Friday, October 30, 2009

The Joy Diet - Chapter 6 - Treats

Well, today my copy of The Joy Diet by Martha Beck was due back at the public library and that coincided perfectly with my feeling of being finished with it, even though there are few more chapters left.
As I was reading about rewarding ourselves with treats for risks we take and just because we are who we are, I thought that I am way ahead of that. I thought that about the last chapter when I couldn't reconcile her view of taking risks with what I know works for me, and reading this chapter, I realized that I had figured this all out for myself years ago - I just look at it slightly differently.
Here are a few of the things I've learned (for myself) in the last fifteen years or so (and these are not in any particular order):
  1. True happiness has to be cultivated from the inside out - it cannot be made dependent on outside circumstances.
  2. How I feel is always my own decision - nobody can ever make me feel a certain way.
  3. In every situation, I have a choice - not what others should or shouldn't be doing, but: how will I respond to this situation. Will respond from love or fear?
  4. As soon as I make others' behavior responsible for my happiness, I'm in trouble.
  5. Life will continue to bring what it does, but I know that if I have a bad day, it will pass. And I've experienced enough real tragedy in my life that I know I can weather any storm.
  6. When I'm experiencing a difficult situation, I try to find just one good thought (about the situation or totally unrelated). And then another. And another. And before I know it, I'm feeling much better and often the difficult situation resolves itself.
  7. Sometimes letting go and relaxing into life is as important if not more so than working hard and trying to make something happen.
  8. Kindness is a must - toward others and myself!
  9. At the end of my life nothing will matter to me except how fully I've lived, how happy I have been, and how much happiness and joy I have spread to others.
  10. There's probably more, but that looks pretty good for now...
How do I know that this works for me? I've been practicing these things every day for years, really cultivating an attitude of finding the good in everything and everyone, and find that I am now living a joyful life, where my dreams continue to come true. What used to take much discipline has become a way of life and it's changed my life.

I am very aware though that not two of us are alike, and I am sure that this list of wisdom gained from life is different for each of us. As it should be! I like to be inspired in my life and I found that The Joy Diet was more motivational than inspirational, and for me that doesn't work very well. For others this might be the book that changes their lives. Isn't the variety life offers wonderful?!

So, farewell Joy Diet - I've gained some wonderful insights and am happy I participated in this discussion hosted by the lovely Jamie Ridler. Wishing you all continued joy with this book! I am off on my own joyful journey once again...

P.S. I'll have more art to show soon!!


  1. Excellent! That is exactly where my friend, Sherry, stopped today! Same reasons. Saved me from reading the book...I think longevity gives us a lot of this insight. Wishing you a lovely weekend, Silke! ♥ Deb

  2. I love your list ~ perfectly stated! Happiness is an inside job everytime. Thanks for reminding everyone of this important (life-altering) insight!

  3. Oh for sure Silke, we are definitely on the same page...which is the LAST page!!! :) I love your just resonates with so much clarity and honesty and truth. #9 -- oh gosh I just love that one..YES! YES! and YES!!!

    Here's to us living our joy filled lives and spreading that joy to others!!!

    And making lots and lots and lots of beautiful art!! ♥

  4. oh wow!!! wonderful insights Silke!!! I think you have gained your wings and can fly on your own now!!! I have heard a little about this joy diet...interesting !!!

    Wishing you a wonderful weekend!!! and Happy halloween!!!


  5. Interesting that you and Sherry Lee both decided at this point that the book did not relate to your view of life.

  6. My dear Silke, first about being in the dark: My favorite part of the night is when everything is dark and I am in bed awake and I can see and hear everything while my skin touches the soft sheets and my head is craddled on my soft down pillow. Even the oil paintings on the wall seem so bright and I can see the eyes of a self portrait I one painted in 1984looking at me.

    Now as for your Joy Diet book reading. Thank you very much for sharing these thoughts and lessons. You are absolutely right. We are responsible for our own emotions except we do feel for those we love. I can't be happy if I know someone I love and care for very much is unhappy or miserable. I will do everything to make her/him come out of the misery.

    I guess I am the exception? I welcome melancholy and sadness when it is time to be so. I consider them important aspects of who I am. It is during these times when I am most thoughtful and kind. I also the time when I create my favorite paintings and drawings.

  7. Hi Silke,
    I agree that we are all responsible for our own happiness. Crap happens in life but It's how we process it. We have one life and I, like you, choose to be a happy camper.

  8. Oh, you lovely people!! Your comments always just floor me - still now after all these months!! You add so much to the few thoughts I put out there. Wonderful!!

    Much love to you all and Happy Halloween!! Silke

  9. A fabulous and wisdom based list! Thank you for sharing it so openly!

    Silke, I decided you don't need the Joy ARE JOY! xo

  10. Silke, when I see photos of you and your adventures with Daniel, when I read your words and see all the beauty you create, I can feel your true, inner happiness. You are in such a lovely place right now. You are empowered, and you are positive, and you spread happiness.

  11. I purchased this book based on your glowing recommendation. THanks for the tip!

  12. Dear Silke,
    i am still here reading through your blog, throughly enjoying myself. and i had to stop to comment here.
    we are truly kindred spirits, i feel the same way. everything you've said here.
    i am so glad to have met you.
    isn't this blogging fun?
    thank you for all that you share!