8 Practices to Bring You Joy & Meaning – Part 2

What does creativity have to do with joy and meaning?
Why is a company that sells jewelry findings even filling my inbox with such a topic? I considered changing the headline to read; “10% More Creativity” in hopes of getting more clicks, but my creative muses weren’t going for it.

Truth be told, I don’t have any answers. No absolute truths. No data that I can rattle off from scienced based research nor neuroscientists that I can quote.

What I do know is that I have been a creative being my whole life, as I believe all of us are. I have dedicated the past 35 years as a working artist to my own personal pursuit of creativity because it has brought me joy and meaning.

In this series, I am documenting a much-needed shift for myself. I had been struggling for a couple years with a lack of motivation and a less than desirable amount of joy in my life and work. I have a hunch that many of us have been challenged with this same “low” in our creative energy from time to time.

I’ll unpack what I was reflecting on, the books I was reading and the podcasts I was listened to in order to entice my creative muses to “wake-up” and return to the path of joy and meaning.

In the first-part of the series, I cover three practices:

1. Reflection

  • I explain why I spend time annually to reflect and why it is helpful in creating the life that I say I want.
  • I provide a link to an online free booklet called the YearCompass

2. Examining Habits

  • I provide an example of my own not so great habit of watching too much TV.
  • I provide places where you can explore developing new habits to support you in your creative pursuits.

3. Be Inspired to Create

  • To replace my old habit of watching too much TV, I turned to podcasts.
  • I have a great recommendation of a wonderful podcast that I’m enjoying.

Let’s get started on covering the next practices in pursuit of more joy and meaning! Maybe these suggestions or practices won’t be the right cocktail to jumpstart you moving forward with joy and meaning in your own life, but I hope my words will inspire you to venture into your own exploration of discovery.

4. Finding Joy & Meaning Through Movement

Two summers ago, I was dining outside at a local eatery here in Port Townsend. As we were eating, I could hear the sounds of music, cheering and clapping coming from down the street. On my walk home from the restaurant, I passed a park along the waterfront and saw a group of people dancing. There was a sign stuck in the grass that read; “Zumba.”

I had seen a Zumba class once before, but something about this instructor was different. She radiated joy in her movements. She was passionate, confident, powerful and beautiful.

I arrived home and did an online search to find the Zumba instructor I had witnessed that evening. I found Bailey and her community of dancers online and made a mental note of her next class. Days later, I danced for the first time with Bailey and was completely hooked.

I have danced and taken aerobic classes before as a form of exercise, but there was something different about this. With each Zumba song, I was transported to a different culture. It wasn’t just exercise, it was soulful.

For two years, I have gone 3-4 days a week. I look forward to spending time with my Zumba community and schedule my life around attending.

I’m not part of a pyramid marketing scheme for Zumba, I just know that there is something about moving my body, in community with a group of other individuals that has made me VERY HAPPY. When I’m happy, my life is better. When my life is better, I experience joy. When I experience joy, it is much easier for me to find meaning in the smallest of things.

I became very curious about what made Zumba so great. I can’t help but think like an entrepreneur and business person when it comes to understanding what makes something work. Zumba doesn’t just work for me and so many other, it thrives! I wanted to understand why.

I started to read a book titled; The Joy of Movement: How Exercise Helps Us Find Happiness, Hope, Connection, and Courage by Kelly McGonigal, PhD. Kelly helped me to shed some light on the science of what I was experiencing. I highly recommend reading it, but the title tells you what you need to know. If you move your body, ANY KIND of movement, it will help you find more happiness, hope, connection and courage.

Action Steps:

  • Find an activity that you enjoy and practice it for 20 minutes a day. Maybe there will be a variety of activities you like. There is no right way, just move your body!
  • I highly recommend Kelly McGonigal’s book. It is so fascinating to learn about the chemistry that goes on in our bodies and why.

I’d love to hear from you! Reply back and let me know what brings joy and meaning to your life.

Check back next week for more practices that we can explore together!


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