Today begins the latest round of Jamie Ridler’s wonderful brainchild, the book blogging group The Next Chapter. This time around, we’re working our way through Martha Beck’s The Joy Diet: 10 Daily Practices for a Happier Life.
Hah! I’ll bet some who saw the title of my post thought it was a food-related diet and exercise program. Not quite. It is, as the author asserts in her Introduction, “a way of living or thinking.” In this case, the object is to develop a way of living or thinking that brings us joy, using these ten “ingredients”: Nothing, Truth, Desire, Creativity, Risk, Treats, Play, Laughter, Connection, and Feasting.
Today, I’ve begun the practice of the first ingredient, Nothing. More precisely, doing nothing. I will write about that, however, next Friday after I’ve had a week to practice.
I’m excited, and a little nervous, about the ten-week journey this may unfold in my life.
Since I declared September, to myself at least, my Month of Mindfulness, I’ve been keeping things at a fairly even keel. I’ve maintained, for the most part, a sense of calm and being in the moment, and a balance between the dramatic and restful.
My main intent behind joining in is to tip the scales in favor of joy. I think I can do with less weight on the less-than-joyful side of the scales. Couldn’t we all?
I’m a little nervous, too. There is one ingredient that I’ve not been very good at doing, that I’ve been better at systematically avoiding: Risk. But, in keeping with my Month of Mindfulness philosophy, I will confront that ingredient when I get to it. Perhaps, by then, I will be ready for it. If not, I will remind myself, as I am right now, of one of my favorite bits in the closing monologue of the film Elizabethtown: “A motto of the British Special Air Force is, ‘Those who risk, win.'”
Sometimes the things for which we have an aversion or outright fear are the things that, once done, make us happiest.
At any rate, here’s to joy! Joy in my life, joy in the lives of my fellow participants, and, if you are reading this and haven’t yet joined in, to joy in your life! (P.S. It’s not too late to join in if you want to!)