LEAH RIFE PHOTO

Simple Joys and Why I Make Noticing Them A Priority

Earlier this year, I started making it a point to notice and make room for really simple ways to allow joy into my life. Life can be really amazing, and yet it’s easy to focus on the things I don’t want, like overwhelm, mental clutter, the weather, the dishes, the to-do list. That doesn’t sound fun, but how often do you find yourself drawn to those sorts of thoughts? I know it happens so quickly for me sometimes – almost like I’m addicted to the feelings of being overwhelmed, worried, bogged down about the weather, or the dishes, or whatever.

But then, through lots of awareness and moments of taking a pause, I was able to realize that if I could so easily be inclined to focus on the things that felt not great, maybe I could just as easily, with practice, focus on the things that bring joy and gratitude into my life. (I know this sounds super feel good, but hey, life is short so why not try to feel more joy at the end of the day?) Hear me out. When I take time to observe, notice, appreciate, and have gratitude for the things that are beautiful, make me happy, make me smile, make me feel awe, or are just simple fun things like a good cup of coffee or a plant I get to nurture, well something funny happens. I really start enjoying what it’s like to be me, what it’s like to live in my home, what it’s like to move in and out of my day.

The art of appreciating simple joys literally sets the tone for my whole day, week, month…well, you get it. This isn’t to say there aren’t plenty of invitations to focus on all those overwhelming things too, but after some consistent practice of first noticing the goodness and the things that bring joy, those old overwhelming things are easier to deal with and don’t throw me for a complete loop like they used to. And that has been a game-changer for me. I feel more present, more aware, more alive, more able to live this life to the fullest.

Here are some of my favorite simple joys I love to focus on and bring into my home and life, either by simply noticing them, or by bringing something physical in, like a small plant, or a memorable photograph to hang.

  • coffee in the morning, from the moment I open the bag of beans to grind, to the first sip

  • music, especially new music that I’ve never heard (any fun new ones you love? send them my way!)

  • something full of color or has my favorite colors in it to put in my home

  • a new plant, or just walking around a place full of plants

  • sitting in the sunshine, even if it’s the afternoon sun on my bed during the winter

  • journaling

  • meditating while focusing on gratitude

  • watching my kids play

  • making a really good meal

  • seeing people singing in their cars

  • moving my body in a way that’s fun and not punishing (I love rowing, restorative yoga, and sprint intervals lately)

  • a good novel, even if read a couple pages at a time

  • meeting a friend for deep conversation

  • a really great sunrise or sunset

I think the list could go on and on, and shifts from each season of my life, but there is always something to look for that brings joy and gratitude into my life. This one wild and amazing life we have was meant to be lived in, not just gotten through. What are the ways you find joy in your life? I would love to hear, friend.

xo

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© Leah Rife Photography  |  all rights reserved | Copywriting by Amanda Burg Design Studio

Hey friends, my name is Leah Rife! I am a wedding, family, and lifestyle photographer based in Indianapolis, Indiana. I’m also the creator of The Haven Mentorship, a regular resource, and workshop for photographers.