When my kids were a little older and motherhood no longer consumed me, it became clear to me I’d left the World and all its’ problems to flow around me without my conscious knowledge of them. I had created a happy family bubble full of joy. I loved my bubble world. Then it all changed. My ability to take on the World, while living a life of joy, was about to be tested.
I was pulled out of my bubble by health issues which forced me to look at my diet and lifestyle choices and made me wonder why it seemed so many people around me were suffering from failing health in one way or another.
When I discovered that our food supply was not as healthy or wholesome as I believed, I could not sit right at the injustice of it. I was compelled to take action, so I joined a state level campaign. Though the Citizen’s Initiative failed to pass by a slim margin, the awareness created momentum for the next few years of successful legislation in other states. It felt really good to be a part of something bigger than myself or my family.
I continue to volunteer for causes and movements I believe in, even though it seems there are more injustices and unfairness piling up around me. It could consume me. But, I act on it because I feel like I have no place to complain unless I take action. I also know that I have to put it aside and not let it bleed into or push out that which brings me joy.
Out one night with friends recently, they reminded me that they think of me as ‘MRS. BRIGHTSIDE’ because I always find the bright side of any situation. It’s true. I am an optimist. I find the good in whatever is. There is always an upside. A bright side. Even in the darkest moments. Because that bright side… that is what gives HOPE fuel and JOY the space to exist.
Simple Things You can do to Create Joy in a World of Chaos
- Be present with the things that give you joy when together with family and friends. Find your common beliefs and the things you like to do together, then leave the rest behind. You know the old saying, don’t talk politics or religion to keep the order. So then, sports and weather it is! Or, kids and crafts. Or, whatever….
- Protect the littles from adult world problems, but find the learning opportunities for building character, morals, compassion and empathy. I remember distinctly each of the times I encountered people in need with my children present. Each time was a learning lesson that demonstrated understanding, compassion, and giving. I was surprised when my daughter won an ‘honorable mention’ in a regional poetry contest for a poem she wrote detailing our experience with a homeless man at a train station in Dallas. Got to love when motherhood is rewarded so richly!
- Find the ‘thing’ that brings you center and clears your mind. Whether it be faith, meditation, a passion or hobby, music, exercise, the outdoors, or whatever, it should be that thing that gives you the feeling of contented bliss. Music, walking on the beach, hiking in the hills, and working out are my go-tos!
- Avoid your unhealthy escape and coping behaviors. You know what they are! I know mine… too well. Ha. Which is good, because these are the early warning indicators of something out of order or balance in your world.
- Stop complaining and act to right the injustices and unfairness you see in the World. Act on that which is making your heart most heavy. Do one thing. Do what you can. Do what your talents lend themselves to. Just do. Then, consciously set it aside to make room for joy.
I believe finding and creating joy with friends and family is part of why we are here on this Earth.
Even though the World may seem out of balance or in chaos, I have found my balance and bliss.
And, with a few simple steps you can too!