Sometimes I believe that folks live in a scene much like the picture beside this. They let someone else paint the picture of what their lives are to be. As children it is expected that our knowledge of what is best for us may not be experienced enough to choose wisely. After all, at three I would have thought Lucky Charms, Pop tarts and vegetable beef soup were the three preferred food groups, but at adulthood I have a different perspective.(not much different but I’ve traded in Pop-tarts for Good Earth’s Cheesecake and Lucky Charms for grilled halibut Do you know what you wish for your daily life to look like? Do you know what the feel, flow, look, smell, community of your daily world would be if you had it the way you could manage it the happiest?
It’s worth taking time to think about.
In the last twelve months I’ve worked on a writing piece called the Discipline of Peace. It has challenged me to explore just what I think and why. How I choose to experience the daily world around me and the way I plan for outcomes of each day and the future. As Brene’ Brown would encourage, you cannot ignore any part of your emotions. As a country girl, I understood the value of diligence and hard work, effort, and toil. However somehow in my own “what’s best for me” thinking toil, self discipline, and effort were highly valued. Play, joy, delight were nice, but not really part of the planning process for daily outcomes.
Without the parts of living that encourage peace through joy, delight, provision of enough in all its phases, there are fewer outcomes worth doing.
Too often smart folks are being just plain dumb about taking care of their own life experiences, or more often, turning off their own needs to supposedly create more focus on outcomes of things other than their own daily life. Have you drawn water from a dry well lately? It’s not terribly effective. As a child I knew that to draw water from the well, the best solution was prime the pump then share the water. Have you been living a life of work effort without priming the your own life needs pump?
Guilty as charged.
This past year as I intentionally sought to add delight into my daily existence to add peace at a different level in my living I found a few interesting experiences along the way. God had been whispering to me “Delight in my provision….” for several months in my quiet reflection times and that said, I began to look for it…the delight. I am aesthetically driven, so often delight is in something visual, or a texture or pattern I enjoy, or a sound that brings energy. Here are a few of the delights I found when I stopped to realize they could be in my life many days a year:
A pair of birds regularly play outside my office window, I began to plan my breaks from writing to enjoy coffee when they came each early morning in the spring.
I gave away all pens/pencils/writing tools that were not enjoyable to work with. I write by hand as well on the keyboard hours per day five days a week, I delight in some tools, others were literally painful to use. One day I went and bought 24 of my favorite tool in colors I love to use. What a daily joy for many months.
I love fountains and I have made a habit of having pictures with VIP’s of my heart IN the fountains at the end of shoots, projects, and fun times together. It is a delight to do the unexpected and doing it more often has created amazing experiences and memories.
I really stopped and thought about what would make my office environment work more pleasantly for my time spent there. After I identified what was needed it was as though the order list went viral. The things needed simply became available. A desk from a friend that was more in line with my desk usage, wall art that draws me in and energizes my peace, even curtains that blocked the brightest part of the day. All within days of truly taking time to identify what is needed to make each day better.
Each day I looked for five things that delighted me throughout the day. It was hard at first, simply because I hadn’t formerly thought that delight was a part of a normal day. My gratitude index for “delight” was low and without value for it I rarely noticed or looked for it. It was there all along, I simply didn’t have it on my radar.
I’d like to say the change was about slowing down, making the tranquil scene of a life lived well. ..but I’m more a hot mess of happening. Multiple teenagers who call me mom, a husband who travels to third world countries, six dogs who go with the children, a career that I love that may take me to a shooting in Nashville one day and New York to work on a book with another client another day and back to softball parent’s night another. Learning to instill peace in my busy life is simply about learning to beat peace internally whatever the situation. I understand that my life is not going to be slow, still, or often terribly orderly, but I can paint my life in peace through taking care of my own needs, creating boundaries and margins, so I can fully support others needs. That is the life I choose to paint into my scene of living…and on the difficult days, the canvas may need to be covered and began again, but if it is my masterpiece that is part of the process. This is your life, your masterpiece, you have permission to paint it whatever way works for you!
What delights you? When does it happen? What is something you do for yourself daily that delights you?