What's in Your Suitcase of Joy?
Sometimes it’s can seem hard trying to keep on the right track, balancing doing the things you love with everything else you have committed to. You’re working hard on your business trying to keep on top of the bills. Socializing to keep in touch with your friends. Keeping the house and family together. Being a parent. Carrying out your chores, and trying to keep others happy!
When you are continuously distracted, it is easy to push your own personal priorities to the back of your mind and forget about doing the things you find great joy in because they often take a back seat over everything else. But participating in the things you are passionate about is just as important to your health and well being as keeping your life and family afloat in your busy lifestyle. When you don’t have a healthy balance between doing the things you love and taking care of the day to day stuff, you become more stressed and unhappy.
When was the last time you took time to really think about what love to do? Who do you like to spend your time with? What do you like to learn or want to do more of? Are you happy in your career? Maybe you have some changes you want to make but are not sure where to start.
Try this exercise, you can do this with your eyes open or eyes closed: Imagine you have a suitcase in front of you. It’s full of all your favorite things - memories, experiences, future life, everything and anything that makes you happy. Maybe there are pictures in there of your family, your friends, an old pet, an old family vacation. Your hobbies, your favorite food, a job that you have dreamed of doing, a relationship you deeply desire. What do you see, smell, hear or taste?
Now take out a sheet of paper and spend a good half an hour focusing on the things that bring you joy and make you happy. Now write them all out in any order you like. This is your Suitcase of Joy!
Once you have completed the above exercise, imagine another suitcase next to your Suitcase of Joy. This is your Suitcase of Present Time. In this suitcase, you see your life as it is now and the people and places you spend your time seeing or going to. Maybe you can see or feel some fears in there that could be stopping you from moving ahead into your future.
- What can you see that might be stopping you from getting that job or relationship you have yearned for?
- Is there anything you would like to change about your present?
- Is there something or someone you would like to spend more time with?
- What do you notice?
Now that you have both your suitcases in front of you, is there anything you would like to take out of your Suitcase of Joy and pack into your Suitcase of Present Time? Spend some time bringing in all the things you want to add to your Suitcase of Present Time and write them out onto a separate piece of paper.
- What would you add in?
- Would you take anything out of your Suitcase of Present Time?
- Is there anything you want to replace or change?
- If so, what would it be?
Once you have added all the things you want to your Suitcase of Present Time, make sure everything is there for you to enjoy either now or in the future. Imagine you are picking it up off the conveyer belt ready to be unlocked and unpacked!
Doing this simple exercise allows you to take a step back and remind yourself what is important to you. Notice if there is anything that you need to change in order to improve your life. It allows you a chance to see things from a different perspective and reorganize your innermost desires and priorities so you can live a happier and more fulfilling life!