Dr. Kim Leis-Keeling

Dr. Amanda Boccio

 

Serving Albany and Guilderland

2021 Western Avenue, Ste 102

Albany, NY 12203

518-869-3415

THE ART OF FINDING JOY

BY: Dr. Kim Leis-Keeling

 

‘Tis the season for spreading joy, feeling joyful, singing “Joy to the World”, but do we really know what “joy” is or what it feels like? Do you surround yourself with people and items that bring you joy?  I’m going to share my journey about how I have learned to appreciate having a little more joy in my life.

A few years ago, I was walking through Target past the book isle. I saw this tiny book out of the corner of my eye and immediately felt like I was supposed to have this book. I’m sure most of you have had this happen to you while visiting Target - before you know it your cart is filled with random stuff. Anyway, the book is called “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo.  Why on earth would I have this strong intuition that I should read a book about how to basically clean my house? I thought I was doing a pretty good job - haha.

The book describes this entire process of how to declutter, tidy, and organize everything in your home. She even goes into detail describing how to fold your clothes so your “clothes are happily resting in their drawers” and not a jumbled pile of socks. My initial thought was that this woman was OCD about organizing. But there was one phrase from the book that stuck in my head – “Does this thing/item bring you joy?”  If the answer is no, then get rid of it.

Again feeling like this was some sort of calling, I set out to “KonMarie” my house (that is what she calls her method of madness). I started with my clothes, getting rid of any item that “did not bring me joy.” You are supposed to thank these items for the good times you had together and wish them well to the next owner. It felt a little like a good ole’ fashion break-up. But WOW did it feel good to get rid of all that stuff. It took me about a week to get through EVERY SINGLE CLOTHING ITEM and fold it the “KonMarie Way”. At this point, my husband thought I had lost my mind - haha. I said to him “Watch out Mister, your stuff is next!”

So over the course of the next two months, I went through my entire house paying homage to the items that once brought me joy but now need a new home. I went through my husband’s clothes (don’t tell him I donated his old blue cashmere sweater he had for 20 years and never wore). Then onto the kid’s rooms and clothes, every closet, books, kitchen cabinets, old household items, and I got rid of a lot of wicker baskets. I’ve discovered they just collect junk I don’t need. I can’t tell you how good it feels to get rid of the stuff in your house that is weighing you down. Now it is a big joke in our house that clothes need to be folded the “KonMarie Way” - and my husband still thinks I’m nuts. :)

So what does this have to do with finding joy? After going through this process, I began to look at other aspect of my life and ask the question, “Does ____ bring me joy?”  The main area I was struggling with was exercise and running. I had always loved playing sports and running. In my 20’s, I could run 10 miles like nothing then spend the rest of the day playing volleyball on the beach. After I had children, I always struggled getting back into running. My body didn’t like it as much and it always seemed like a chore to push myself to run. But then I finally asked myself, “Does running bring me joy?” and the answer was … no. So why am I forcing myself to do an exercise that is internally making me miserable? I did enjoy running at one point in my life but not currently. What I actually discovered about myself is that I love to play sports, not just to run down the road for an hour. So I started to play basketball again once a week with some amazing women. We have so much fun and I’m actually running for about 90 minutes. By the end I’m completely exhausted and dripping wet. It is the best workout I’ve had in years. Playing basketball truly brings me joy.

So as you float though the madness of December, try to take a few moments to reflect on what truly brings you joy. If you like to set New Year’s Resolutions, this is a great place to start. Discover what makes your soul happy. This simple little book has changed my life. No matter how bad a day is, I can always go home, open my sock drawer and smirk at how immaculately folded my socks are and it makes me laugh. At least the socks are happy! 

As always, if you have questions about this article or would like a free consultation, please call our office at 518-869-3415. Visit our website at www.sportsandspinalwellness.com.  We would be happy to be a part of your healthcare team.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE!

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Chiropractor - Albany and Guilderland, Sports & Spinal Wellness Center (Spinal Wellness Center), 2021 Western Ave, Albany NY, 12203 518-869-3415