SAYOD | Relive Simple Joys and Make them Last | by Triccia Sucgang, Correspondent | We all experience joy once in a while. The sight of our children’s happy faces and infectious laughter brings a smile to our faces. We take trips to far-off locations to celebrate special occasions with loved ones. Perhaps even a simple picnic and walk in the park with our spouse and pet feels worthwhile. But when did you last feel completely happy?
One of the purest forms of joy as a child is the feeling of excitement on Christmas morning, waiting to tear into the gifts underneath the Christmas tree. It’s also those giddy euphoria of receiving the most humongous ice cream cone you’d ever seen. How about the anticipation right before the start of your most-awaited movie or at the opening of your favorite amusement park? Do you recall memories such as these?
Sadly, as we age, we also begin to lose touch with that unadulterated happiness that enthralled us as kids. In fact, we rarely allow ourselves to take pleasure in things with the same carefree glee we had when we were teens. Maybe the closest we could come to experiencing that kind of happiness is the first time we hold our newborn baby in our arms or feel the joy in our children on the day of their wedding.
So how can we relive the simple joys that make life more meaningful? Here’s a tried and proven recipe: write down in your journal five (5) childhood experiences that you recall filling you with pure delight and wonder, both before and during the actual event. Then deliberately start reliving these experiences as an adult. If for example, having an ice cream on the beach was a wonderful childhood memory that made you jump with joy, then take your family or your friends and enjoy ice cream on the beach with them. If you have fond memories of family caravan vacations, consider renting a caravan and taking some time away from the stresses of everyday life to travel, discover new places, and relive those experiences with your loved ones.
In adulthood, the burdens of life tend to prevent us from enjoying the simplest of joys. Looking back at our younger selves and making comparisons to our more mature selves is an essential part of any path of self-discovery. It is during our younger years that we were molded to be who we are, so contemplating our early life experiences can be a great approach to gaining perspective in our journey towards lasting happiness.
And as we continue to create and re-create these encounters of joy, our true selves will be revealed more and more. Because who says that self-discovery needs to end? Let’s enjoy the process just as how we took delight in life experiences as children.
When Was the Last Time You Experienced Joy?
Most of us have moments where we feel happy. We look at our children and their laughs make us smile. We go and enjoy a holiday in exotic parts of the world with friends and family. Maybe we read a good book and enjoy a picnic with our spouse. However, when was the last time you experienced pure joy?
Pure joy is that feeling your felt as a child when you were anticipating opening the presents under the Christmas tree as you woke up on Christmas Morning. It is the feeling you felt as a child when you were faced with what seemed to be the biggest ice cream you had ever seen. Do you remember feeling excitement as you waited for the gates to open at a favorite theme park?
As we grow older, we lose the sense of pure joy that captivates a child’s mind. We rarely let ourselves enjoy our activities with the reckless abandon we did as children. Perhaps the closest we come to that joy is the moment we gaze in awe at our newly born baby or look at the glowing face of our child on their wedding day.
In your journal write down 5 child hood memories that you remember gave you feelings of deep joy and excitement, both as you anticipated them, and later as you experienced them. . If for example, eating an ice cream on the beach was a special child hood memory that made you skip with joy and anticipation, then take your family or your friends and enjoy ice creams on the beach with them. If you enjoyed going on family caravan holidays, then hire a caravan and in abandonment of the pressures of life, take time to go and explore and relive the adventures with your own family.
As adults the responsibilities of our lives, rob us of simple pleasures that give us joy. No journey of self-discovery is complete without looking at the person we were as a child and comparing the person we are now as an adult. The experiences that shaped our personalities have their roots in our childhood and spending time reflecting on them is an excellent way to guide our thinking as we try to rediscover the inner self.
These experiences are not only crucial for self-discovery but equally as a means of self-re-discovery.