At some point in my journey from working for others to having a full-time private practice, I decided that “this was serious business”. As I focused on being a “serious” entrepreneur, I felt like I didn’t have the money, time, and energy to do many things for fun. One of the activities that had brought me joy over the past 16 years is something called the Nia Technique.
I enjoyed the practice so much that I taught Nia for 11 years. And yet when I “needed to get serious”, I stopped attending classes regularly.
“I can’t afford to pay for ongoing classes right now.”
“I can’t focus on teaching Nia while I’m building my practice.”
These were some of the excuses I gave myself for why couldn’t engage in a practice that brings me joy.
A few months ago, I was watching a video from one of the many emails for entrepreneurs that show up in my mailbox. It talked about building your work schedule around activities that bring you joy. It recommended that you schedule something that brings you joy every day. I realized that I needed to start to schedule joy in my life again. Although my work brings me a lot of satisfaction (and even joy sometimes) to have a well-balanced and happy life, I need to provide myself opportunities for joy.
I started by asking friends to get together for non-work focused activities. It was a pleasure to reconnect with friends. I got my bike a spring tune up and started flying around the park by my house on a regular basis. Then I started to investigate when Nia classes were offered and where. I knew I needed to bring this practice back into my weekly schedule but I still had excuses ready. This time I recognized them for the meaningless excuses they were. I started attending classes 2x a week.
Since I started scheduling joy in my life, I have seen an increase in my overall sense of wellbeing. I feel that by scheduling joy, I have given myself permission to have more joy in my life. Having joy-bringing activities scheduled does not guarantee I will feel overwhelmed with joy each and every time I do it. But it does guarantee that I have more opportunities to experience joy consistently throughout my week.
I would like to encourage everyone to think about scheduling joy in their life. What activity that feeds your soul have you let go “because ”? Whether it is reading for fun, coloring in coloring books, riding a bike, spending time in nature, getting together with friends, dancing around your living room (or in Nia class), learning something new or something else that brings you joy, schedule it!
If you would like to work with someone to help you cultivate more joy in your life, please contact Claudine Miller, LPC at 314-780-8328 or Michele Grace, MFT Intern at 417-322-4033, at Chrysalis Counseling www.chrysaliscounselingstl.com.
Resources: To learn more about Nia go to www.nianow.com.