The Joy Protocol
Christina Wodtke stashed this in life improvements
a write up of the ten things I do to optimize my life for joy
My favorites are number 4 and number 9.
Respect that you are a body, a mind, a spirit and a heart.
Often when we get busy, work demands we give all from just one part of ourselves. For me, and probably you, it’s our minds, chasing emails and knocking out the powerpoints. But to be happy, we must move our bodies, care for our emotional well-being, and find meaning as well as work the brain.
Each day, do a check in with all four aspects of yourself. Does body need a run? Need a massage? Does heart need to connect with a friend? Or a good cry or laugh at the movies? Does spirit need to sit quietly in nature and commune, or do some work for a charity? And poor, overworked mind. Does mind need to sit quietly and attend to breathing, or is it hungry for Aristotle’s Poetics? Get in the habit of checking in with yourself, and you can avoid a number of troubles from back problems and misplaced friendships.
9. Compassion is for everyone, including you.
Empathy is when you can feel what another is feeling. Compassion is empathy with a action item. Do not just feel; act with loving kindness. For years I worked in the design profession, where they are proud of the empathy they have for the end users of the product they make. But those designers who were so concerns for the happiness of their users would turn around and denigrate their coworkers as stupid or lacking vision — especially those running the business. When I moved into the product management side, I saw the tremendous pressure business put on those folks, and the suffering it caused to be disrespected by their coworkers.
It was easy to have no compassion for those we don’t understand. But just like when we stop judging, once you work to understand those around you, you can offer them support and solace. Every human is worthy of your compassion. Including you.
Brene Brown tells of a story where her preteen daughter suddenly starts saying she’s fat and ugly. She wonders where that behavior came from, until she sees her daughter looking into her bedroom, where Brene herself is in the mirror complaining she’s got to lose weight because she look like cr*p. At that moment she decided to stop judging herself, and forgive herself her foibles.
We do not have the resources to give to others unless we start by being kind to ourselves. Do it to model self-compassion to your children or do it just because it increases your joy.
Number 9 is often helpful to number 4.
Thank you Adam. This was a hard post for me to write, because it was so important to me personally.
Number 4 is one of the many wonderful tools I got from attending the Hoffman Process http://www.theguardian.com/science/2011/mar/15/why-tried-hoffman-process-psychoanalysis The "quadrinity check in" is extremely helpful.
Compassion everywhere is just plain important.