Soul-Fed Mama: Find Your Delight
Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. - Howard Thurman
On Friday I had the rare treat of going to the grocery store alone. If you have a toddler, you’ll know what I’m talking about.I always enter our local health food grocery into the produce section. The buyers there are great at finding local and seasonal produce and then displaying it so beautifully. I slowly circled the bins and selected my favorite fall treats: Golden Asian pears, squat Fuyu persimmons, two handfuls of fresh chestnuts, a beautiful emerald green acorn squash with a splash of bright orange on one side. I squeeze-tested the avocados to find three that were exactly the right range of ripeness to last through the week.As I shopped, I imagined what I’d cook and prepare each item. The squash would be hash with poached eggs on top. Avocados into sandwiches with the last of the garden’s tomatoes. The Asian pears would be my dessert tonight and half the persimmons would go into the dehydrator to be enjoyed through the winter months.I was in such a good mood by the time I unloaded all of my goods onto the conveyer belt and waited for the young cashier to ring me up. He joked about how I was testing him with my eclectic produce while he looked up codes. He smiled at me, I smiled back. He had pretty green eyes with dark lashes and a friendly smile. I left the store with a grin on my face.As I drove home, I considered my unusually buoyant mood. It had been a hard day with the toddler, who had been sick during the night and continued to have a touchy tummy through the day. I’d kept her home from daycare, shelved the work I’d intended to do that day, and did my best to entertain her cranky self before my own tummy went funky and I succumbed to the balm of kids’ TV shows on Netflix for more hours than I’d like to admit. My brain felt fried from the TV and I was extra tired from lost sleep, lack of routine and my normal downtimes. Why was I so happy after 20 minutes at the grocery store?My brief stint of alone time, which I’d spent selecting yummy food and daydreaming about what I was going to cook in the coming week had vastly restored my good mood.Cooking is one of my delights. I love planning the menu, dreaming up healthy and tasty meals, and seeing my family enjoy the food I’ve made. I’m even learning to love training my knee-high helper. Seasonal produce, especially the produce that is available in late summer and fall, is another delight. [Tweet "Diving into delight changes your perspective. It is the fastest route to happy."]I have seen the quote from Howard Thurman at the top of this post used to advocate finding work you love, or for following your bliss.But today I read it differently.What makes you come alive can also be the smallest moments in your life - finding just the right avocado, or tasting that sweet crunch of Asian pear, perfectly ripe in September. Those small moments can lead you to bigger things.Not all of your delights will necessarily lead to your dream job, but the practice of noticing delight will build awareness. When you can notice the moments of ordinary delight throughout your day, you will also begin to notice them in your work, in your parenting, in your bigger picture.When you know where your delight flows, you will begin to see a path toward more ease and more happiness overall.What were you doing when you felt delighted today?