What are three things that make you feel the most blissed out? What can you do to invite more of that into your life in 2012?
Too often this year, I found myself trading bliss for mediocrity; I didn't ask for what I wanted or needed, fearing that it would cause unnecessary conflict. I feared being told "no" for whatever reason. I basically sat back and settled for a lot of things that I knew deep down didn't make me happy. In a way, it has become normal for most people to want to just survive instead of thriving.
Admittedly, I did sort of forget what makes me feel "blissed out" because I haven't been following very much of it lately. But thus far, the following things make me so incredibly slap-happy:
1. Spending time with friends and family-Sometimes it was coffee dates and sharing food in the middle of the dining hall with one other person. Sometimes it was cozy movie nights in, or fun nights out on the dance floor. But I've definitely realized how much I love being around other people and getting to know them. As for my family, I am in the process of beginning to understand a phrase that both my Mother and Grandmother have been reiterating to me since I was in high school: friends come and go, but your family will always be there for you. This past Christmas season has been especially wonderful because of that realization.
2. Taking a risk/doing something that absolutely scares the crap out of me- Former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt once said "Do one thing every day that scares you." No, the act of doing so isn't blissful. But the feeling that comes afterward; the immense swelling of pride, the increase in confidence, and the amount of fear that shrinks as I become more comfortable with it. It may not always turn out the way I want it to, but at least I'll know the outcome instead of having to wonder what might have happened.
3. Enjoying nature-Although it makes me sound like a bit of a hippy, I found that taking the time to appreciate our natural surroundings is what often brings me the most joy and happiness. When I am swimming in a body of water, whether it be the ocean or a lake, I incredibly alive because of my ability to move so easily. When I am looking out at a sunset or whatever beautiful sight before me, I remember to give thanks for what I have and for the small joys I tend to overlook in the hustle and bustle of life. It's good to have that kind of reflection time and remember what is really important.
While it's difficult to indefinitely include all of these things in the approaching year, I do believe it is possible if I really want to. It is more or less making time for it and making an actual point to do it. For example, in order to spend time with my friends, I would like to start having them over for dinner at least once a week. I want to find different activities that I can do with different people. That's going to involve some sort of planning and talking about what we're going to do and when we're going to do it.
The second one isn't particularly easy because a lot of it has to do with opportunity; if there's one thing I have learned, it's that if you see a window of opportunity, use it.
Never forget what brings you joy and what makes you feel alive. If you constantly forsake those things, you won't be living the life you could be.