I went to see a show last week. It was good. Really good. It was written by one of my favourite composers and the cast was outstanding. The best I’ve ever seen. The songs are beautiful and very moving, but coupled with these singers—who performed with incredible skill and ease—the show was lifted to a whole different level. A different dimension, even.
I cried. I sobbed in joy and wonder at how humans could make such noises. At the end of one particularly spectacular song, the audience erupted into applause, but I could only sit there, staring in bewilderment, chest heaving, tears streaming down my face, utterly overwhelmed with awe. I was moved.
Enough gushing, Liz!
My point is this: I very rarely experience such heights of emotion. I work, I interact with others, I have time off, I hang out with friends and family, I have great days and not so great days… but I hardly ever experience primal, gut-wrenching joy. And I think that’s a shame.
I’m not suggesting we should be unhappy with our lot—not at all! There are beautiful moments everywhere, when we’re mindful and choose to notice. What I’m suggesting is that we need to engineer more of the really good stuff into our lives. To consciously go out of our way to have these extremely pleasurable experiences.
I think the occasional bout of exhilaration and intense joy is something that should be part of a balanced life. For me, last week went a long way to restore the balance in mine.
- Ask yourself, what makes you cry with joy?
- Consider the last time you were moved by something. Properly floored, stopped-in-your-tracks, bowled over by its sheer awesomeness. Whatever it is for you—rock-climbing, line-dancing, classical music, fine art—whatever floats your boat or blows your skirt up, get some more of it into your life.
- Seek out like-minded people with whom you can enjoy these experiences.
It’s trite but true: life is short. So mix in some jaw-dropping fabulousness into what might otherwise just be work, work, work.
(In case you’re interested, the show was Jason Robert Brown’s ‘Songs for a New World’ at St. James Theatre, Victoria. It’s on till 8th August 2015)