Cultivating Joy Starts With Gratitude
I find myself in both the exhilarating and terrifying position of re-building my life from scratch. It’s an opportunity for which I’m grateful. I have no dependents and no spouse. I only have to answer to Sallie Mae. I’m generally stoked about the prospect. Other days I’m overwhelmed, and just want to pull the covers over my head and return to sleep.
Eventually — I drag myself out of bed — meditate for about 10 minutes, then wildly Google places that I could live / work. I think aloud: do I want to return to a war zone yet? And let that sit with me. Other days I think: how about go work on a peace boat? (Then I’m reminded of Sallie Mae).
To be clear, I have a bunch of fancy degrees from expensive schools but I’m working on clarifying what brings me joy. I’ve enjoyed my yoga teacher trainings with Tara Stiles and Johnny at Ananda Yoga in Thailand. I love guiding yoga and people on wellness journeys. My mind-body therapist has given me some in-between work of recognizing what brings me joy, allowing myself to be vulnerable, and being curious about that. So from my ongoing trip in the Middle East, here is my brief list:
What brings Lisa joy:
- Riding donkeys full speed through Petra.
- Walking down the street with sunshine on my face.
- The desert. I love the desert.
- Implanting myself in a country and going virtually unnoticed.
- Breathing in the Mediterranean Sea.
- Admiring and being admired.
- Cafes with real books.
- Meeting new people.
- Breathing, sitting and meditating.
There you have it. As you can see I’m no closer to figuring out my life than I was yesterday. However, I am enjoying seeking the good in everything situation, being a little curious about that and taking note of how my body feels. I think the one good thing about divorce is that it can provide boundless opportunities for emotional growth. The challenge is to grow through what you go through.