Louise Thompson: Mindful or mind-full?
Time and again clients will say they don’t feel connected to the joy that should be in their lives. Somehow, mysteriously, it isn’t there.
They know they should feel it. That life looks like it should be joyful from the outside. Nice house, job, partner and so on. Healthy, enough money, and so on. All the essential building blocks are there for a joyful life, but somehow, as they whizz through each busy day: they just don’t feel it.
They might feel overwhelmed, or stressed, or tired, or, (gasp!), bored. But they don’t feel joyful. The happiness looks like it should be there. But it isn’t.
What’s that about? Maybe you feel it too sometimes? You have pretty much most of your ducks in a row, but, somehow, you are not feeling it. What’s going on?
I’ll tell you a secret. It’s about presentness and mindfulness — which I realise is the cue for half of you to stop reading with a big, fat zzzzzzzz. Nothing, it seems, is inclined to switch people off quicker than talking about mindfulness.
Which is tragic as, despite its unsexy brand image, it’s actually the key to a happier, more joyful life; if only we would demystify it and give it a chance.
Because: it’s not that the joy isn’t there. The joy IS there. But YOU are not. You are elsewhere. Either you are in your future, or in your past.
If you are recalling something sad or stressful, you are in the past. So that’s what you will FEEL in the present. Sad or stressed. Not joyful: no matter what you are doing.
What your mind is full of is what you will feel. If you are imagining a situation tomorrow that is worrisome or overwhelming, then that is what you feel in the now. You won’t feel joy right now, you will feel worried because your mind is full of future worries.
How you feel is determined by what your mind is full of (mindful, geddit?) right now, no matter what your body is doing in the present.
Your body might be reading a bedtime story to your child, but if your mind is full of the board meeting that went badly three hours ago, you won’t feel the joy inherent in that moment because you are not in it.
Your body is there. Your mind is not. Your body might be having dinner with Beyonce but if your mind is full of your overwhelming To Do list and money worries then the joy inherent in that bootylicious moment escapes like a wisp of smoke, and you will feel overwhelmed rather than elated.
No matter what happy stuff or circumstance you might be surrounded by, the joy in it is only accessible if your mind is full of it, not just because you are present in body.
You will feel what your mind is full of. Where did the joy go? It didn’t go anywhere, IT was there. You missed it, YOU weren’t there. The simplest step to having more happiness in your life? Be mindful of where the joy is. And it’s always right NOW if you stop and look for it.
Through her online Happiness programme “Wellbeing Warriors”, life coach Louise Thompson helps people unlock their happiest and healthiest life. Sign up at louisethompson.com and find more from Louise at bite.co.nz/wellbeing