I don’t remember the first time I paused and softly smiled upon hearing the word, “delight.” Maybe it was when my mom said, “How about you write what’s on your heart and call it ‘Gems of Delight’?” As moms usually do, she knew what was on my heart before I could consciously name it.
“Our true nature is filled with delight,” I wrote on the Barefoot Barn’s website nine years ago and it is still there today. Look at any little kiddo. Everything delights them – everyday things like the “magic” of peek-a-boo, their own toes, your silly faces, the dog’s huge tongue, going big poops in the potty…you name it. Delight can be lowkey, content, an inner soft smile. It doesn’t have to be verbose or grand. Just a deep sense of lightness and contentment.
Delight FEELS good. When we take delight in something, we feel connected and content. Why? All those great “feel good” hormones running through us…especially oxytocin, the “connecting” hormone. Delight is good for us!
When we realllly tune inward and ask ourselves, “what delights my heart?” and we begin to get glimmers of what that is, as we follow those gems, we align ourselves with our true nature. We actively and intentionally manifest those delights in our everyday life.
Read that again! Aligning yourself with what delights your heart enables you to intentionally and actively manifest these delights in your EVERYday life. Not just on some Caribbean vacation. Not just on the weekends, or date night, or summer break. But every day.
And what happens? The angst within us dissipates. A deep sense of contentment springs from us while at the same time, we feel a sense of aliveness. We live more connected to our Self and our dear ones. We stop listening to the voices of our past, our pop culture, and we begin to learn that the “voice within” — the small still voice that turns us to what we truly delight – is the still voice of the Divine.
And we begin to transform our EVERYDAY lives – with this moment, this breath, this one decision.
And…get this…we inspire others to follow what delights THEIR hearts!
A true happiness takes up residence in our souls and begs us to share it with the world. Our very presence has the power to inspire others and our delight naturally spills out into our world. We transform suffering and manifest change by our very presence and simple acts of compassion.
THIS IS HOW WE TRANSFORM OUR WORLD.
So, here are five ways to follow what delights your heart:
1. Pause. Cultivate pausing in your day. Here’s a post on the Sacred Pause. Pausing enables us to regroup, get grounded, and focus on what’s most important instead of getting swallowed up in the abyss of Pinterest, Facebook, and the myopic focus that comes from being in stress mode. Pausing throughout your day gets you in the habit of allowing your nervous system to ‘rest and digest.’
2. Go barefoot. Go outside, feel your feet on the earth…in the green grass, in the mud. Breathe in delight. Breathe out gratitude. Look around you. Notice all the beautiful simple delights right here for you to see!
3. Share it. Had a moment today where you just beamed with delight? Did one of your kiddos do something that made you deeply smile? Share it. Tell your coworkers. Post it on Facebook. Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh often talks about sharing your delights, the goodness in your life, walking on the earth imprinting your delights not your woes on the earth. Sharing further strengthens that neuropathway of “noticing the delight” in your life. It also inspires others to do the same.
4. List it. Get out a piece of paper (and some art stuff if you have the energy!). Without activating the “rational” brain, just write your responses to this question: “what delights my heart?”
5. Follow it. If drawing delights your heart, draw. If baking delights your heart, bake. If giggling and connecting with your little ones delights your heart, get off the computer and go find your kiddos. Whatever delights your heart, begin it. In little ways. Small ways. Don’t make big lofty goals. The brain loves to make pathways — when you “accomplish” something, you feel good about it. The brain wants to repeat that. So even after you are done reading this – commit to following what delights your heart in your next breath. Even if it’s visualizing that canvas you’ve always wanted to paint or you pause and look at your kiddo and say, “You rock” because it delights you to connect with your children…do it. You’ll feel good. Your brain will want to repeat it.
Blessings of delight,
Lisa A. McCrohan
Visit us at the Barefoot Barn for body-centered psychotherapy, mindfulness coaching, yoga, workshops, and works of art to inspire more delight, compassion, and connection in our everyday lives. ** Are you a parent? I do mindful coaching over the phone.