The Joie De Vivre
Joie de vivre is a French term used to express the joy of living. However, in English it is used to express a cheerful enjoyment of life.
The joy of living, oh yeah, what is that again and where did it go?
What about the single moments in life that allows us to feel so exhilarated? When was the last time you had an experience like that? The “wow” moments, I call them. When was your last wow moment? That rush of sensation that made you feel like life was fantastic and everything up until that moment was totally worth it. Can you even remember?
What happened to those small tasks such as watering the plants that were once oh so fulfilling that now has become another item on the to-do list?
The joy of life has been drained from many of us, and now is the time to acknowledge that you may be suffering too. Do you just exist from day to day instead of living for each new day? Experts on this subject of leisure and leisure-deficit suggest that having the experience of a “wow” moment is more valuable than a truckload of diamonds.
Often summer gives us the space to slow down, spend more time in the garden, relaxing with the children, or with a book at the beach, summer can give us permission, but only if you create the space.
Knock, knock, who’s there? Summer. Summer who? It’s about summer in the here and now. Now is the time to do something about your life.
In the midst of minutia we seem to forget that life is finite, the aging process begins the day we are born, and we must have as much experience as possible to make each moment count. This does not mean that we answer as many emails as possible or work more hours this week than last. It means having more experience with life.
How many missed moments have passed you by that could have been utterly delightful?
I recently had a patient who is having a hard time juggling her career with motherhood. As a new mother, she was struggling with the guilt many women face of being divided between both roles and not being able to perform either to her satisfaction. She was expressing to me the latest frustration of having a fussy, teething baby and her desire as “super mom” to find the perfect teething remedy. Thus, her home and now refrigerator were filled with the latest teething remedies and her baby was still crying. We discussed the alternatives which involved having her accept that teething was a normal part of infancy and that her holding and swaddling her baby during this time didn’t make her any less of a mother. Comforting and holding her baby was living in the moment rather then researching an unachievable magic bullet for teething.
Sometimes we just have to accept what is, and just be present in that moment, mind, body, and spirit.
Happiness research indicates that a satisfying life is found in deep life experiences that touch our core and enrich our passions and interests.
Note from Dr. P:
What to do if this sounds like you?
– Balance the “to-do list” with the “to-live list”.
– Increase your active participation in leisure activities.
– Release control over situations. Allow experiences to just unfold.
– Try something new.
– Unplug from media & electronics.
– Participate don’t be a spectator.
– Increase your Vitamin P = Pleasure
– Small doses of pleasure can boost our immune system and are related to our biochemical balance.
– Expand on your sense of what brings you pleasure, and evaluate some healthy habits that may be available to you.
– Discover more feel good experiences in your own daily existence. Every single one of us can benefit from a daily infusion of Vitamin P.
-Be Healthy, Happy & Holistic!