I commented in a video last month about how nice it felt to walk up to a clean sink in the bathroom. How that encounter of a smooth, gleaming surface brought a sense of calm, peace, appreciation. Well, today, I leveled up – and found joy in a toilet.
Let me explain – no, I only have 500 words – let me sum up.
I entered the bathroom this morning and encountered the toilet as I would any other morning – but it was simply sparkling. And I quite literally felt joyful. Now, we could take an inventory on my sanity, or the frequency with which we clean our bathrooms around here, but regardless* of those factors, this was the sequence of events: visualized toilet --> felt joy.
It’s what’s hiding in that arrow that holds all the magic: a thought.
Notice I didn’t say visualized clean toilet – this is because I wanted to get as factual and objective as I could about the circumstance and clean leaves some room for interpretation (we can all think of friends with VERY different standards of “clean” than our own).
Between the seeing of the toilet and the feeling of joy existed my thought – and actually quite a few – about it. And that is what took a typical moment in a morning routine and created an experience of joy that, in turn, led me into a series of actions reflecting this emotion. If you’ve experienced joy, you might imagine how the next steps in my day might have looked compared to those that would follow an ordinary moment in the bathroom.
As I recognized the feeling (something I am training myself to do as I have realized “joy” isn’t usually on my daily top 10 feelings list), I considered – am I really feeling joyful because of the toilet? My answer: no – you are feeling joyful because of your thought. Follow up question: what thoughts could possibly bring you joy from seeing a toilet? Response:**
· That toilet is so clean
· Wow – it is legit sparkling
· This feels nice
These are all well and good – but I don’t feel joy when thinking them. I realized that as I saw the gleaming porcelain, I reflected on the cleaning bonanza my family completed the day prior. I envisioned littlest wiping cabinets, middlest putting away dishes, biggest taking out the trash and recalled my husband carrying cleaning supplies into the bathroom. From this context, this clean commode invited opportunity for these thoughts:
· I appreciate my family
· I am grateful for the time they took to care for our home
· This is amazing, I feel so loved
It is from that last one that joy emerges. You might notice that the thought doesn’t directly involve the initial circumstance. That’s the real magic of thoughts and feelings – they can exist entirely independent of any situation – which means you can essentially mix and match them to create the feeling of your choosing anytime, anywhere. It is important that the thought be believable or your experience of the feeling might not ring true…but I’d wager that if this thought can allow me to find joy in a toilet, there are plenty of options out there for you to feel joy in the most unlikely of situations.
*Yes, regardless…no “ir” additions will be utilized in my writing, especially when the meaning of the-word-that-shall-not-be-used is still simply “regardless” but that is another discussion entirely.
**During a recent visit, my brother observed that these dialogues, though largely internal, are at other times verbalized – consulting with myself has become a most intriguing endeavor – I highly recommend!