Choose Joy Instead of Stuff
Nov 25, 2019
“The happiest people are not the ones with the best or the most things, but those who most appreciate what they have.” ―
The Holiday season is a time when people tend to overeat, overspend, overconsume and overdo, well, pretty much everything! But does all this materialistic madness actually bring us joy?
Maybe, instead of trying to feed the hungry ghost inside of us, we can choose to cultivate the feelings of joy and contentment that are available to us right now, exactly as we are, independent of all the superfluous stuff that society tells us we need to consume during this time of year (well, ALL year, actually!)
Here are a few bite-sized ways to cultivate more joy:
1. Prioritize well-being over physical possessions
It's really easy to get sucked into the feelings that buying new stuff engenders in us. There's a reason "retail therapy" is a thing in our culture. But the temporary high of buying something new wears off all too quickly. Instead of splurging on another pair of shoes, for example, what about taking time for yourself to go to the spa, or a massage or a personal training session? Instead of more stuff, why invest in something that really adds to your life and helps you move in the direction of more health and vitality.
“He who dies with the most toys...dies a child.” ―
2. Practice gratitude lists or meditations
One way to unlock more joyful feelings is to take inventory of what you already have in life. One of our favorite quotes is "Abundance is consciously receiving that which has already been given to you." To align yourself with this feeling of abundance, keep a gratitude journal by the side of your bed. At the end of each day, write 5 new things you're grateful for and WHY you're grateful for them. Be specific and really FEEL the emotions of the thing you're writing about. If you have a daily meditation practice, start to focus on the feelings of love, gratitude and joyfulness for the people, experiences and things that are already present in your life right now.
3. Get creative with giving non-material gifts
Often times, being of service to the people we love is more meaningful than buying them a physical gift. Perhaps you could give the gift of washing your spouse's car for them or offering to prepare them a beautiful, homemade dinner. A really cute way to do this is to create a "coupon" for an experience that they can redeem with you. Get super creative with this and come from the heart. Experiences are often more cherished than, you know, another 3-pack of underwear or a spoon rest for the stove.
“Don't complicate your life by surrounding yourself with people who see life as a competition about who has the most material possessions.” ―
4. Invest in something with long-term value
Another great idea is to make an investment with long-term value, like planting fruit trees in someone's name or donating your time or money to a non-profit foundation. Putting your time, energy and love into something that is going to outlive you is a beautiful way to give a gift that future generations can cherish. People talk about legacy all the time and choosing to invest in something that brings healing to the planet is one of the most sustainable gifts for everyone involved.
5. Practice being present during the Holidays
Your presence is a present, in and of itself. By simply making time to be present with your loved ones, that is a gift. Instead of just hanging out in the same room as family and friends, really make a point to BE with them. Listen intently to their stories and struggles, share in the triumphs and celebrations of your lives and, especially if they annoy you, look for the aspects of them that you can really love and accept. When you share focused, present energy with someone you love, they can really feel it.
It can be hard to create new practices in your life, especially with society tells you that overconsuming is synonymous with being a good person. When you start examining what really matters to you, what you're grateful for and what really feeds your mind, body and soul - you may find that stuff doesn't really matter all that much to you. And that true joy, contentment and connection is available to you right now. All you have to do is choose.
“Happiness is never found in materialistic things; it exists in things that cannot be physically possessed. Therefore, happiness is priceless. It can never be purchased. Getting through life without a lot of money, possessions, and/or friends is admirable, especially if it is by choice.” ― Ellen J. Barrier
Want to take a month-long journey into the secrets to unlock more contentment, joy and health in your life? Are you ready to put more love and focus into your dreams? If that's a "hell YES!" then be sure to check out our brand-new live video coaching program The Consistency Code. It launches at the very beginning of January 2020 and will give you new ways to build momentum and mastery with the things that matter the most in your life!
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