Exploring Intention : Setting an Intention for Joy…

Welcome to Tuesday’s with Chel.

Each week Chel Micheline of Gingerblue will offer her perspectives on our Bliss Habits. Please enjoy the wisdom and clarity she offers.

“Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.”
– Mary Anne Radmacher

Welcome to Exploring Intention!

Exploring Intention is a 13 week “adventure” (maybe a better word for it would be “experiment”?) that stems from my desire to begin regularly practice setting intentions and making some positive change in my daily life.

This week is all about joy and the process of setting an intention for more joy in daily life.

First, a quick review of intention:

From my introductory post on intention:

“So what *is* intention? The best way I can describe intention by comparing it to the GPS system you might use in your car.

Much like a GPS, if you tell your “internal sense of intention” where you’d like to go, it will (usually) tell you the reliable steps you need to get to that place- it’s honestly that simple…

The key is to continually engage in this process. Move forward, one step at a time. Setting an intention for something and then not taking any action is basically an exercise in futility.

However, the more we connect with our internal sense of intention, and the more we take the time to listen to what it has to say, the closer we will move towards our goals.”

Setting an intention for Joy

This week on Bliss Habits, the focus is on “Joy”.

There’s a lot of different definitions of joy, and there’s a MYRIAD of individual preferences about joy.

But the most important definition of this word is YOUR OWN. What brings YOU joy?

I know “joy” seems a little overwhelming- and it is. So if you need to, simplify it. What brings you peace, or well-being, or a general sense of “life doesn’t suck as bad as I thought it did five minutes ago?” I’m being serious- WHATEVER works for you is exactly the right way to approach this.

So take a little bit of time today to sit down and figure out what joy means for *you*, whether it be something big or little. Is it more time with your family, or more time alone? Is it space and time to do something creative, or more time out being social? Is it some simple daily activities that you could be doing more of or would it require a bigger shift and a leap “out of the box”?

If that seems like a lot to process, don’t worry. Start small.

A simple way to start is this: today, set an intention to make this day happier than yesterday. Not TREMENDOUSLY happier (although that wouldn’t be a terrible thing!) – just happier.

What is ONE thing that you can do today to bring yourself a little more joy?

Is it watching a funny YouTube video, calling a loved one, going outside for a few minutes, treating yourself to a new book, going and finding some chocolate *RIGHT NOW*, allowing yourself to sleep an extra five minutes, going for a walk?

And if you have a bigger intention in place (such as “be more successful”, “return to school”, “figure out a way to quit my job so I can stay home with my kids”, “get healthier”, etc.) how can that “joyful thing” connect with the bigger intention?

It’s important to remember joy is rarely, if ever, sudden. Joy is more of a process- it happens gradually. Joy is about recognizing what makes you happy and inviting more of that into your life, and ALLOWING yourself to make room for it in your life.

The reason I say “allowing” is because a lot of us truly feel as if we don’t deserve it, as if joy is reserved only as a reward for great behavior or accomplishments. I know this to be true because I feel this way a lot of the time. And I’m determined to change that, starting RIGHT NOW.

Don’t postpone joy. Set an intention to make today happier than yesterday, and see what pops up. Maybe it’s something new- exploring a different part of town, walking a different direction on the way home, trying a new restaurant, indulging in something new and different. Maybe it’s something you’re already familiar with.

For me, there are a few things I KNOW bring me joy: a hot cup of tea, a few minutes to work in my art journal, or grabbing a brand new magazine from the stack under the coffee table and curling up on the sofa to flip through it, without worrying about getting dinner started or laundry put away. And you know what? Sometimes getting the laundry put away brings me joy, too.

So what simple thing can you do today to make life a little happier, to bring a tiny bit of joy into this day?

And tomorrow, your goal is to start again. Start off your day by setting an intention to have a happier day than the one before it. And take a few minutes during the day to connect with that intention and see what your “inner sense of intention” has to say about it.

“Setting your intention for joy doesn’t mean that you’re going to make joy happen, but rather that you will allow it to happen. When you plant seeds in your garden, you can’t will the vegetables to grow. You can only do your part by tending and caring for them, seeing what they need in order to develop as fully as possible.”
– James Baraz

(I would LOVE to hear your intentions (if you care to share them), as well as some things that you can do to make today more joyful than yesterday.)

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