As the new year began I committed to myself that I would practice what I preach and really learn to Live Serendipitously- in the flow of life. This meant I would practice to letting go and see how life is truly happening for me and build evidence to prove this.
I believe this concept wholeheartedly, but I also am human and don’t like getting slammed with unexpected life stressors as much as the next person. I welcome growth and change, but experiencing pain and disappointment is not favorite way to get there.
So you know what January offered me? Pain. And frustration. And impatience. And heartache.
Not the devastating kind, but just enough confusion, hurt and stress to take me out of my flow and have me question what I was doing- a lot. I was cranky and irritable. I felt lost and confused. I cried nearly every day to relieve the stress build up and gave myself the space to feel my feelings.
I experienced strong waves of anger and resentment and let myself feel every ugly part of it. I did not appreciate it at all, but it helped. I chose to not repress and found myself venting angrily to get it out. It was incredibly unpleasant as anger is my least favorite emotion. It generally makes me feel powerless and stuck. I let myself experience it, but I refuse to live there.
Despite my uneasiness with the process, I let myself be in the flow of what was happening and ride the waves of discomfort knowing they would eventually end.
Thankfully, on New Year’s Day I also began tracking the good things which occurred each day. I purposefully noticed the unexpected joys and opportunities I didn’t see coming which found their way into my life. I use a Gratitude App on my phone that allows me to add pictures and list the things that made me feel good each day.
I began the practice of recording that which lifted me up, made me smile or brought me hope. Whether they were compliments or experiences or simple surprises like small gifts through words or actions from others, I wrote them down. I noted what I saw or created or even committed to doing or giving to myself.
Every single day had a gift. And I tracked it.
This practice allows me see that even in my dark moments, there is a glimpse of light, of hope, of joy, no matter how small. I did not know the month would bring so much challenge. I had no way to predict it. But I also did not know that so many wonderful things would happen or what they would be.
Tracking my daily joys allows me to increase my faith that no matter what happens next, something will help balance it out. It may be a moment that feels good and lets me know it’s not always going to be hard and challenging. It may be a promise of hope or a reminder of being loved and seen. These moments give me proof that in some way I am supported, even in the smallest of ways. And the small moments and surprises adds up.
Some days I tracked unexpected joys right after they happened and others I would add in at the end of the day or early the next morning. Each time I wrote them I re-lived the joy and the feeling of gratitude and awe that came with them. This is a gift in itself!
As I reflect on the past month, I’m intrigued with how much my challenge changed and then dissipated, as well as the amount I learned about myself and my reactions to life. What I have deemed a very hard month was also one filled with wonderful events, opportunities, interactions and enormous gifts of joy. Had I not tracked them or taken the time to reflect, I would have said the month was a disappointment and stressful all throughout.
Tracking my joys shifts my perspective and also firms up my faith and proof that life is truly happening for me even when I can’t see it in the moment, but I know the gifts will find their way. It allows me to truly Live Serendipitously with more trust and evidence that life is happening for me.
My cousin Andrew says that life seems to be something of a project. The unpredictable ups and downs give us something to discover and learn as we go. I couldn’t agree more. And I for one, plan to make the most of this project and take in all the joy I can along the way. Ready to join me?
Article also posted and shared on Biz Catalyst 360.