I haven’t pulled out my “Happiness” talk for the participants yet, so I figured I would give them a taste of it here. Well, this is actually not from the workshop I do, this is an excerpt from the book I am writing. And this part is ALL ABOUT JOY. Honestly, I think after reading the books I have read on happiness, and hitting the retreats that I have… I would place this one area more important than all the rest.
Oddly, I have found with many people, well nearly all people if you can look at their WHOLE life; will suffer a loss of happiness due to health. I would like to not be one of those people, but the reality is that I already am. I have had enough dysfunction due to injury, that there has been joy lost thanks to those injuries. Funny however, when you look closely at an injury, and then pull back to look at it from far away, you might just find that joy is gained from those moments of injury, or pain. Its just hard to see it through the smoke.
From the Book –
Ruled by JOY
I sometimes ask my patients how they are doing… Really doing. And when the request for an answer is deep and heartfelt, so is the response. In these moments I have been taught the importance of joy, as I will rarely get an answer that relates specifically to a health concern, but more to the overall joy someone is experiencing. The lens through which we view our life… Health, family, other relationships, finances, is a lens tinted based upon the joy that we experience. Joy being a function of choice, not circumstance.
Through our life trials we are given opportunity to either use life’s trials as reasons for happiness, or weights that pull us deeper into gloom. And though reading this you might say, “of course I want to build happiness from anything, why would I want gloom?”; the reality is that most choose gloom. And though the choice is not seemingly unintentional, it is so much more intentional than you would ever guess.
The place where we so commonly build misery, starts with the question why.
”Why me? Why this? Why now? Why us? Why again?”. And perhaps “are you even there? It seems like you don’t care?”
The feeling that the world is against us, is facilitated by us believing that the world is against us.
Learning to use difficulties as blessings takes some practice, but it first requires decision. Decision that nothing in your life is going to accumulate to be the end of your life. I had to decide to take my seven practices, with investors and board members pushing to go to 100 locations, down to 1. It was a time of difficulty, and even in the midst of it, I was in a joyful moment of stress. I truly believed, and still do, that my value to my investors, to myself, my board, my family, would all be greater if I was following a plan to build on what I could offer individually first. This was Gods plan mind you, not mine.
During this difficult time, I was given a vision for wellness beyond the walls of the practice, and I began a journey to open CrossFit gyms, providing a greater market to teach and educate on lifestyle. This blessing has culminated in this first book. First of many books to come. The opposite response is to ask, WHY? THat simple question plants the seed of something wrong. Sure we could be saying, why am I so blessed with this incredible trial. But the usual use of the word is to ask “why is this awful circumstance upon me?” Recently one of my friends commented to me, how if you have been used by God to become a Biblical example, it typically means you have been dealt a raw deal. Its true. Think about how many people in God’s Word have been put into miserable situations. Absolutely AWFUL! Yet. Repeatedly, these individuals come out demonstrating how mindset to trust in God’s path, will win over all circumstance. Absolutely BEAUTIFUL!
I like the discussion of JOY, because I think it is easy if we choose it. The IRS came knocking on my door, they spent over 18 months digging through my entire life. Many of you have had it happen. You know what. It was joyful. I hate the thought of it happening again (I think I have had my share of joy from them), but seriously, there was a lot of good that came of it.
Be well and Be blessed! - Dr. E