I’m digging deeper and deeper into my most recent introspective journey.  Sometimes it’s uncomfortable, and a lot of the time it’s eye opening.  The book that I’m reading right now, The Happiness Project has all sorts of interesting perspective.  The first chapter was about organization.  Toss, restore, organize.  The author recommends tackling clutter & excess…  which comes in several varieties.  The three I focused on were things I use all the time, things I never use, and things I’ve always hoped to use but haven’t.  The stuff and clothes I never use (leopard high heels), immediately got put in a bag for donation (I based this on stuff I haven’t touched in literally 12 months).  The clothes I use all the time, I organized and hung in plain view.  The content I’ve always hoped to use but haven’t yet… I set in a pile and I’m giving myself one month to work it into my lifestyle and my wardrobe.  If by January 15th, this stuff still has not been implemented.  To Goodwill that pile will go.  I cannot tell you how freeing it is to recycle, reduce, reuse and give away stuff that literally has no meaning to me any longer.  I highly recommend it.

The next chapter is about love and relationships.  The most resounding part so far has been the author discussing her expectation of praise and appreciation when she does something.  I laughed out loud when I read this because I absolutely can relate.  I always want that proverbial gold star after a job well done.  An acknowledgment.  She challenges the reader to stop expecting it.  It’s a lesson in paying close attention to your behavior and your internal thoughts.  I’m interested in working this into my life.  A lot of the time, it’s something I will do for someone else, but I want to turn it around and do something for someone else, for myself.  It sounds confusing.  But I want to stop feeling like I need that acknowledgment.  If you do it for other people, you end up wanting them to acknowledge it and be grateful and give you credit.  If you do it for yourself, you don’t expect other people to react in a particular way – just be content and happy that you did it.  Period.
Earlier today at church we talked about joy and I loved it.  A quote Ben used was, “Joy doesn’t not simply happen to us.  We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.” (Henri Nouwen).  How true is that?  Especially after the terrible tragedy that happened on Friday… we are going to have to, as a nation, choose to find joy in something, anything, each day.  And continue that trend.
In conclusion… I challenge you to clean up your life, do things without expecting a gold star, and choose joy.
Love one another!  Just do it!
Life is good,
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