happiness jar

happiness is always there, take a moment to see it

I arrive home exhausted. The weight of the work day can been seen in my tired eyes.  Running from meeting to meeting I didn't get a chance to step outside and breathe in the fresh air.  I feel has if I have been put through the ringer, all my energy depleted. 

Darkness has set in and feel a pang of regret for not seeking out the light.  

Nothing grand happened today.  No monumental moment of fun.  It was an average workday where I felt buried in all that I needed to accomplish  But admits the piles of paper, the inbox filled with emails that need responding, and the countless number of meetings I know that there is still something to be grateful for.  Even if it is only one thing there is something that has filled my heart with happiness.  

Before heading off to bed I pause in front of my happiness jar and pull out one slip of paper. I take the time to reflect on my day and think about what moment I want to write down.  There was the text from a friend that arrived right when I needed it most.  There was the way he smiled when I tucked him in before I headed out the door.  The light of my salt lamp on my desk filing my heart with peace and calm.  The warmth of my heated seat on the cold morning drive.  The way the printer cooperated and did not jam as I was running to get something printed moments before the meeting.

What may have felt like an exhausting day was filled with ordinary moments of goodness.  It is these slivers of time that make up my days and if I do not slow down to appreciate them they will simply slip away.  

Moments of happiness do not need to be grand and extravagant.  It can be as simple as a smile from a stranger.  A warm bed in the morning.  A chance to begin again.  

Take the time seek out the happiness.  Cherish every bit of it and the love the heck out of your life.  For each moment is a new beginning.  An opportunity to choose the light over the darkness.  What moment made you happy today?

happy notes

Gratitude is a very important part of my self care practice.  I have tried to keep a gratitude journal but was never very good at showing up to it each day.  When I would remember to write in it I would see how long ago I was there and feel discouraged for not sticking with it.  Then the incredible idea for a happiness jar passed through my feed from the wonderful Elizabeth Gilbert.  It was simple -- one jar and tiny slips of paper.  Each day you write one thing that made you happy and drop it into the jar.  Easy peasy!  

This was the perfect solution for me because if I missed a day I never noticed and therefore my inner critique never got the chance to jump in and speak negative words.  I definitely missed many days but my jar still filled up with so many wonderful memories.  Simple moments that make this life extraordinary.  Like:

  • Sharing sushi with Dustin
  • A fun evening at the car show, lots of laughs, plenty of shine, and good people all around
  • The sweet smell of wild orange as she rubbed it on my forehead and shoulders while in shavasana

Simple everyday moments that make this life extraordinary.  What a love about the happiness jar is how ordinary the moments are, yet they fill my heart with so much love!  

Happiness Jar

I have taken the time to read through each one of my happy moments from 2015.  It was fun to go back and read about moments that I forgot about.  I was also able to see how much happiness there was even during such a tragic time.  Each happy moment is filled with love, connection, and so much goodness.  

The jar is now empty and ready for a brand new year of happy.  I am excited to continue this tradition.  I usually write out my note before I slip into bed.  It is the perfect way to end the day.  

If you are interested in doing this I encourage you to go for it.  Any jar and slips of paper will do.  One thing I do recommend is including the date on each note.  This way when you look back you know exactly the day it happened.  You can begin a happiness jar any time of the year, it doesn't have to happen on January 1st.  And if you miss a day or a bunch of days, no big deal ... just pick up wherever you are.  Fill that jar with loads of happiness.  

happiness jar

We have rolled over into a new month and that means the opportunity to dig my hand into the happiness jar and pull out a slip of paper.  I am loving how this has turned into a monthly ritual.  I never know what I will pull out but I do know that it will be something that has made me happy.  What could be better than that?  

My happiness jar sits on my kitchen table and is a visual reminder to me that life is good, really good.  Even if I am having a "terrible horrible no good very bad day" I look at the jar filled with colorful papers and I instantly smile.  It reminds me of the moments I have created; the ordinary pieces that fill me up; and the unexpected that has brought surprise and delight.  All of that is capture in my happiness jar.  

Sitting down each night to write my one happy moment has given me the opportunity to really feel the moment and celebrate it.  Now keep in mind these moments aren't all grand and pretty.  Sometimes my happy moment is as simple as --- walking in the door after a long day at work!  Taking the time to write that down reminds me of how grateful I am for my home and how safe I feel here.  

Time flies by all to quickly.  If we don't stop to take it in and appreciate it we let it slip away even faster.  {click to tweet that!}  Taking the time to dig my hand into the jar gives me even another opportunity to appreciate all the moments in my life.  So I shake the jar up and dig my hand in.  

This month I pulled out: Going for a run at lunch time.  It felt so good to move my body {3.35.15}

It has been awhile since I have been away from my desk at lunch and getting outside to move by body was just what I needed.  Sometimes we have to push ourselves to what is best for us, but once we do it we are beyond thrilled.  The happiness jar is one of those things for me.  It takes dedication to show up to it, but I am so happy that I do.  The best part is that it does not take to much time.  I have the slips of paper pre-cut {which is huge for this unprepared chica} so all I need to do each night is grab a slip, jot down a moment, and drop it into the jar.  

Have you created a happiness jar?  Do have any rituals that you do with it?  

It is not to late to start one.  In fact you can begin at any time.  There are no rules!  Go ahead, find a jar and drop in your first happy moment today.  

happiness jar

My happiness jar is filling with all sorts of lovely memories.  I am still enjoying the ritual of sitting down each night and writing down my happy moment.  It allows me time to reflect on all that was and a chance to say thank you to myself for what I have created and movements I have gone through.  

In honor welcoming in March {and just like I had done in February}, I dug my hand into my happiness jar and pulled out a slip of paper.  It was wonderful to be transported back to a moment in January where I was at NY Yankees Women's Fantasy Camp and Monica and I were chatting during lunch.  We were talking about things I am passionate about . . .  choosing to live . . . navigating a healthy lifestyle . . .  running  . . . working out.  The conversation filled my soul and inspired me to keep moving forward.  

These small moments in time can easily slip away.  So often we are running from one thing to the next that we do not take the time to document what we were feeling.  When I was younger I would fill my journal with these types of moments but lately I haven't had the time to do that. Writing one single moment down each night allows an easy way to capture this.  I am so grateful for my happiness jar and for the gratitude that it is instilling in me.  

I cut more slips of paper and I am ready to capture March.  Having these slips of paper cut and ready to go makes it super easy for to keep up this practice each night.  I love using my scrap booking paper that has been tucked away for so long.  It brings so much color to the jar and makes me so incredibly happy.  

Have you created a happiness jar?  I would love to see an image of it.  Share it over on the love notes Facebook page.  

What one thing has made you happy today?  Share it in the comments below so we can all be happy with you.  

xo
Jennifer