Wellness Wednesday

November 14th, 2007

As I was pondering what to write about for Wellness Wednesday earlier this week, I remembered a list I created recently of things that make me truly happy.  Then yesterday, Jessie wrote a great post about figuring out what she wanted  for her life by examining what brings her satisfaction and I decided I wanted to focus in on this. As silly as it sounds, I think sometimes we forget what makes us happy. It's different for everyone and at times it gets easy to get into a routine that is more about the status quo and less about who we are and what we love. I guess, I just figured that I would automatically include those things I love in my everyday life, but it's not always that simple. Sometimes, you need to consciously think about what brings you joy and then make the effort to include those things in your day to day life. Sure, not everything you love may fit into one day, but making room for joys small and large is a surefire way to bring more happiness into your life.

Just thinking about it isn't always enough. As with many things, I recommend writing it down. But you could also make a collage about it with images that represent what makes you happy or write a poem or a song about it. Just get it out of your head. Something about putting it out there is magical. I like lists, so I tend to write these things down. So I'll write: What brings me joy? And then start to list things such as: cats and kittens, snuggling, hearing my cats purr, laughing with the hubster, laughing in general, beautiful sunsets, crossing things off my to-do list, making art, inspiring others, making babies smile, hot chocolate on a cold night, soft fleece against my skin, the smell of aveda shampure, little boxes, birds, traveling to new places, libraries, reading, and so on and so forth.

Making a list like this is enough to make you smile, but then go back to it and look closer. How many of these things are in your day to day life now? And how can you infuse more of these joyful things into your life? Sure I may not be able to travel to new places everyday, but I can include more art-making or make a point to see the sunset this week or play with my collection of small boxes or make a point of going to the library for a half hour and I could even make a plan to visit a new city and put up some pictures of the places I'd like to visit to inspire me.

I surprise myself sometimes with how sometimes what brings me the most joy isn't the most easy thing in the world. It takes effort to take out those art supplies and then clean up the mess afterwards, I have to push myself to get out for some exercise, and this cleaning and purging thing going on in my office is a LOT of work! But the joy at the end, the satisfaction, the way I feel during and after I get past that point of stuck-ness is so very worth it. I guess that's why it's important to remind ourselves now and again why we need to push ourselves a little bit...because the joy on the other side is wondrous and we deserve that. And as a bonus, that joy tends to radiate to those who come into contact with us too, causing a ripple effect of joy that knows no bounds.

Back with art later tonight. I'm so excited for Project Runway tonight! Wee! And a big thanks to all you AEDM-ers  out there for all the wonderful support and inspiration. I can't get around to everyone every day, but I do check in on all of you and I'm so inspired by your creations, your energy, and your experiences. And that fills me up.

6 Responses

Thank you for sharing this and reminding me that even though we identify our joys we often don’t allow ourselves to make them a regular part of our days. As silly as it sounds it takes courage to do this. I find it is my natural pattern to not be so genuinely nice to ourselves.
Hope all is well.

I concur! I’m an avid list-maker myself, so I definitely appreciate the power of writing stuff down. Oh, and the effort–that was one thing that was keeping me from my art–not wanting to take out all of the stuff and put it back. I finally created a small space just for that stuff, so that it’s not as difficult. Thanks for the encouraging post. :)

I make lists too and love hot cocoa on a cold day. Mmmm….

This is such a great idea. Another awesome thing about listing the things you love is that it gives good material for art projects. Getting to know the things you love in an artistic way, through close study, is a very fullfilling way to form deep connections with those things.

Thanks for the reminder!


p.s. Another thing I love is visiting your blog.

Hi Leah,
Just wanted to alert you & your many fans & friends that there is a “Pay It Forward” project happening in art blogland. I saw it on Tracy’s blog a few days ago (http://worksbytracy.blogspot.com). She pledged to give a handmade gift (a painting in her case) to the first 3 people to comment on her blog and to request to be included. I missed out on her work, but managed to be the first to comment on Mary Ann’s blog(http://orionwhitedog.blogspot.com) Check it out!

I wrote a Wellness Wednesday today too! Yay!

You are so right about this… it is SO easy to forget what makes us happy and – for me anyway – even harder to actually incorporate them into life. I’ve gotten so wrapped up in being online and watching TV that I don’t even realize anymore the simple things, the creative things, the passionate things that make me happy.

That is pitiful.

Your post tonight has really given me something to think about. I might just make that list tomorrow… maybe even on my blog and link back to you yet again!

You are my inspiration!


Karen Beth :)

Thank you for this sweetie. I am going to make my list right now. I can relate to your thoughts and experiences you’ve written about regarding depression how yours correlates with the cold and dark weather. I’m very open about talking about my own experiences. I recently (2 months ago) came off of my medication and actively started doing things that make me happy. I’m not the best artist.. but I invested in some paints and supplies.. creating things and painting has brought huge joy to my life. I try to capture an image as best as I can and the end result always leaves me with a feeling of happiness and accomplishment. You may not know what a huge inspiration you have been to be regarding my art…and how thankful I am for your encouragement and tips. Love to you my dear. xo

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