It’s autumn and my favorite hashtag of the moment is #AllPumpkinEverything. I want pumpkin pie, pumpkin cake, pumpkin candles, pumpkin nails, and my absolute pumpkin favorite - - pumpkin chai with almond milk from Argo Tea! I’m overdosing on pumpkin right now, but it’s little things like these that make me smile; make me do a little happy dance inside.
I need those things.
They help prevent “the spiral”.
The spiral is when I feel myself becoming sad - sometimes it’s an incident that triggers it; other times the sadness is there when I wake up - and I allow the sadness to pick up momemtum and roll me away deeper and deeper.
On the low end, the spiral could be a crappy day where I don’t feel like being bothered (some folks would just call that being a Pisces). On the high end, the spiral could look and feel like depression.
I don’t really like either of those ends, so in recent years I’ve dedicated A LOT of time to learning how to catch myself pre-spiral and LIVE in the happy medium. Like a seesaw, I want to find that perfect balance and my joy jumpstarts are the fulcrum.
I got into a pretty deep conversation yesterday with a friend and I asked him, “What one thing would make you happy in this very moment?” The question paused him and he didn’t really have an answer. I shared with him that I like to have some simple go-to things that make me happy.
Things on my list are buying a magazine, browsing in the bookstore, cupcakes, pasta, walking in the park, pumpkin chai. We both had to laugh because it seemed like a lot of my happy triggers are food-related. I can’t lie - I really like food.
My joy jumpstarts aren’t about trying to medicate myself with food or retail therapy. For me, they are simple pleasures that re-direct my focus. When my emotions feel exaggerated and it feels like EVERYTHING is going wrong, EVERYTHING is all messed, EVERYBODY doesn’t like me, my bank account will ALWAYS be insufficient, I’ll NEVER know or live my purpose, etc, I can go into this happiness toolkit and pull out one tangible thing that reminds me that in this moment, it’s all good. In this moment, I am happy. It’s a jumpstart because now I can build on some positive energy and get the momentum flowing in the proper direction - UP!
Watching my two cats play together is a joy jumpstart. Hanging out with my girlfriends is a joy jumpstart. Getting a pedicure is joy jumpstart. Doing a random act of kindness for someone else is a joy jumpstart. Eventually, you can have so many jumpstarts where it becomes your life ALL THE TIME. It’s no longer a jumpstart because you’re already flowing upward and in balance. The joy is within.
That’s my goal - to stay flowing positively and live in joy. But like all things, you have to begin somewhere or you’ll end up nowhere.
What are YOUR joy jumpstarts? I'd love to hear about them!