A Rush of Joy

20 November, 2014 (03:44) | acts of kindness, joy, life balance, Millennial Initiative, positivity, Uncategorized | By: lifecoach

This past September was a particularly intense month for me. I had 3 speaking engagements in 3 weeks, 2 key meetings related to my Millennial Initiative, and an article deadline for Thirty Something Magazine (www.thirtysomethingmagazine.com). All this along with private client coaching calls, and of course writing my newsletters and this blog. In addition I attended a memorial service for the sudden passing of a fellow church member one week, and a 20-year celebration anniversary the next. While it’s generally my nature to see the blessings in the midst of life’s challenges and stresses, it definitely felt like I was spinning too many plates.

One day as I walked in Santa Monica (one of my favorite cities to stroll in) I was noticing the ‘weight’ of all that I had to do, along with the myriad of emotions that ranged from grief to elation, including a fair amount of anxiety about how I’d get it all done. As I walked I remembered the heartfelt compassion some of our church members displayed when they shared about ways they could support the grieving partner of our beloved church member.

Woman Open Arms

After pondering this for only a few minutes, I was suddenly struck by a ‘whoosh’ kind of feeling that passed through me. My steps became lighter, my pace picked up, and I felt energized as I pondered on the many different things we could do to come to this woman’s side. Although I hadn’t yet decided on what I would do to offer support, just the anticipation of reaching out filled me with a rush of joy.

We hear all the time how acts of kindness bring just as much joy (if not more) to the giver as they do the receiver.  While it doesn’t surprise me that I would feel joy while simply thinking about potential ways to offer support, what struck me is how instantaneously it took me out of my funk and transformed me – mind, body, and soul! I felt energized, inspired, and excited about tackling the rest of the day’s tasks. What resulted was a renewed sense of creativity and a feeling of peace.

While we don’t perform acts of kindness merely for us to feel better, a side benefit is that we increase some of our positive emotions, joy being one of them. (There are 10 positive emotions in all according to Barbara Fredrickson, author of Positivity). Who in your life could use a kind word or an act of kindness? If you’re feeling overloaded, exhausted, or simply frustrated by all that you have to do, think of someone you can reach out to and help them have a better day. They’ll be grateful for your kindness, and I bet you’ll experience a ‘rush of joy’ too!


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