The more I think about it, the more I see the symbolism and direct correlation that this little route to happiness has on our or specifically, my real life! Before I get ahead of myself and loose you completely, let me tell you how I've found this pathway to where the sun shine and the birds sing all day long.
Earlier this evening I was walking back from a friend's home that lives nearby and as it is winter here in Dubai, it gets quite uncomfortably fresh at night (for me, others may not agree), so I was really in a hurry to get to our cozy little home.
I took a short cut through a neighbor's drive way, who's gates are always open and I always walk this way, but I guess he got tired of all the short-cut-takers. As I got closer I saw that the gate was not wide open like the picture I had in my head, but it was closed, so I thought I'll just slide it open and make my way home.
But oh no, giving the gate a good hard yank to try and slide it open and by the shock that went through my arm and elbow joint I discovered a huge chain with an even bigger lock on it that kept my way to coffee and cozy solidly blocked! For a moment or two I experienced emotions ranging from irritation to despair as I visualized how I have to walk all the way around the street block in the cold to reach our warm and inviting home.
I was seconds from throwing in the towel and dragging myself around the block, but then I thought; "I can get over this gate, I've done things like this when I was a kid" and without another blink I started climbing over that gate. Interesting fact, it was dark which kind of camouflages the black gate and all it's nooks and crannies, I've made a considerable amount of noise by trying to yank open the gate, so I had visions of a very angry man running at me with a baseball bat, not to mention the cold that makes every joint in my body move in slow, arthritic motion. So obviously I'm experiencing a moment of panic while I'm on top of this gate, no, not good for the nerves.
But the moment my feet hit the drive way on the other side of the gate, I experienced a feeling of elation and I even felt like giggling (which is so unlike me when I'm alone) for some reason I felt like hopping and skipping the rest of the way home.
I started thinking about how a little act like this - my short cut that almost ended up in frustration, but went over to an impulsive act which created a state of semi panic - could end up in a happy, fun loving skipping-home- Nadine.
And by my amateur analysis of happened in that little incident, I came to the following conclusion:
- I faced an obstacle, fear (not fear in the sense, but that's the basis of the little emotion that I experienced), doubt.
- I had a positive thought process of I can do this.
- I made a decision.
- I got active and did something I did as a child, climb over fences!
- I was successful and experienced a feeling of achievement and fun!
If I could pinpoint the short cut to joy to one thing, it would be to get ACTIVE! When I look at children and see how happy and joyful they always are just to be able to have some space in which they can run and play, it seems so very simple.
When I think of how great and energized I feel after a workout or playing sport, it just seem so fantastically simple again!
The shortcut to joy is to get active!!!
No matter what your definition of action is, I think it obviously have to include a little bit of risk taking and an elevated heart rate, for us to experience more positive emotions we have to mobilize our bodies and start doing, moving, living!
So tonight I'm going to bed with this crazy grin on my face and I'll start my day tomorrow by taking my own little short cut to joy for the day and hopefully spend the rest of my day in that happy way...
What about you, do you want to take the short cut too?