Bliss is found when we are actively engaged in a life that combines purposeful work or activities with pleasure. This is according to Lisa Broesch-Weeks author of the soon to be released, “Practical Bliss: The Busy Person’s Guide to Happiness” (www.inblisslife.com). Lisa shared tips for everyday bliss during a talk with my women’s group earlier this month.
So many of us are constantly on the go; doing, rushing, checking our smart-phones and marking off items on a never ending to-do list. You hear all the time from friends and colleagues that they are too busy and overwhelmed from trying to juggle everything.
But, what are we are busy with?
Are the things that keep us running activities that are meaningful or fun? Or are they shoulds and obligations?
I met with a private coaching client the day after Lisa’s presentation. My client is looking to make a change, but isn’t sure where to start. She thought she needed to do something more, just get started. That’s when Lisa’s words hit me. This client didn’t need to do more, she is the mother of three young children, she has plenty to do. What might be more exciting and motivating is to do something meaningful to her that didn’t feel like yet another obligation.
This is not to say that to find happiness you must define your life’s purpose right this second. That is way too heavy. How about just bringing in more of what matters to you? Don’t get stuck in thinking meaning can only come through career. Meaningful work is certainly rewarding, but adding purposeful activities can come through any number of avenues. Could it be an altruistic and noble cause? Sure, but it doesn’t have to be that daunting. Just start thinking about things that you enjoy, that matter to you, and how to have more of that in your life.
Where do pleasurable activities fall on your to-do list? It doesn’t have to be a bank busting trip around the world. What about a walk in nature? Lisa talks about “roadside bliss”, where you just find somewhere that has a view or is appealing to you in someway; sitting under a tree, admiring the architecture of a building, feeling the sun, wind or rain on your face...it’s just about what brings you joy. You might be surprised by the positive effects of adding little moments of pleasure into your day.
The final ingredient is to be engaged. So many of us wish we could slow down time, enjoy the moment. But, the truth is more times than not we are either in the past by reliving memories or future projecting about what might/might not happen. The best way to slow things down, to engage in your life, is to be right here in whatever is happening in this moment.
This is where we find bliss at the intersection of purpose, pleasure and engagement.