Written By: Heather Blanchard
I recently had a friend who forwarded a great blog article titled How To Find The Light & Be A Lightmaker. The article was actually a transcript of an interview with Brene Brown and her activist friend and lawyer Karen Walrond. It was a fantastic article highlighting how to find joy everyday, even when it seems your world or the world around you is in chaos. In this article, Brene states her friend never apologizes for embracing joy and beauty – no matter what is happening in the news or in the world – because joy and beauty are her fuel for activism. It is indeed so hard to find the rainbow in our day to day when we are moving through grief, loss, immense stress over loved ones, health issues or mental challenges. Or when we are depleted due to an overly scheduled life or demanding job. All too often we don’t slow down enough to take gratitude for what we have, or take time to renew our vitality through self-care. But when we intentionally take time to do those two things daily, it can shift everything.
I’m going to quote this beautiful paragraph from one of Brene’s books: “The mark of a wild heart is living out the paradox of love in our lives, it’s the ability to be tough and tender, excited and scared, brave and afraid, all in the same moment. It’s showing up in our vulnerability and our courage, being both fierce and kind. A wild heart can also straddle the tension of staying awake to the struggle in the world and fighting for justice and peace, while also cultivating its own moments of joy.” She goes on to say how so many people who are empathetic to issues normal it can be if you are geared towards empathy to feel guilty about feeling happy in moments of celebration or when creating family memories. But we absolutely shouldn’t as so many of us are committed to ensuring we leave this world a better place, and to helping others. For that reason, it is SO important to find some happy everyday.
Just as the seasons change, the tide flow in and out and there are phases of the moon, we all have phases in our lives that are both challenging and exciting, joyful and heavy. So, we have to shift with those times and find time to regenerate, replenish and be still. In order to do this, Karen says she asks herself at the end of each day, “What is something good that happened today? What is something that I can hang onto?” And, at the beginning of each day, she asks these three key questions:
- How can I feel connected today?
- How can I feel healthy today?
- How can I feel purposeful today?
When you’re energies or your mood are low, or when you’re over scheduled, it may seem impossible to do something healthy or positive. But she points out that it takes so little time or energy, even on the toughest days, to connect with one person, or go outside and commune with nature, to read an article that helps you feel informed of something important or take time to help someone to feel purposeful, or to do something as small as drink more water that day to feel healthy. And, she strongly encourages everyone to journal these questions daily. At the end of the year, you’ll be able to browse through that journal, just like the pictures on your phone, and find how many moments you had to be grateful for.
“A wild heart can beat with gratitude and lean into pure joy without denying the struggle in the world. We hold that tension with the spirit of the wilderness. It’s not always easy or comfortable, sometimes we struggle with the weight of the pull, but what makes it possible is a front made of love and a back built of courage.” – Brene Brown