Life, I love you; let me count the ways. (A Short-ish List of Things that Delight Me)

Life, honey, I love you, let me count the ways. Let me make a short-ish list of the ways in which you offer such delight.

-magnolias in the springtime
the color pink
-sunsets over Lake Michigan
-freshly toasted acorn squash seeds
-sea salt
-waving hi to your neighbors as they pass on the street
-acoustic guitar
vignettes
-waking up at sunrise
-sending letters in the mail
-phone calls with my niece and my nephew
-watching a movie with a loved one
-comedians
-dandelions
-herbal medicine
rhythm
-clean mason jars
-bumping into someone you haven’t seen in a while
-finding myself in the zone, focused on my passion
-glowing skin
-breath
-curious people
-dreams
-vulnerability
-green grass after a fresh rain
-the way the wind moves the trees
-remembering a dream from the past
-finding exactly the information you were looking for, and at just the right moment
-that moment when something finally clicks
-morel mushrooms
-a stack of books to read
-a new puzzle
-candlelight
-putting pen to paper
-slow, gentle yoga

Pink flowers with a blue sky in the background. Life, I love you, let me count the ways.
Life I love you, let me count the ways. (the color pink on these peach trees)

Sometimes, when I remember or when I am in need, I like to write out a list of things that delight me. It’s similar to a list of things to be grateful for, and I am grateful for everything on the above list, but I wrote it through the lens of delight.

When I write a list like this, it can feel like a dream. Like, is this real life? It turns out that it is. The above lists exists within my reality. Sometimes, it’s easy to overlook this beauty, love, and deliciousness, but noticing and appreciating all of it gets a lot easier with practice and time.

Have you ever sat down and built a list of things, moments, people, places, or anything that delight you or brings you pleasure or joy? Of course, you don’t have to create in a list format. It could also be in a song or a painting or whatever calls to you, but have you ever tried something of this nature? In my experience, it can be an eye-opening and healing process.

It is said that the things you focus on will expand, so why not focus on the beautiful, the energizing, the things that align with your soul and delight you? Or, at the very least, why not draw at least a little attention to them? This lens, through which this delight can be spotted, can be quite similar to a muscle that requires exercise to maintain its strength. Tending to this lens can turn this way of seeing the world into a lifestyle, a habit, and a tool. With a little practice, it can become easy to spot delight when you most want it.

Plus, might I add, this process can feel like play and pleasure and what’s not to like about that?

However, it is important to mention that I am no proponent of only focusing on the happy, lovely, bright-eyed, and bushy-tailed moments while excluding the heavier, perhaps sadder moments. As it goes, life is full of a spectrum of emotions and experiences, and while they aren’t all easy, they’re all a part of life, and are equally deserving of our care. Some of us, myself included, can get swept away by the heaviness and pain in the world, or can spiral into some day-to-day complaining or overworking. For those moments when life gets too heavy or serious or blah, the magic of delight can come in and keep us going and playing . I find this process to be a gift because it can be helpful to remember that beauty and pleasure are available everywhere.

When creating a list such as this, nothing is too small or large to add, and there is no right or wrong.

So, how do I I go about creating such a list? First, I begin by looking around my immediate surroundings to look for inspiration. Then, perhaps, I will look out the window to see what I see and feel. After that, the next place I go, if it feels right, is in my mind. Are there memories, fresh or deep, that inspire?

Then, I build from there.

Once I start writing, the list could go on for quite some time. It helps me to see that beauty is abundant. There is nothing like a simple list that requires no checking off completed tasks to lift the spirit even a bit.

When I pause and read over this list, it offers me alignment and a dream-like state in my belly and heart and mind, and that’s a feeling I very much enjoy. It shows me abundance and simple pleasures and helps me marvel at all corners of this world, even the forgotten ones. This process guides me to feel playful and in love, and curious. It lightens my load just a little bit, which I will accept!

So, what do I do with this list? Well, it depends. I can make it ongoing and add to it whenever I feel called. I could stick it on my wall or in my journal, or I can share it with someone or hang it on a community board. Of course, there is always the option to bury it and let it grow. I could do whatever feels right. This current list will live here, in this blog, to share with you, and it will live here for at least some time.

And something to love about a bit of beauty like this is that it is never the same twice. I could make a list like this today and tomorrow, and it would turn out different.

Remember, what we focus on expands.

What would you add to this list? How does my list make you feel? Our lists don’t have to look anything alike, of course. We are in different places, experiencing different realities, resulting in unique lists.

Although, I am curious, how do our lists, at this moment, compare? I’d love to see what delights you.

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