I love food! When I am not eating, I am thinking about eating. If I did not exercise, I could easily weigh twice the amount I do now. Eating brings me joy. I am a lucky girl - my husband Matt does most of the cooking for us. We are a perfect match, because cooking brings him joy. When I do cook something, I use a recipe so I am assured to get the results I am looking for.
Strategic Optimism is the next ingredient to raise your Joy Factor. It is a strategy; a plan that will make sure that if you want to be optimistic, you will be. Being optimistic is easier said than done. With all of the negativity out there, you have to be confident in your belief that things will turn out well. Are you seeing the world through rose colored glasses or really dark sunglasses?
It begins with choosing to be optimistic. Each day you wake up with a clean slate. You determine what kind of day you are going to have. Life will give you rotten tomatoes at times, yet when you have a plan for your optimism, you have something to fall back on.
Kahlil Gibran says, “Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens to you.”
Choosing joy is a practice. The first time you make a soufflé, it may fall. The second time it will get a little easier. As you continue to practice being optimistic, it will get easier and you will start to reap the benefits of putting your attention on something positive. Which is more appealing to you, thinking about the best thing that can happen or the worst thing that can happen? Try both ways and see which leaves a better taste in your mouth. You can then decide which you want seconds of. Let the tasting begin……
I love desktop fountains. They add such beautiful ambiance to a room. Have you ever been around one of those fountains when they do not have enough water in them? They make the most heinous noise. Liken yourself to one of those fountains. When you are full of what energizes you, it is easy for you to share that energy with others. When your fountain is empty, it is very challenging for you to add something good to your life or others.
The third ingredient to raise your Joy Factor is Self-Care.
What gives you energy? Think of activities that leave you feeling refreshed and alive. Those are some of things you can do to fill your fountain? I know, you don’t have a lot of time these days. Everything and everyone is moving so quickly- where can I squeeze in Self-Care? Try this- in five minutes, you can stretch and breathe, in 20 minutes you can catch up with an old friend and laugh, in 30 minutes you can make and enjoy a healthy lunch.
Using this delightful ingredient starts with pulling it off of the shelf and experimenting with ways that work for you and your family. Could this be the summer of self-care? Take five minutes and imagine what your life would be like with a little self care.
Cheryl Richardson , in her book Extreme Self –Care states…”The practice of extreme Self-Care forces us to make choices and decisions that honor and reflect the true nature of our soul.” She goes on to say, “While the whole notion of this might seem selfish or self centered, doing so actually allows us to make our greatest contribution to the world.”
Living a fulfilling life is a radical act. In the beginning, the act of self care may feel unusual. Yet, just as when you start any new habit, it takes a minute to feel comfortable. Go ahead—do something that feeds your spirit today and enjoy the wonderful impact it makes on your life and others.
Tomorrow’s tasty ingredient- Strategic Optimism. Want some?
One of Coca-Cola’s tag lines, “It’s the real thing”, refers to the original recipe of this popular drink. As we continue to learn about new ingredients to use in your recipe to raise your Joy Factor, I invite you to explore what Authentic Expression is to you. Are you expressing yourself in a way that is in alignment with the real you?
Last week I was watching Ellen - she definitely raises my Joy Factor! One of her guests was Chely Wright. Chely is the first major country artist to come out as gay. Yes, KD Lang came out in 1992, but she had abandoned the country music genre by then. It took courage for her to express herself authentically. By sharing her story, she opens up the door for others to live their authentic life.
It is vulnerable to truly be who you are. There is a lot of external pressure to be like everyone else, or be what other people want you to be. When you live your life with a lack of authenticity, it is not a lot of fun!
You are here to live your best life. Explore what Authentic Expression is for you. Sometimes it is easier to start by looking at what Authentic Expression is not. Once you uncover that that is, you can start making little adjustments towards Authentic Expression. You will soon be living a life that expresses the real you!
I know from experience that this is easier said than done. Worrying about what other people think can get in the way of expressing myself authentically. A wise woman once told me that it is none of my business what other people think. I do my best to remember that advice each and every day.
I know that I am not Coca-Cola, yet my tag line these days is, “what you see is what you get!”
If you had a tag line that spoke to your Authentic Expression, what would it be?
If passions are the breadcrumbs that lead to a fulfilling life, where do you find the breadcrumbs? I am not talking about the ones you find on Aisle 3 at the grocery store. You’ll find these breadcrumbs when you stop long enough to answer the question, “What does living my best life really look like?” When you determine that and start to align your life around your passions, you are using one of the core ingredients to raise your Joy Factor- Connecting To Your Passion.
Passion can be expressed as a feeling of unusual excitement, enthusiasm, or compelling emotion towards a subject, idea, person, or object. When you have a passion for something you have a strong positive affinity for it. It is amazing what happens when you put your attention to the things that are most important in your life.
As a certified facilitator of The Passion Test, I have watched magic happen again and again. One of my clients here in Atlanta took the test in October of 2009. I saw him at a meeting on Tuesday and he told me that since he took the Passion Test his income has doubled. That made my heart sing. Did I mention that The Passion Test is a test that you will never fail?
Imagine what your life will be like when you are clear about what your best life is. As Janet Bray Attwood, co-author of the New York Times bestselling book The Passion Test states, “Clarity is power.” Once you gain clarity on your passions, you can use them as a compass, moving you in the direction that brings you the most fulfillment. Doesn’t that sound delightful?
Tomorrow’s ingredient du jour: Authentic Expression
It is funny where joy shows up in your life. For years I thought that joy and happiness came from things, and when I got those things, I would be happy. Was I mistaken! I do love a cute new pair of shoes; they can make me very happy. And a delightful dinner with my husband-joy! Watching my doggies play and love on each other-blissful. Yet, these moments come and go. Raising your Joy Factor gives you sustainable joy that is there when you wake up without new shoes or a dinner date.
The Joy Factor methodology, the concept of my upcoming book and basis for this site, was created from my life journey of looking for joy outside of myself- can anyone relate? I call this part of my life the sex, drugs and rock and roll journey. My life was amazingly full of success, friends and adventure. Yet, every single night I numbed out with a plethora of substances. I was living a lie-wallowing in shame. This is no place for anyone to be. Once I came clean from my drug addiction, I realized that my experience of being a highly functioning drug addict did not need to go to waste.
Two years into my sobriety, I spoke at a conference in New Orleans. The topic was The Joy Factor. At that time this joy methodology was just a whisper. I had spent many years reading and learning from people that are pioneers in the Happiness Revolution. It was time for me to join the revolution and share this message: Anyone can consciously create the life they desire from experiencing more joy and passion! I changed my life by weaving the four ingredients of The Joy Factor into my daily practices and now it is time to share them with you. These ingredients are ripe and ready to go.
Yes, I did say ingredients. Our life is a big cookbook, filled with recipes that we use each and every day. When you integrate these four ingredients into your recipe, you will raise your Joy Factor. You know what flavor you are looking for, so create your own combination that will enhance your way of being. The four ingredients are being Connection to Your Passion-yum! Authentic Expression-delicious! Self-Care-a daily craving! Strategic Optimism-mmm.
So here we are – the book is almost finished, the blog is launching, events are happening-there is a lot of excitement in the air! I am thrilled and humbled to provide a space for you to remember why you are here—to be joyful. It is time to live your best life and share your gifts with others.
Learn ways to enhance your recipe so your life is scrumptious from me and my Joy Posse. You won’t even have to get your pots dirty!
Tomorrow’s tasting…..Connection to your Passion-come and get it!
Welcome- I am so glad you stopped by. Today is a dream come true kind of day for me. I am putting my big toe into the water of blogging, vlogging and all things social media and launching The Joy Factor site!
Who knew that part of my life journey was sharing my experiences and lessons in a blog and book with you? If I knew this 20 years ago, I might have taken better notes!
It has been a pretty juicy life thus far- lots of opportunities to learn and grow. It is not only my journey that you will learn from. You will also learn from my Joy Posse. They are going to help me make sure that something delicious is on the site daily; wisdom that helps you raise your Joy Factor and live your best life.
First things first- here is your invite to be part of this Joy Movement. Conscious choice is a foundational piece of The Joy Factor. If you choose to become part of this movement, and I hope you do, then you can try it on today. See what happens when you weave a few things into your life that make you feel good. Smile, give someone a compliment, listen to your favorite song, or call your best friend. Experience one thing today that makes you happy and watch your Joy Factor rise. From there , magic happens. If you like the feeling, you can do it again tomorrow.
The next 5 days here at The Joy Factor.com are focused on sharing what the Joy Factor is and how you can start to use these ingredients in your life. Yummy!
As Gretchen Rubin, from the New York Times bestseller, The Happiness Project says, “The days are long, but the years are short. Time is passing, and I am not focusing on the things that really matter.”
If happiness and joy matter to you, then you are in the right place. May I say again, Welcome, I am so glad you stopped by.