7 Simple Practices to Sustain Your Joy & Whimsy In This World

Sit with the poets:

I admit I don’t understand all poetry, but if I stay with it, re-read it a few times, jot it down in my own writing, and do a quick google search for possible meanings behind the words my soul is sparked. It insists that it too must attempt to articulate and appreciate the mystery of this human experience through whatever means possible. A few of my favorite poems as of late: Widening Circles, The Peace of Wild Things, Wild Geese, Psalm 136, Santiago or this book of poems from Mister Rogers.

Have a running grateful list:

I’ve failed at setting goals this year. I spent $40 on a goal planning guide and all I’ve been using the pages for is jotting down three things I’m grateful for every night before I go to bed. A funny thing is starting to happen though. All day long I’m starting to think about what makes me smile, what brightened the day, what I don’t want to take for granted. Perhaps I haven’t failed after all?

Maybe gratefulness is our biggest goal, and everything else flows from this simple place of endlessly giving thanks.  

Relentlessly dig for hope:

Scour the internet for “good news about _____________.” Fill your mind with stories about humans bending over for other humans. They are there. Bypass the ALL CAPS headlines, wade through the death and devastation, there are always signs of life and resurrection. Become an expert in unearthing hopeful expectancy amidst the rubble around you. Watch children – how they run and play without worry. Find the wildflowers blooming between cement slabs on a busy street, and when you find them hold it up so we can remember where this whole thing is going…somewhere good.

Stop and talk to everyone:

Hold on for just one second. Greet the person next to us with a simple smile, it’s all we need to do. Ask them how they are doing and determine to find out something about them that makes them colorful, four-dimensional, fellow human beings. We are all in this thing together.  

Send handwritten letters:

Keep a stack of notecards out like these pretty ones on your kitchen counter. Before you eat breakfast, while the coffee is brewing, or during a work break, compose a note to let her know how much she means to you, what you love about her, and how hope is poking through the soil this very moment. Address it, slip it in the mailbox, or hand deliver it to the grocery store clerk you see every Monday or the quiet neighbor down the road.

Connect with nature:

Read this reminder about nature being the first Bible. Or memorize this quote from Chardin, “The physical structure of the universe is love.” Take a step outside your front door and remember- I am made to have a wild life. Let the wind whip across your face twisting your hair and stoking the fire of your heart, run to catch a sunset, rise to greet the brightness of another day, listen to the wisdom of the trees towering overhead.

Meditate on how love is woven into the world, wooing us to come and find out the truth: We are loved-always have been and always will be.

Plant seeds literally and figuratively.

The miracle of a seed opens us to the miracle of life itself. We need not fear being buried in darkness because we will sprout with only the tiniest bit of sun, our tears the rain helping us to grow. We will always continue to reach up, down, and around us for nourishment, it’s what we do best. Sow seeds in some dirt and see yourself and your destiny in that tiny speck.

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