One Simple Step to Finding More Joy

A few weeks ago I sat on the front porch and held my baby as we watched the older kids play with water on the trampoline.

It immediately brought back memories of my cousin Rikki and I as we enjoyed our summer in the exact way my kids were.  We’d jump all day long as we covered the trampoline in dish soap to make it slick. Or one time we even attempted getting an old tarp and tying up each corner and dumping hot water on it, in an attempt to make our own hot tub.  We also loved playing in the mud. We’d make mud pies, or cover our whole body up with the mud and we’d even get in mud fights.

As I thought about these memories, I decided to be a “fun” mom and encourage my kids to play in the mud like I used to.  And play they did!  They covered just about every square inch of their bodies, and they laughed and screamed the entire time.  I knew then, that the mess we’d have to clean up later, would be completely worth it.

But then I also found myself, wanting to play in the mud with them.  So I did.

I took my shoes off and marched over there and sunk my feet in the mud, right next to my kids. This caused my 8-year-old to say, “Mom! I never thought you’d play in the mud!” So I took the time then to tell him that as a kid I LOVED playing in the mud.  It was one of my very most favorite things to do, and that even as an adult, I loved the feel of it squish between my toes.  Then he said, ” Then why don’t you do it very much.”

I had to think about it for a second.

If I loved it so much, then WHY didn’t I ever do it anymore?

I finally understood that I had quit playing in the mud, because “adults don’t do that.” I had given up doing something that brought me joy because I felt that it wasn’t something I “should” enjoy doing anymore. Society told me to grow up and quit doing things I enjoyed doing as a kid. So I listened.

How bogus is that?!

Maybe that’s why we have people who walk around looking miserable? It’s because they’ve lost sight of who they are and what they love to do.

Think of kids.  When are they the happiest?

It’s when they are running around, playing and doing something they love.  They don’t care if they look silly.  They don’t mind if no one else is doing it too. They just go about their business, doing what they love.  They are constantly looking for fun and as a result, they are happy.

As a mentor, I am constantly telling women to make a joy list of things they like to do and it’s always a daunting task at first. What DOES bring them joy? What DO they like to do for fun? It’s been so long since they’ve done something for themselves that they don’t even know what it feels like to think of themselves.  Where do they start?

From now on, I’m going to tell them to start at the beginning.

Find what it was you enjoyed doing as a child, and chances are, you still enjoy it now. You just haven’t given yourself permission to do it again.

So, go play in the mud, jump rope, ride bikes, rollerblade, build a tree fort, or whatever else it was you loved doing. It doesn’t matter what it is you love to do, just make sure that you go do it.

I promise, that if you start with this simple step, you’ll find so much more joy added to your life.

As you’ve read this post, I’m sure that childhood memories have flashed through your mind and you’re remembering what you loved to do as a child. So, what was it? Share it in the comments because sometimes when we hear ideas from other people, it gets our mind going too.  And if there’s one thing this world needs a little bit more of, it’s definitely joy.

XOXO-

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31 Responses to One Simple Step to Finding More Joy

  1. Great post – and so true… as adult, we have hid away our joys of being young – – and the good thing, is that we can get to those very easily, if we just put our adult ego aside, and just be! as you say, a simple step! thanks for sharing

    • Charlsye Miller says:

      You’re welcome Sylvie. I love how you say that we need to put our ego aside…that really is the issue! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  2. Jattu says:

    Hey gorgeous lady,
    I’ve just nominated you for a blogger recognition award. I read your blog and was completely inspired by what you do.
    Check it out at my website – https://www.jattukallon.com

    Congratulations once again x

  3. Hey gorgeous lady,
    I’ve just nominated you for a blogger recognition award. I read your blog and was completely inspired by what you do.
    Check it out at my website – https://www.jattukallon.com

    Congratulations once again x

  4. Omg, you’re my hero!
    I feel so weird when I’m traveling and suddenly start doing a weird crab dance to enjoy the moment (I’m almost 30!).

    It’s became so cliché this whole adulting thing, and what society wants you to be, that we forget that simple things make us happy.
    Therefore I’m traveling with Plushy companion and continue doing weird crab dance everywhere. http://www.travelsofplushy.com/stay-creative-embrace-weirdness/

    • Charlsye Miller says:

      I love that you’re following your heart and doing weird crab dances. Be YOU and celebrate it! 🙂

  5. Jenn says:

    I agree, do what makes you happy! I still enjoy watching Disney films and collecting Hello Kitty. I’m a kid at heart!

  6. Colleen Bijl says:

    This was a great reminder that we don’t always need to act like “Adults” in order to be adults. I think we forget who we were as children. Nice post!

  7. Jen S says:

    Haha that sounds like such a fun afternoon! Gotta admit though, I hated playing in the mud as a kid… really I hated getting dirty at all. I’ve almost gotten more messy as I’ve gotten older!

  8. Bailie says:

    So much fun! I don’t know why we stop doing things we loved doing as a kid! Great post!

    • Charlsye Miller says:

      My guess is because society tells us we have to “grow up.” But really we need to just go back and be us. Thanks for reading!

  9. Elaine says:

    This. Yes! Thank you for sharing. Need to do more of this with my kids.

  10. Lindsay says:

    So true! I have to catch myself because too often I tell my kids no, but only because I don’t want to get dirty, wet, or pull out the paints, etc.. Why do I care about all of that? They just want to have fun so I should look at it that way instead of looking at everything through my Type A glasses.

    • Charlsye Miller says:

      Oh Lindsay, I say No way more than I need to, for those exact same reasons. I’m trying my hardest to loosen up and let them play…and to play right along with them. Us Type A moms need to chill out a bit huh? 😉

  11. Jiya B says:

    I loved each word. And yes I agree 100 percent with this one should play like a child with children. Set your all worries and street free. And just enjoy the fullest. Such moments fill you with positivity for life.

    • Charlsye Miller says:

      Yes! I realize that when I play like a child, my stress and worry goes down immensely. Thanks for popping in and commenting Jiya. 🙂

  12. Melanie says:

    Love giving yourself permission to be a kid again! I always loved playing outside, running around and playing in the dirt, now I’m stuck indoors most of the day. Good to get back to pure joy

    • Charlsye Miller says:

      Sometimes we have to be inside and not always doing those things we love. The key is to do make time for the things we love and making sure we do them whenever we do get the chance. It can be hard to allow ourselves to do this, but it makes life so much better if we do. Thanks for commenting!

  13. Good music with a good beat is one of my favorite ways to get out of the funk and put me in a joyful mood! Occasionally I even dance around…and if I am driving it turns into a karaoke session 🙂

    • Charlsye Miller says:

      Yes! Good music always gets me moving and happy. In the summer especially, I love driving with the windows down and the music up. Thanks for sharing Andrea. 🙂

  14. Kevin says:

    This is an incredible article! It has really opened up my eyes, personally. I have always told my kids that they have the coolest dad ever. But, after reading this I have realized that I have also grown up; almost without even noticing it.

    I am going to spend a little more time with my kids, doing things that I used to do as a child. Thanks for that!

    • Charlsye Miller says:

      It sounds like you’re still a pretty cool dad, and sounds like you’re ready to make more memories with them! That’ll just make them and you, even happier! Thanks for stopping by!

  15. DearAmelie says:

    Thank you for sharing! I have great childhood memories, one of the most beautiful ones, and maybe a bit pathetic and less cute than the ones you’ve share, is my father holding my hand and walking around, until we would find a light-pole and he would lock our arms in between, so one of us would have to let go. Non of us would let go, and my mom would simply walk away shaking her head. This memory has stayed on my brain for years now, and it doesn’t go away. Bear in mind that me and my father are not that close, we have a relationship, just not as close as one would wish, I guess.
    Followed! I love your writing. Looking forward to reading you further!

    • Charlsye Miller says:

      I don’t think there is anything pathetic about that memory at all. I’d hold on to that memory forever, especially if I wasn’t super close with my Dad. That would just remind me of how much he does love me. Thank you for sharing that, it made memories of my Dad come to my mind as well. 🙂 And thanks so much for following me! I look forward to connecting more in the future!

  16. Dear Amelie says:

    Thank you for sharing! I have great childhood memories, one of the most beautiful ones, and maybe a bit pathetic and less cute than the ones you’ve share, is my father holding my hand and walking around, until we would find a light-pole and he would lock our arms in between, so one of us would have to let go. Non of us would let go, and my mom would simply walk away shaking her head. This memory has stayed on my brain for years now, and it doesn’t go away. Bear in mind that me and my father are not that close, we have a relationship, just not as close as one would wish, I guess.
    Followed! I love your writing. Looking forward to reading you further!

  17. Dear Amelie says:

    Thank you for sharing! I have great childhood memories, one of the most beautiful ones, and maybe a bit pathetic and less cute than the ones you’ve share, is my father holding my hand and walking around, until we would find a light-pole and he would lock our arms in between, so one of us would have to let go. Non of us would let go, and my mom would slimpy walk away shaking her head. This memory has stayed on my brain for years now, and it doesn’t go away. Bear in mind that me and my father are not that close, we have a relationship, just not as close as one would wish, I guess.
    Followed! I love your writing. Looking forward to reading you further!

  18. Sarah says:

    Dancing around my room with music on full blast! I still do this all the time when no one is home and it is amazing! Great blog post 🙂

    • Charlsye Miller says:

      Oh man, Sarah! That brings back memories for sure! I haven’t cranked up the music and danced in forever! I’m definitely going to have to get that done. Thanks so much for sharing!!!

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