I FOUND MYSELF IN A RUT THIS PAST YEAR. My mind had subtly narrowed its focus to what I needed to work on whether it was for work or home. And work I did, which CAN be very satisfying.
Until the balance is lost. And then the satisfaction quietly moves into overwhelm so it begins to feel like there’s never enough time in the day to accomplish all that needs to be done. And suddenly, all I can see is what’s wrong or needs fixing. Sound familiar?
When I first noticed this, my mind immediately went to how to fix the rut. It came up with lots of big changes I’d need to make so I could have more time in the day and still get everything done. But after a few days of sitting in that increasingly overwhelming plan, I SUDDENLY NOTICED ONE THING THAT HAD BEEN MISSING FOR MONTHS: DELIGHT.
MY FOCUS HAD LOST ITS BALANCE SO THAT ALL I NOTICED WAS WHAT WAS WRONG OR NEEDED FIXING IN MY LIFE. SOUND HUMAN? YOU BET. WHEN OUR FOCUS NARROWS, EVERYTHING BECOMES HARDER AND WE BECOME BLIND TO THE PARTS OF LIFE THAT OFFER OY AND DELIGHT.
I knew it was time to reawaken my delight button and expand my focus. And guess what? REAWAKENING YOUR DELIGHT BUTTON IS SHOCKINGLY EASY, WHICH MAKES ME LAUGH EACH TIME I’VE HAD TO WAKE IT BACK UP!
I began looking for things that brought me joy and delight throughout my day. Sometimes I stumbled upon the delight, like when sitting and laughing with my family or when walking the dog in nature or when a stranger smiled at me in the grocery store. Other times I sought it out by choosing to do something that I know brings me delight, like taking a few minutes out to read in a cozy, candlelit bath. I bet you can guess what happened. My overwhelm ebbed as my awareness of delight grew.
CAN YOU SEE HOW THIS HAS THE POWER TO EXPAND YOUR FOCUS? SPACE IS MADE FOR THE MIND TO ONCE AGAIN NOTICE THE FEEL GOOD PARTS OF LIFE THAT IT WAS BLIND TO WHEN USING ITS DEFAULT LENS OF WRONGNESS.
As my family and I headed on a road trip to New Orleans to visit family this holiday, we decided it would be fun to reawaken our family delight button. WE AGREED THAT ANYTIME ONYONE SAW, HEARD OR FELT SOMETHING THAT BROUGHT THEM DELIGHT , THE PERSON WOULD YELL OUT, “DELIGHT!” While the delights were often unique to the person, each ended up pulling all of us into the joy of it. Sometimes it involved cows and horses; other times it was a kick-ass 80’s song or the incredibly clean restroom at a Love’s truck stop!!
It got me to thinking. Maybe it’s time to reawaken the communal delight button so you can experience first hand how easily it expands your focus so that you can begin to feel MORE of what you DO want to feel in your life and less of what you don’t. So I’m taking the lead and kicking off the first ever Delight Challenge! This 10-day, low pressure, feel good challenge is designed to bring you relief from the overwhelm of life so you can shift out of the rut you’re in through a simple tool to add to your life toolbelt. No need to make this into work!
JOIN ME EACH DAY IN SIMPLY NOTICING WHAT YOU SEE, HEAR OR FEEL THAT BRINGS YOU DELIGHT. POST A PHOTO, WORD OR DESCRIPTION OF YOUR FAVORITE ONE EACH DAY ON FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM OR IN THE COMMENTS BELOW FOR 10 DAYS. TAG ME @EMILYCOLWELL AND WRITE #DELIGHTCHALLENGE SO WE CAN SEE WHAT DELIGHT EVERYONE FINDS TOGETHER.
I can’t wait for you to experience the expanded focus that this simple tool can bring to your everyday…because all of us can use more ease to manage the hard in life.
Emily Colwell, MSSW, ND
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