In the Pursuit of Happiness: Part I – Joy and Passion

September 11, 2017

Lifestyle

I’ve decided to take a dive into the ol’ happiness pool… so hang on y’all!

I am no expert and I’m not about to pretend to be.  I don’t walk around with a glowing smile all the time and positivity seeping out of every orifice.  I try to, but let’s face it… I’m human and I’m a women in her mid-thirties with changing hormones who is toying around with an early mid-life crisistransformation!

However, my desire to write about this topic stems from some serious decisions that I’ve had to make in the last few weeks and more that are in my near future. It’s not yet the time or place to talk about these things, but know there is reasoning behind these thoughts.

I feel like it’s everywhere… social media, magazine and newspaper articles, books, blogs, podcasts… happiness is the focus and the goal is discovering how to fully reach it.  You see tactics such as “clean out the clutter”, “learn to say ‘no'”, “take time for you”.  People suggest to “spend more time in nature”, “play more” and “escape from technology”.  Or how about “be in the moment”, “eat clean” and “meditate”.  

All of these things have proven results and seem legit.  But, I personally look at this list, question myself and feel like I’m failing at happiness.  I wouldn’t call myself unhappy.  I know there are times where I am not on Cloud 9, but I’m not an unhappy person.  Unlike the authors of most articles I read about happiness, I am not in the happiest place in my life right now.  But, I am currently striving for that what-seems-like unreachable place called “true happiness” as I tick away at my keyboard.  In these next few weeks, I’m going to try and use my experiences and efforts to simplify this big notion of “true happiness”… possibly for my own ease of heart, but hopefully you can get something out of it too. Also PLEASE contribute your thoughts!

When I think of happiness I think of two words: joy and passion.  With joy, like Marie Kondo preaches in The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I do believe that the material items we have in life should bring us joy and serve a purpose, or they are just things taking up space.  I think this same concept applies to the things we do in life, they should also bring us joy…well, sort of…well, at least ultimately.  Let me explain.

The definition of joy is “a feeling of great pleasure and happiness”.  I can tell you that things I am passionate about ultimately bring me joy, but sometimes the process to get there is painful and heart wrenching and ugly.  That’s where my second word, passion comes into play.  Passion is defined as, “a strong and barely controllable emotion”.  Notice this doesn’t say “positive” emotion.

I think passion is the exception to the concept of joy with regards to happiness.  Or another way to say this is that happiness isn’t always about getting rid of negativity, but sometimes diving head first into dangerous passion knowing that the ride is going to be bumpy, but the end result is going to be joyous.

Some examples… If you know anything about me, you know I am passionate about movement, the outdoors and my boyfriend, Marcus.  However, spending 30 days running 500-miles across CO didn’t bring me joy every moment along the way…in fact most of it was agonizing, but I’d do it again without thinking twice.  I also am passionate about helping people be healthier, and have chosen a career doing so, but I don’t wake up every morning just dying to go to work.  The passion I share with Marcus is over the top, but our relationship isn’t all hugs and kisses (there’s definitely some bugs and hisses).  But, ultimately if I could trek my way through the mountain with Marcus by my side, inspiring others along the way, I would be the happiest girl in the world.

Mid point on my 500 mile run, bruised and broken and passionate!

To start this blog series off, I wanted to get the ideas of joy and passion out there and what they mean to me.  In the next several weeks I will be diving into how I try to implement these concepts into my daily decisions and attitudes.  How these outlooks define my moments (for good and bad) and how they ultimately play into my happiness.

Until then though… please enjoy my favorites for the week.

Favorite Quote:

“I’ve never seen any life transformation that didn’t begin with the person in question finally getting tired of their own bullshit.” ~Elizabeth Gilbert

Favorite Exercise:

Ab Wheel Out

I truly LOVE ab wheel outs!  I do them at least once a week!  This exercise works on core strength and straight arm strength in a dynamic fashion.

Favorite Recipe:

Avocado “Ice Cream”

(because sometimes you just want a health scrumptious treat!)

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz whole fat coconut milk
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 small frozen banana
  • 1 dash of vanilla
  • 3 Tbsp cocoa powder

Directions:

  1. Put all ingredients into a blender/food processor of choice
  2. Blend to desired consistency (doesn’t take long)
  3. Eat it!
  4. Optional Toppings: chopped nuts, chocolate chips, coconut flakes

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