On Bliss: The Daily Art Of A Joyful Life

Stone Barns Food & Agricultural Center, Pocantico Hills, NY. Photo taken June 2015. © blissandradiance.com
Stone Barns Food & Agricultural Center, Pocantico Hills, NY. Photo taken June 2015. © blissandradiance.com

I’ve been contemplating how I can mindfully bring a feeling of joy and bliss into more aspects of my daily life: The aspects of daily life you have to do in any case. How does a part of daily life transform from a “have to do” to a” want to do” and what extra effort would bring me life-long pleasure as I approach those daily tasks and experiences? Surely when I want to do something, I’ll anticipate it and it might feel like less of a chore and more pleasurable than something I merely have to do? And surely when the number of things that I want to do outweigh what I have to do each day, then leading a more joyful life would be the a natural outcome?

As I explored this thinking, I was reminded of is my life-long interest in understanding the theory behind how things work… my family can vouch for that! Recently I’ve become interested in grasping what differentiates an average experience (or day, week, month, or season!) from a truly memorable one or a merely functioning item to one that brings a little more simplicity, efficiency, ease, or aesthetic pleasure to those aspects of my life that I value the most. I also re-called some of the activities from which I derived great pleasure as a child and a teenager – that are always available to me if only I created the space in my day to experience them once again. What I realized is taking this approach has brought a new level of mindfulness to how I engage with my day to day life and how those experiences shape how I feel about my day. I’ve also become even more curious about the world around me and all it has to offer.

Grounded in this mindset I’ve subtly shifted how I approach my day: from how I gather the most healthful ingredients for my meals, to deciding on the type of ticket I obtain to really feel the atmosphere of an event I’m attending, or choosing the equipment for the new sports I’ve taken an interest in. Life has effortlessly taken on a whole new level of thoughtfulness and as a result I’m really enjoying the bounty of experiences available to me.

I’m experiencing bliss not only in those marquee events noted on my calendar, but throughout my daily life! And it helps tremendously as I prioritize those ‘must do’ tasks on my to do list and leave enough time for those pleasurable events I make time for each week. This approach takes a little planning and mindfulness, not necessarily money or extravagance. For example: I was dreading a certain phone call last week to sort out something that had taken far too long to be resolved, but the simple act of boiling the kettle, steeping the tea leaves, and taking a few sips before I dialed the number took the edge off my frustration and made the discussion swift and… it may have put me in a calm enough mindset to help me to the outcome I wanted. I can’t think of a more joyful approach to my own life – even for the mundane tasks!

How about you:  How will you let the world in to bring you joy and bliss on a daily basis?