A very wise woman recently asked me, “How do you want your life to feel?” Hmmm. She had me stumped.
How did I want my life to feel? I’d never been asked that before. I’ve always been focused on what I wanted my life to look like: a career, a husband who is also my best friend, just enough money to do the things we want to do, living by the beach, a dog, good friends, family gatherings, a little Tahoe cabin, a happy and clean home, healthy, toned yoga arms (I know, I know), a handstand in the middle of the room, frequent travels to exotic places.
And yet, for the most part, this is what my life does look like (sans the Tahoe cabin and handstand in the middle of the room). By almost any standard, my life is really good. And it is.
So, why am I restless? Why do I know that something is missing?
I thought about it, “How did I want my life to feel?” Joyful, connected and free. That is how I want my life to feel. And the sad truth is my life in the last few years hasn’t felt very joyful, very connected, very free.
Somewhere along the way I’d forgotten how to experience joy. I’d been so focused on getting through graduate school, getting married, starting my career, moving to L.A., getting set up in L.A., and being the general overachiever that I tend to be, that any joy got lost in all the motion–all the doing.
If you can’t experience joy, if you’re not happy, it’s impossible to connect with people in a meaningful way, at least for me. Without joy, I turn inward, I get very serious, negative, very judgmental toward those that make joy look so effortless. My energy is all wrong. I wouldn’t want to talk to me.
And free. Without joy, without connection, life turns into a prison. Everything becomes work, everything is hard, everything becomes too much.
So, I want my life to feel joyful, connected, and free. What now? I practice feeling this way a little every day, because the more I feel joy, connected, free, the more joy, connection and freedom I will attract into my life.
The more I know what joy feels like, the more I can identify the unexpected things that give me joy–like having my own solo dance party in the fitness room of the Westin Lake Las Vegas on Christmas Day; watching Emmy play with other pups; getting my hands dirty in the kitchen; a really good cup of coffee; talking with my sister about life, love and the pursuit of happiness; Matt just home from work, wind blown from his bike ride; listening to Neil Young. These aren’t big things, these are simple, everyday things, but they make me feel connected–to my sister, my husband, my dog, the food that I eat, to the barista who made my coffee, to the universe.
And all this makes me feel free. It’s really that simple.
So, now it’s your turn: How do you want your life to feel?