Joy. Creativity. Peace. What do you feel when you read those words? What type of response to they elicit in you?
Aren't they beautiful gifts of life? Especially the relief of feeling joy after sadness... finding creativity through stagnation... and feeling at peace post chaos.
However, feeling joyless, forgoing our creativity, and never finding peace is a recipe for slowly inviting disease into our lives as we age.
Have you met an amazing cancer survivor who has lived years past the doctor's prognosis with either natural or conventional treatment? The type of person that inspires us simply through the way they live their life? They overcame because of their mindset. They survived because of their strong spirit. They lived because they know joy, creativity, and peace.
How we lose touch with joy, creativity, and peace
In our modern world it's so easy to get wrapped in our daily routine of traveling here and there, getting this or that marked off the to-do list, and the constant thinking our minds do.
This is not the mindset and actions that help us feel better in chronic illness. This is not the mindset or actions that help us live healthy and purposeful lives.
Eventually, we don't make time for the activity that brought us joy, such as taking time for physical activity or playing with our kids or nieces and nephews. We don't find the time to meet with the friends that bring us joy through laughter and connection. Maybe anxiety or depression has taken over and joy is a distant memory.
As our lives grow, we may lose touch with our creative side. Maybe you no longer make art, write, or play with food and new recipes. The mindset of completing tasks takes over.
Lastly, we don't take a peaceful moment for ourselves. You don't go for a run alone anymore. You don't take time out on your meditation cushion. Or, perhaps you don't know how to have inner peace when chaos is all around you.
I have, at one time or another, lost each one of these jewels of life. I also found ways to bring each of them back into my life and bounced back.
How to reconnect with joy
I'm no expert in joy, that's for certain.
But, there has always been ONE thing that brings me joy no matter what.
Playing, snuggling, and going on an adventure with our pets is probably the most cathartic therapy there is.
Make time for that activity, person or hobby that makes you smile, that brings you gratitude, or that centers you.
For me, this is hiking with my dogs and my husband. Not just the physical activity or the sense of adventure, but seeing the joy it brings my dogs is enough to fill me with complete joy.
When do you remember feeling the most joy?
how to reconnect with creativity
We're creative as kids. We drew and painted. And we enjoyed it... even if we were terrible at it!
I remember I had a huge rubber stamp collection along with fancy gadgets and I made individualized greeting cards for Christmas and birthdays to give to friends and family. At some point in high school, I gave this up because it no longer was a priority. I gave in to the "save time" mindset and bought cards for special occasions.
I lost touch with creativity for a long time as an adult. Mostly, when I was busy running our gym and too exhausted for anything outside of work.
I found it again as I learned to love to cook and create in the kitchen. I had forgotten the feeling of losing time when working on a creative project. You know, the "I forgot to eat because I was so enthralled in my flow" type of activity.
Being in that state of "flow" is important for healing our body, mind, and spirit. Our parasympathetic nervous system takes over and this is where we heal. Not only that, but when we're creative, we're in touch with our higher selves. This is grounding, centering, and a spiritual experience.
how to reconnect with peace
It doesn't matter what has robbed you of your inner peace; you have the ability and the right as a human being, to feel inner peace.
Being at peace requires being okay with what is. Being okay with what you can not control. Accepting the situation as it is, not what once was or what could have been.
This goes for accepting ourselves as we are now, not what we were or what we could have been.
It's those thoughts that prevent us from feeling the freedom of inner peace.
A calm mind that isn't thinking about the next thing we have to do. Or, thinking about what we should have done or said in an awkward situation or conflict.
We won't always have a calm mind at peace, but we can find it whenever we want to do so. It's always there because our higher self, outside of our "ego" or "monkey mind", is always there. We just have to connect with it.
Something higher than yourself, such as God, the Universe, or Mother Earth can help remind us what peace feels like.
Reclaiming our joy, rediscovering our creativity, and finding our inner peace are just a few ways to bring ourselves closer to vibrant mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health.
What can you do today to bring you close to joy, your creativity, or inner peace?
To your health and healing,