8 years ago, I felt lonely and unsatisfied as a caregiver. I was homeschooling my 5 year old while chasing after my toddler and caring for my elderly grandfather at home. My days were filled by tending to the bodily functions of other people (and rarely my own). Although I loved my family fiercely, I knew something needed to change.
With no time to read, but desperately seeking help, I downloaded an MP3 of The Joy Diet: 10 Daily Practices for a Happier Life by Oprah columnist Martha Beck. Within 30 minutes, I knew I had hit gold. It turns out that the original meaning of the word “diet” had nothing to do with food, and everything to do with the way we live our lives. In her typical down-to-earth, unassuming style, Martha delivered on the book’s promise to help me add 10 simple behaviors to my way of living and thinking to enhance my life. Her action points were so remarkably do-able, even on my fully packed schedule that even I could follow through.
The ten “ingredients” of The Joy Diet will challenge and delight you. Martha recommends working through the practices in order, making sure each one feels like second nature before moving on to the next. Just one step a week is all it takes. The first assignment, “doing nothing” for 15 minutes a day, is tougher than it looks! By the time you integrate the next action steps, creating and absorbing a daily moment of truth and exploring one of your heart’s desires, you will be well on your way to creating a life you actually enjoy. And if you want to expand your enjoyment of life beyond what you thought was possible, add in the final seven ingredients: creativity, risk, treats, play, laughter, connection and feasting.
Sounds easy, right? After all, you’re “just” tuning into your deepest truth and learning how to be good to yourself with play-filled steps. Yet it is impossible to incorporate these life ingredients without transforming long-standing patterns of thought and action. While The Joy Diet is technically a diet for the spirit, I found myself feeling healthier and losing weight as I filled myself up ecologically from the inside out. So whenever anyone asks me if The Joy Diet will help them lose weight, I say “it certainly may, but that’s just a side benefit!”
I longed for one thing when I finished the book – something to remind me of each day’s steps and provide space to write down notes about my journey. Customized journal pages just for The Joy Diet.
Well, they didn’t exist – not yet. My family commented that I should approach Martha (did I mention she’s Oprah’s life coach?) to propose the creation of such a thing. Me? Are you kidding? Who am I to do such a thing? I hardly thought that was in the realm of possibility. But I did create a template for my own personal Joy Diet Journal Pages to assist me in my journey. Two years later, on a delightful radio interview with Martha Beck, I asked if official Joy Diet Journal Pages had been developed. Imagine my surprise when she said “No,” and suggested I contribute my personal template to the Team. Here was the exact opportunity I couldn’t imagine how to manifest not so long ago. The ability to collaborate with Martha Beck and share a life enhancing tool with other people embarking on The Joy Diet.
Interested? Read (or listen to!) The Joy Diet: 10 Daily Practices for a Happier Life, then send me a note or a post to this blog with your email address and I will enthusiastically sent the Joy Diet Journal Pages to you! I am looking forward to hearing from you to find out how The Joy Diet has empowered your life.