Distance makes the heart grow… distant?

Liv’s Letters
June 25, 2023
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Hello! Welcome to another day on earth. 

I started my day off with a glorious beachside yoga flow. I stared at the ocean in tree pose, gazed at hazy mountains in triangle pose, and listened to the soft crash of waves in my shavasana. 

It was the most magical morning I have had in a long time. 

Usually I wake up, meditate, open my computer and sit inside at my desk for approximately five hours before deciding I need to go outside to feel alive. 

It’s funny, because if you asked me what I love doing I would say: going to the beach, reading, hiking, walking barefoot in grass, FaceTiming my nephews, the list goes on. 

Then when you ask me how often I do these things… the answer is “not often”. 

Isn’t that funny? It’s not as if I don’t have time. I go outside every day, it would take an additional 60 seconds to take off my shoes and feel the grass on my feet. Or I could swap my Netflix binge with a few pages of a book (I don’t need to replace all of Netflix, maybe just 10 minutes of it). 

I’m not sure why it’s so hard for me to do the things that bring me joy. For some reason it sounds effortful to initiate. The act of going to the beach, taking off my shoes, opening a book!? I’m overwhelmed at the thought. 

And yet once I do it, I’m transformed into an exuberant, energized, authentic version of myself. It feels SO good. It was well worth the effort that it took, because my energy and outlook on the day has shifted for the better. 

I wonder if it is the same for you. If you make a joy list, how frequent are your interactions with the items on the list? 

Now to give myself credit, I journal every day and go for walks which both bring me joy. It’s the items on the list that I do less frequently that feel like a lot of work. 

And I think that is precisely it: distant makes the heart grow, distant. 

We build up the book, the call, or the class in our minds to think that it is this big obstacle to overcome or a whole situation to prepare for, when it doesn’t have to be. It can be as simple as keeping a book on my nightstand or FaceTiming a friend while I make lunch. 

For me, the longer I go without doing something the more challenging or inconvenient it seems in my mind. The more distant I feel from the joy that it offers.

If you relate, I encourage you to make a joy list and choose one thing on the list that brings you joy just by thinking about it (even though you haven’t done it in quite some time) and make a plan to bring this into your week. 

Helpful tools: 

  1. Connect with what brings you joy through journaling 
  2. Take a wellbeing challenge for summer 
  3. Play music that brings you joy

With love and light,

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