You are currently viewing Episode 106 – Do More of What Lights You Up!

Episode 106 – Do More of What Lights You Up!

When you’re grieving and healing after miscarriage, stillbirth or any kind of baby loss, it takes a lot of energy. It can seem like your passions are hiding away in a corner, and you’re not sure if they’ll come out again. 

That’s why it’s so important to be intentional in doing things that light you up. You need balance in your life to truly be yourself.

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Photo by Canva

Music by ZingDog on Pond5


There is this audio going around on. Instagram and maybe TikTok. I am not on TikTok, but I am on Instagram at amy dot Smith Stone’s Coaching, and this audio says, you think you are tired because you’re doing too much, but I think it’s because you’re doing too little of what lights you up or what makes you feel alive, and I wholeheartedly agree with this.

What do you feel when you hear that sentence? Does it hit you hard? Do you even know what lights you up anymore? Do you feel alive inside of you? Even if you are grieving? It’s more than okay to find pleasure in simple joys or in doing big things that light you up. And today that’s what we’re going to talk about.

I’m gonna show you how to figure out what brings you that joy and excitement. Then we’ll learn how to actually do those things consistently. And then we’ll talk about celebrating yourself and letting the feelings last so they can lighten your heavier days. You won’t wanna miss those last tips because it’s the difference between doing this for a week or two in spurts.

With lots of feeling bad about not doing things that light you up in between or learning how to really make this a practice in your life. So first, let’s figure out what you want to do. If I ask you the question, what lights you up? You might have a short list or you might say, I don’t know. I don’t know, is not allowed here.

It shuts down your brain and your creativity. Whenever you wanna say it, change it to, I don’t know yet, or I’m figuring it out, or, Just take a guess. I always ask my clients to do this when they say, I don’t know. It helps to loosen you up because a guess is safer than needing to have the right answer. I want you to have a long list of things that light you up, because then you’ll be able to enjoy these things often, and the bigger the list, the more it grows.

It’s like a five year old who only eats chicken nuggets and they’re convinced that chicken nuggets are it. They are the only food, and you can see how much they’re missing out on. But once you can convince them to start trying new things, they might find that they like them and the more they try and like, or even try and not like, but they don’t die from it, the more they’re willing.

To explore and their pallet becomes much more expansive. That’s what I want you to do with finding things that light you up. Anytime you notice your brain shutting down an idea, remind yourself not to be a toddler with chicken nuggets. Be open to trying new things or trying things again that you used to love.

There are no rules with this. You do not have to turn this into a career or something you make money out of. You just need to figure out right now what makes you feel alive. Now, when you are figuring this out, it can be helpful to think about what you loved as a child. Even the most simple things like making mud pies or picking dandelions to give to your mother.

There are so many things we stop ourselves from doing. As adults, it can be so revitalizing to let yourself do them again. So get messy. Leave the dishes in the sink. Do the thing that scares you or that you think will be kind of silly. Now, what’s really silly is denying yourself joy. Keep a note on your phone of all the little things that brighten your day.

Keep a list of things that sound fun. Keep a list of things that make you smile. Name your list, something that makes you smile every time you see it. Take pictures of things you love and put them in an album so you have them always available. My oldest daughter started taking Polaroids of Sunsets and she has so many now that she used them as wallpaper in her college dorm, but she really loves them and pretty sunsets light her up.

If you prefer to use pen and paper, go get a really cute journal and just have it be for joy, for brainstorming, for writing little poems and pressing flowers, and adding cute stickers. Get a Polaroid. They are so cute and fun to use. Don’t just let the kids use ’em. What else can you do to find what lights you up?

Think about things you’ve always wanted to do, but have stopped yourself. This could be planning a trip to Paris or trying out for a community play or making chocolate souffle that you have heard is so hard to get right. All we have is today. You’re not too old. It’s not too expensive. It’s totally fine if you fail.

Whatever obstacles you think are in your way, you can absolutely overcome them and be creative. Last week I was sharing how I wanted to be an interior designer, but I didn’t end up studying that in college or pursuing it as a career, but I just decided to decorate my own home. This is actually awesome because it gives me a lot of freedom and I get to enjoy my work every day.

When I read at our main bathroom, I got to pick. Everything I loved and seriously, five years later I walk in there 50 times a day and it lights me up. I love it so much. I love the tile and the chandelier I splurge on and the colors, all of it. You don’t have to do a big project, but you’d be surprised what little things can do like printing and hanging those pictures.

You’ve been meaning to go get some command strips so you don’t even need to put holes in the wall and go for it. I have so many friends who get stuck hanging pictures. Ask for help if you need to, but if this is you, here is your kick in the pants. The important thing is that you make this a running list and you never use it against yourself.

You’re never too late. Just keep looking for ways to bring brightness into each day on purpose, because as we know, life moves on like a freight train, and if you don’t take time to look at the views, you can get lost in the dirt and the smoke and the monotony of your trip. Get in your body. I teach that our feelings come from our thoughts and the things that light you up definitely will have a mental component, and you can work on building gratitude and appreciation and changing your thoughts.

To find more joy, but there is a visceral joy that comes from feeling the cold stream, running over your bare feet, smelling fresh baked bread, or dancing to your favorite song in the middle of your kitchen. We often disregard what our body is saying, but. I want you to listen to it and follow through.

That’s a great way to find what fills your cup back up. One caution I have is to be careful that what your body tells you is truly lighting you up and not just numbing pain. There are all kinds of substances that our body starts to think are bringing us joy when, when really they are just masking emotions that we don’t wanna feel.

Things that light you up are not quick. Dopamine hits. They are deeper than that. How do you make this a practice in your life? First, keep it really simple. You know how a dog gets really excited every time someone comes to the door or comes in the room? It does not take much. Now, you don’t need to try to fully embody this puppy energy, but why not try it a little bit?

We love the people in our lives. What if just seeing them gave us joy? What if we made more of an effort to visit them, to do things with them, to use technology to connect with them? Or the opposite, sit down and write a letter and put it in the mail. How fun is it to do that? My gran loved mail and I miss sending her things now that she’s passed away.

If you listen to my first episode, I shared the full poem by Mary Oliver that the quote, this one, wild and precious Life comes from. She talks about, Taking a walk on a hot summer day, laying on the ground and watching a grasshopper eat a blade of grass fully immersed. Do you let yourself fully immerse in anything or is it just a lot of distractions and racing thoughts?

If you are the latter, you are not alone. But that doesn’t mean you can’t learn how to be in the moment. You just need to decide to do it and then be intentional about it. Our world has trained us to be all about instant gratification and constant distractions. Can you slow down and just be in the joy saying present is important, and another thing that will help is to schedule.

Now this means something different to everybody. Some people love to be all locked in to what they’re doing each minute of the day. Some prefer time blocks and some feel they run best without a plan. Whatever your style is, work with it instead of against it. But notice this, we often put ourselves last on the list.

We often have more time than we think we do, but if we aren’t intentional about it, it will fill itself either with distractions like scrolling, social media, or procrastinating or many other things. And that’s where you end up burnt out and feeling like you’ve been running and busy all day and you still have so much on your plate, and you definitely did not allow much joy in your day.

Start small and schedule some joy. Hopefully you have some ideas of what lights you up by now. The next step is making it happen. If you love to read, can you set an alarm to remind you every day? Can you keep a book handy so you can just sit and enjoy a chapter? If you love a bubble bath, schedule it. If you are planning that trip, start a Google Doc in pencil in a day of the week, or you will spend 30 minutes researching.

Honestly, planning the trip is such a big part of the fun, so enjoy it dream. Don’t worry about gas prices and all the canceled flights right now. You are totally gonna make the trip work. Can you put yourself on your priority list? And can you be creative in how you do it? Maybe you love to paint, but you have littles and it’s messy and they wanna be with you and they, and you wanna wait until they’re in bed, but then you get exhausted and there’s still so much to do.

At the end of the day, the painting doesn’t happen. What if you get them supplies so they can paint near you? What if you do sidewalk chalk instead of paint? Right now? What if you hire a babysitter so you can paint for an hour a week uninterrupted? Yes, you can do that, and it would be some of the best money you’ll spend because you are important and your mental and spiritual health matters.

You are the best person to know how to figure this out. Of course, if you feel stuck, come talk to me. I know it can feel being burnt out, grieving, tired, all of it. And then someone says, you also need to do self-care. And it’s like you wanna sink down into hysterical laughter in tears, and you add that to the list of one more thing you’re failing at.

No, I’m not gonna let you do that. I’m gonna take you by the hand and show you how to find yourself again. You’ll find that spark inside you and let it shine. Everything in your life will become lighter and easier when you take care of you. There’s a link in the show notes, or you can go to smooth stones to sign up for a connection call.

Okay, the last thing you need to do is really start celebrating you and learning how to hold onto the feelings that light you up, which again is a practice and it’s something you can get better at. Going back to the kid with the chicken nuggets, they also want an ice cream, and then you give it to them and immediately they want something else and something else, and then you take ’em to the pool and they’re upset because they don’t have goggles like the other kids.

They seem to never be happy or satisfied. Now, this is typical child behavior, but we do it as adults as well. We are constantly in the next moment, we are noticing what’s missing. We are worried about what we look like, or maybe we have a lovely time doing something, and then something else happens. Like you get a text from work or there’s traffic and boom, all that joy goes out the window.

Once something is over physically, then it still gets to live in our mind. Memories are powerful and I want you to use them to your advantage. Like a few months ago, I went on a trip with my husband for our 20th anniversary. The last longer than overnight trip we took before that was a cruise for our 10th anniversary.

So we tend to go away for about a week, once per decade. But those memories are gifts that keep on giving. I can think about walking on the beach, the sand under my toes, picking up seashells. I can think about the vanilla we bought in the Caribbean and. Still imagine that smell and oh my goodness, it is the best vanilla extract ever.

Just thinking about it will make me smile. I can look at our pictures. While we were on our trips, I worked really hard to be present and to enjoy every minute. We were never in a rush. We had a simple plan, and the rest was to just go wherever our rented convertible Mustang took us. It was lovely. Now when I notice stress coming up, I can channel some of that vacation energy.

I may not be physically there, but I can use my mind to bring it into the present. This is the opposite of wishing I was still on vacation. That is not reality. That will not bring you joy. Maybe if my husband and I get an annoyed with each other, I can mention something about our trip. I can remember how much fun we had.

I can use that feeling every day to help me connect with him. It’s not a problem for me that we might act differently at home with all of life’s busyness than we did on a relaxing vacation. If I notice my brain going there, I just gently redirect it back. Another way to keep the things that light you up with you is to display it.

If you love nature, bring it inside. If you love growing vegetables, eat them. You love your career. Get those awards degrees or pictures where you can see them. Make your home workspace pleasing. If it’s your family, let your home reflect that. Bring a bit of them to the office. If you don’t already have something for your angel baby, find a way to bring them with you.

Many people have jewelry, tattoos, mementos, all of it is important to remind you of that light in your life. And lastly celebrate you. If you do even the smallest thing that lights you up, give yourself a pat on the back. Tell yourself you are doing this. You are starting a practice of doing more of what lights you up and it’s just gonna become part of you when that mom guilt starts coming up.

Congratulate yourself for showing your living children that it’s important to fill your cup as an adult. Teach them. Explain it to them. If the angel mom guilt starts coming up, remind yourself that it is okay for you to have joy in your life. Yes, your baby died, but you are not betraying them by living this life to the fullest.

If anything, you are living to honor them, so, Don’t feel guilty for allowing and pursuing joy in your life. As you lay down at night, try to think of one thing that lifted your spirits that day. One thing that brought you physical pleasure. One smell. You let yourself savor as you walk through your day.

One sound you noticed maybe today was grief, but you just let it be. There is so much to congratulate yourself for when you allow the bittersweet ache of grief to be with you. When you let the tears flow, it’s magical. Kind of like bell’s tears on beauty and the beast, they are healing. No tear is wasted when you sit with them and let them work in you and find joy in buying the softest tissues you can.

No more crunchy bargain tissues for you. As you celebrate yourself, you’ll be motivated to continue on in this practice. You can’t get behind. If you lay down at night and the whole day was just tough, let your body sink into the bed. Simply breathe and know that it’s all going to be okay. This is a season and it won’t last forever.

I wanna encourage you to do more of what lights you up. Give yourself permission to do what you love. Give yourself permission to dream big. Give yourself permission to spend time or money or both for you to rebuild that spark that’s been feeling tired and smothered and overwhelmed. Let this be a flow.

It is not a destination. It will change all the time. Trust yourself. Listen to inspiration that comes to you. Write it down and figure out how to make it happen instead of all the reasons you can’t. This is your one wild and precious life. How are you gonna make it bright? I’ll see you next time. Are you tired of feeling like your baby’s dad was somehow your fault?

Go to coaching com and get my free mini course, how to Stop blaming Yourself After Loss.

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