Joy is found in the ‘ordinary’ moments

Joy-comes-to-us-in-ordinary-momentsJoy is found in the ‘ordinary’ moments – it’s our job to pay attention

Last week joy found me in an unexpected moment.

I was paying for parking at an indoor pay station and someone was cheerfully explaining that she was watching the person in front of her so she could successfully pay for her parking.

I paid for mine and went the wrong way ☺ so passed by the lady again, and asked if she had figured it all out (she was on a scooter and may not have been able to see the screen from that vantage point).

She had been so cheerful and seemed self assured, but as I got closer she was clearly flustered. She said she needed her licence plate number and didn’t have it, this meant she had to go out, into the snow packed lot to get the info and return, on her scooter.

I offered to go find her van; I found it and returned with the info. She was more anxious at this point and clearly stressed, so I rubbed her shoulder and started punching in the numbers.

I said “I know you can do this, but it’s harder when you’re stressed so I’ll do it” (heck – I can’t even operate a tv remote, even when I’m not stressed)

She started to cry and said,

“Thank you so much, no one sees me”

I was crushed and shocked.

Isn’t that what we all fear and have felt at some point in our lives – we’re not seen or heard or understood and we feel invisible –

There is no worse feeling in the world.

I said “I’m so sorry, I can only imagine” and I gave her a hug

My heart went out to her for so many reasons – her stress, her physical limitations and her heart ache.

I helped her complete the parking payment process while I kept rubbing her shoulder.

When I walked away she said “thank you so much, you made my day” I told her I wished I could do something more, that I would be praying for her and that SHE made my day.

She did make my day – I walked away so moved that I would have the honour to “see” her, for even a minute, and that I could be with her.

She made my day by being vulnerable, by letting me “see” her beauty and her suffering.

Joy is not as lasting as we think but it increases when we add up in the wee, ordinary moments where we “see” the ordinary and make it an extraordinary moment.

When our hearts are filled with gratitude and we take stock of what we’re grateful for…

Or we’re able to be there for another, opening a door, making eye contact and smiling at those you see…that creates joy.

Science supports this, it’s called the hedonistic treadmill and it supports the notion that outward, big moments – think bonuses, promotions, new love, make us happy for a while, but within a short while we go back to our regular level of happiness. Dang!

The good news is that people who practice gratitude, or purposefully practice acts of kindness, in those small moments, change their neural pathways and can increase their overall happiness, in as little as 21 days.

Look for ways to ‘see’ others, to be helpful, to be grateful in the small moments – make a difference for yourselves and others…the bonuses, promotions and other things will come, but there’s nothing better than feeling the deep seated joy along the way.

Would you join me in spreading some joy, some good news?

I started sending out goofy socks a couple years ago to bring a smile to peoples faces…now I want to take that a step further.

Check out my goofy sock wearing, joy sock spreading movement that I would LOVE for you to join in on: Joy Socks

May the joy be with you!
Leona deVinne