I’d like you to answer some questions. It’s private, nobody else has to see the answers.
- How often do you enjoy yourself?
- What do you need to enjoy yourself?
- Have you ever had the experience of thinking something would give you joy, but in fact it didn’t?
- Rate your level of joy (1-10) from the previous week?
- Do you have the feeling you are just checking boxes of your to do list?
- How much joy does your to-do list give you?
In the fourth module, I asked you to make an inventory of your life. Think back to a year where you had loads of fun.
- What happened after that year that caused you to not feel so much joy anymore?
I found out that I completely forgot about fun in my attempt to thrive. I chased money, the approval of others, life goals and lots of other things. I was too proud to admit it at the time, but I was unable to experience fun on my own. Sometimes I did something that was supposed to be fun, but I didn’t feel it. I aborted the activity and went home again, where I would continue my thoughts about achieving well-being in the future through lots of goals.
During some years I was still able to have fun in events with friends, but it became harder and harder. I think it is a great starting point to admit that it is hard to have fun and enjoy yourself. Often the solutions come automatically once you are aware of the problem. In my situation, enjoyment came only a few weeks after I was brave enough to admit that I forgot how to have joy on my own.
Can you answer the following question?
- If you could sell your health, how much is it worth?
- 1 million?
- a dream partner?
- Making someone else feel better?
- Acceptance by others?
- Being right and winning an argument?
- A better paid job?
- Of course, you wouldn’t trade your health for anything. Without health, there is no life possible. But can you see that you actually did some things that didn’t help your health?
Just like the oxygen mask in an airplane, you first have to put on your own mask before you help someone else.
- Do you think you need to experience big things (like holidays, parties, etc.) to experience fun?
- How much money in your bank account is necessary to relax the tension inside of you?
- Has your enjoyment ever been in the future?
- Has your safety ever been in the future?
I think you get it, right? If you are chasing anything you don’t have yet, your energy is on getting more. The result is that you never arrive. You will always need more money, more status, etc. Chasing these things will result in a wasted life. Sometimes I think as this is what this level is all about, to ignore these things and be able to really live now.
- Think back to the years you were enjoying your life the most. Can you give me some details of little things you did, things that didn’t make any sense, but you enjoyed it?
- I asked you to not distract yourself during meals, how does that make you feel? It’s okay if you admit that you really don’t feel comfortable yet with yourself.
I needed a lot of emotional healing before I was able to enjoy the little things again in life. Remember there is no rush.
- Do you feel rushed when doing things?
- Are you in a hurry to complete anything?
- Lots of people say that they enjoy their days of work when the time goes by fast. Don’t you think that is weird?
I rather have slow days full of fun myself. Do you remember the feeling of days that almost felt like two days? The days where you did so many things and really enjoyed them. You think back of the things you did in the morning, and it seems like it was yesterday already. Those are the days I love.
- Can you allow yourself to enjoy your life again? (Even during days of fatigue)
- Do you still think you need to arrive somewhere before you can enjoy yourself again? (e.g. once you are healed, you will enjoy life again.)
- What if I told you life doesn’t work that way, would you believe me?
- How much resistance do you feel during your days?
- Do you ever feel the urge to change others?
Now, before we end these questions, I want you to look in the mirror and tell yourself that you are ready to enjoy your life again. Look yourself deep in the eyes. Can you also tell yourself that you accept yourself the way you are? Tell the person in the mirror that you love him or her.