Through life’s challenges, I am grateful for the many small moments of joy and beauty. Adventuring outdoors, observing nature, creating art, playing with children, exercising, listening to music, wearing bright clothes (dopamine dressing anyone?), reading, laughing, loving, eating….even on the days where we feel powerless amid the world’s troubles, joy is available to us all. And studies show that these small moments can reduce stress, strengthen our immune system, improve mood, and even help us live longer. Enjoy the little things – it’s a mantra on my gallery wall that I am grateful to be reminded of.
As I embark on a new year I want to focus on and continue to create and seek these small joys. I also want to focus on integrating life’s lessons. And sharing / modeling the process with my children. It is ok that I am an imperfect parent and wife. But it is not ok to live blind to my imperfections. There is power in acknowledging them aloud. As Brene Brown shared, “imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we’re all in this together.” Embracing our common humanity heals and is one of the most important elements of self-compassion.
It is also not ok to live in mindless reactivity to my triggers. With awareness we have the power to grow, to change. Through repetition we have can rewire our brains to do most anything. But we have to put in the work – with intentionality and self-awareness. Luckily, it doesn’t take much. According to Dr. Rick Hanson, taking an extra 10-20-30 seconds to savor positive experiences can help hardwire our brains for happiness. Our thoughts impact our feelings and ultimately our behavior. Taking time to focus deeply on our aspirations and the values we want to embody plants small seeds and is an easy way we can bring more light into the world.
Small joys and living a life of growth: those sure seem worthy of my focus and are no doubt a channel towards more love and hope for us all.
This year my focus was Grace. I thought a lot about it early on and what it meant to me. And many times I have returned to that mantra/goal/vision/hope. Practicing and embodying acceptance, kindness, and self-compassion. Giving everyone - including myself - the benefit of the doubt. This is something I plan to carry on into this new year and forevermore.
May all beings be joyful. May all beings grow. May all beings live in grace.
May we all pursue a life of joy and growth with grace.
Hello and welcome! My name is Andrea Notch Mayzeles. I am a Certified Health Education Specialist, Mom, and Master of Public Health dedicated to the path of well-being. As a wellness professional I am committed to continued learning and am here to share research, recipes and musings on health, psychology, personal development, and parenting. I hope you enjoy!