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Day 4 of the Joy Challenge: Nurture Strong Relationships
I’m running the newly updated Joy Equation Course *LIVE* starting this Friday, June 12th. Fair warning — it’s the very last time The Joy Equation will be offered at the Pay-What-You-Can price!
In celebration of relaunching my signature Course, I’m challenging *YOU* to start prioritizing joy in your life. We’re 3 days into our 6 Day Joy Challenge with a daily writing prompt for your journal and photography prompt to post online using the hashtag #thejoyequation. It’s not to late to dive in, sugar!
If you want to take part in the previous three challenges, links are located here.
Journaling can be a safe space for asking open-ended questions without worrying about taking any action. You’re allowing yourself total honesty, without putting any pressure on yourself to change/fix/activate anything.
That’s how I want you to treat today’s prompt.
Simply let yourself explore the questions: Where do I feel a sense of belonging? Where am I craving connection?
Sometimes those closest to us can get lost in the shuffle of to do lists and everyday emergencies and end-of-the-day exhaustion.
Today your challenge is simple and sweet — Celebrate someone you love by making extra effort to connect with them.
Call your college best friend, take your kids on a simple, silly adventure, tell your boss what you appreciate about them, make plans to get together with your mama’s group this weekend, mix your partner’s favorite drink and genuinely ask them how they are, write a letter of gratitude to your parents, record a goofy video for your nephew. The specifics don’t matter as long as you’re focused on connection by being present, loving and open.
Snap a picture of your extra effort to connect with someone you love to share with us online! Use the hashtag #thejoyequation on Instagram/Twitter/Facebook so I can applaud your efforts to nurture strong relationships in your world.
I’m making an extra effort to connect with 4 incredible women in my world who are expecting tiny humans! Their pregnancies aren’t public yet, so I can’t share, but I want each of them to know how much I love them and how excited I am for them to become Mamas.
One of my absolute favorite things to do with my littles is read to them snuggled on the couch or in the rocker. By gifting some of our favorite books, I’m wishing my girlfriends that same special bond with their babies!
It’s hard when your friends are scattered across the country — hard to stay close, hard to know the day-by-day celebrations and struggles, hard to show up on their doorstep with grapefruit juice and cookies — but I hope that this little gesture will remind them that I’m thinking about each of them and their new adventure.
Love you ladies.
(And yes, I can recite each of these books by memory!)
Thank you for being such brave souls and doing something new/different/imaginative over the weekend.
I’m so impressed with your creativity!
And it’s never to late to just dive into this Joy Challenge. Pick a day that calls you and just start.
HERE’S WHAT I KNOW:
NURTURING STRONG RELATIONSHIPS
We all crave belonging. We all have a deep desire for intimacy with our partners and our close friends. We want to feel connected to a community of like-minded people. We yearn for healthy relationships with our families.
Why? The journey becomes easier when you have found your people.
Your people will come in many forms throughout your life — they’ll be mamas, lovers and mentors; children, neighbors, and circles of women; kind strangers, students and best friends.
But your people will all have certain qualities.
They’ll be the people you can be transparent with — no masks, no pretending, no posturing. They’ll be the people who love and accept you for all that you are. They’ll be the people who can see and honor your mess, beauty, juxtapositions, triumphs and mistakes. They’ll be the people who can embrace your vulnerability and heroics, your ambition and your acceptance, your hot buttons and your strokes of genius.
And as much as they give to you — you’ll give to them in return.
If you feel alone or unsupported right now, I want you to open your heart to the possibility of finding and nurturing these relationships.
Maybe you’ve been hurt badly in the past or maybe you’re convinced no one will every get you. Maybe it seems like too much effort to make new friends or maybe you’ve outgrown your gal pals but aren’t sure how to move on.
Maybe there’s a warm body in your bed but you might as well be living on different planets or maybe you’re in love with someone who’s not capable of loving you. Maybe you feel like you don’t have time to spend with friends or maybe you continually put work before your family.
Stop it! Stop all of the doubting and undermining and questioning of importance.
The one thing that every happiness expert or positive psychology researcher can agree upon is the fact that people with strong connections and loving relationships are more satisfied with their lives.
And I absolutely agree.
Relationships where we are valued, heard, accepted and loved and where we value, hear, accept and love another are worth all of the effort.
They are worth all the hurt feelings, and mixed signals, and awkward attempts at finding your communication groove, and boundary setting you must do. The rewards of love, support, intimacy, belonging and shared experience are worth it all.
This step of The Joy Equation reminds you that connection with others is essential to your joy and provides tools, tips and resources to examine your world through the lens of strong relationships.