“Follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.” ~Joseph Campbell
“People who follow their joy experience the fullness of their being,” says Robert Holden. How do we follow our joy? There is a difference between searching for happiness and following your joy. When we follow our joy we are actually listening to what we want, what inspires us, and when we are happiest. And by doing that, we sort of melt away some of the pain and sadness and find ourselves feeling more alive. How do we put this into action? We start by making two lists. One list is that which brings you joy in the moment. The second is the list of things that bring you joy after you have finished doing it (e.g, organizing a drawer, exercise). Now, pick one from each column and do them – pick and do…every day.
REAL ACTION: Create your two joy lists and start doing one thing from each list every day! Notice what changes.
“My husband and I have never considered divorce…murder sometimes, but never divorce.” ~Joyce Brothers
It’s obvious, in retrospect, that marriage would be tough in those first years after having babies. Maybe it’s only me, but I thought that when my kids were older (say tweens/teens) we would have more time and space to rebuild our marriage and have a little fun together. Turns out I hadn’t fully thought it through, however. According to PsychologyToday, now that we have teens ‘the hard half of parenting’ begins — hardship that is usually harder upon the marriage. Seriously? We will be faced with all sorts of decisions about our teens as they move towards independence and we, the parents, will have differences in the way we want to approach this phase of their lives. The advice is to honor those differences and try to work together so as to not create a divisive situation where the teen can play off of the disagreement and manipulate you. The article hits hard at the end with this quote: “Your teenager is not responsible for the unhappy state of your marriage. You are ‘ruining the marriage’ on her behalf, and then blaming the ruination on her. So let’s begin by talking about how you can take better care of yourselves and your relationship – the reason you got together before you decided to have kids. Then we can talk about how to do the dance of adolescence differently with your daughter.” Well, that’s right to the point. 🙂 For those of you who want some more specific tips to survive these years, read the Three Principles for Raising Kids Without Ruining Your Marriage.
REAL ACTION: Awareness – just the simple awareness about how these years can wreak havoc on your marriage will help you to be more proactive and intentional when conflict arises
“I only accept your mistakes and flaws to the degree that I accept my own.” ~Vironika Tugaleva, The Love Mindset
So what do great parents do well? Great parents, in this case, are defined as ones with adult children who are great, love their parents, are successful, etc. Donald Miller, author of the new book Scary Close: Dropping the Act and Finding True Intimacy, anecdotally reports that great parents openly share their flaws which results in everyone in the family being safe being human. This would be the opposite of needing to hide your true self to be accepted by your parents. This can feel hard to do because most of us have a layer of armor on ourselves because we aren’t so sure it’s safe being human. Being human means that we have all sorts of characteristics – some feel like flaws. We are afraid that if people know about our flaws they won’t like or love us. The irony of flaws – we try to hide them, but usually everyone around you already sees them and still loves you – in fact, very often it’s the things we are most ashamed of that others find most endearing. But for those things that seem impossible to admit, we begin with some focus and acceptance. In your family, start small and admit when you don’t know something or admit when you were wrong.
REAL ACTION: Do you think that your kids feel safe to admit their flaws and mistakes? What would you need to learn, do, or change to create this environment?
Alrighty then! A little dose of joy. A dose of reality! And a call to reveal more of your self to your family!
Do you know anyone who might like this too? I know that you have been sharing it, right? 😉
One thing I love most about working with parents is that we all care so deeply about our kids…it’s what automatically links us together. Thanks for being you.