Embracing joie de vivre and staying a child at heart

Embracing joie de vivre and staying a child at heart

Have you ever watched a child play and wished you could capture just a fraction of their pure, unbridled joy? That’s the essence of “joie de vivre”—the joy of living. Yes, it’s from the French, the same people who enjoy wine amidst protests and demonstrations in their cities. It’s about delighting in everyday moments and embracing life with wonder and excitement. I recently saw a video of an old New York-based artist sharing her story, and there was this happiness she exuded - so real and contagious. I guess she’s lived fully, enjoying life and embracing life’s simple pleasures.

“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.” – E.E. Cummings

Children naturally embody joie de vivre. Their curiosity, enthusiasm, and ability to live in the moment are qualities that we, as adults, can learn from. Adopting a child-like joy in life can bring numerous psychological and emotional benefits. Studies have shown that people with a playful attitude experience lower stress levels increased creativity, and stronger relationships. When we allow ourselves to be curious and open, we often find new and exciting ways to solve problems and connect with others.

So you may ask, how do I cultivate joie de vivre? Truth is you’d have to find and do what is for you, but here are a few pointers:

Mindfulness: Practice being present and appreciating the moment. Take a few minutes each day to savour simple pleasures, like the taste of your morning coffee or the feel of the sun on your skin. I take photos of the most random things I appreciate—colours, textures, patterns, lights, and food. I just do it in appreciation of “Hey, I see you! Haha,” even for the moments I don’t capture.

Curiosity: Explore new interests and activities. Sign up for a dance class, start a new hobby, or visit a museum you’ve never visited.

Playfulness: Incorporate play and fun into your daily routine. Have a spontaneous dance party in your living room, or play a board or online games with friends. I’m open to online Scrabble with y’all ;)

“It is a happy talent to know how to play. Some men must always work if they would be respectable; for the moment they trifle, they are silly. Others show most talent when they trifle.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Gratitude: Keep a gratitude journal and jot down things you’re thankful for daily. Focusing on the positives helps maintain a joyful outlook. This is something I’d like to do - writing more about my days intentionally. 

So, what did I do this weekend? I met with my friend on Friday evening, and we had tea and conversations. On Saturday, inspired by my new friend, I went to the park, where I enjoyed nature, listened to music and read a book. I had a little epiphany at the park; let’s see where this would lead me. I had a great time in church on Sunday, learning about Alabaster Box: Pouring it out in worship. My worship should be complete, in total reference to the Father! I had brunch at a nice, cozy restaurant where I wrote this piece while prepping for the new week. Joie de vivre!

I’d love to hear your stories and tips for maintaining a child-like joy. What activities help you reconnect with your inner child and embrace joie de vivre? Share your experiences in the comments below! 

And here’s a little challenge: Try one new playful activity this week and let me know how it goes!

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