome and do not harm others, mindfully engaging in cherished hobbies is not selfish. In fact, cultivating joy in oneself is key to sharing joy and inspiration with others. As human beings with real responsibilities and even burdens, we find it necessary to make time for tasks that require our attention. But by also making time for the simple pleasures we really enjoy we stay inspired, happy, and willing to share that happiness with those around us.
May all beings be happy!
"Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared." ~ Buddha
What activities give you the most meaningful sense of joy in your life? Would making more time for them allow you to cultivate a greater personal sense of joy and well-being? If you felt more joyful in your daily life, do you think it would benefit others?