According to Google translate the German word “Lebensfreude” translates into “zest for life.” Hmm… somehow I don't quite feel satisfied with this translation. So let me give it a better try by telling you a short story about how this word entered my life:
I am the lucky oldest daughter of a father who is a self-proclaimed eternal optimist. All through my childhood and now into my adulthood, the word "Lebensfreude" was a favorite of my dad’s. He said it with the type of enthusiastic vibrancy and sparkling veracity that only originates out of the powerful voice organ of an Italian opera singer or... well, out of the passionate proclamation of a true, die-hard optimist revealing to the world that “Life is beautiful.” And it is.
When my dad used this word and when I use it now, I mean the type of “Lebensfreude” or “zest for life” that is entirely engulfed in the present moment with the internal awareness that recognizes life as precious, radiantly colorful, and complete at the same time. When I experience “Lebensfreude” I feel full of love, giving just as much as I am receiving from my environment, a perfect exchange of energy. I am in flow.
These experiences are so very important, as short or long as they may be at times, because they inform us that while s*** happens, life is also pretty sweet.
Now, if these moments of Lebensfreude are explored beyond just the surface memory, the exact feelings can be recalled and eventually fostered into a powerful resource that can convey this "Lebensfreude" into an overall attitude. All too many times, our mind, body, and psyche are preoccupied with ironing over the negatives that we all (-and it really is ALL of us!) experience that we forget about all the awesome stuff that happens to us too.
So, in the name of "Lebensfreude," here is today’s challenge:
I want you to take a few minutes right now and remember a time in your life when you experienced this type of Lebensfreude. When were you completely in flow with your environment? When were you overcome with joy or perhaps serene calmness? When were you laughing out of the inner most corners of your body? I bet, you won’t be able to resist at least smiling as these experiences pass through your memory. Stay with them for a few minutes and recall exactly how you felt. Where in your body did you feel this Lebensfreude? What was so beautiful/ funny/ captivating at that moment? Be as specific as possible. And whenever you finish, share your memory with us in the comments below. What is Lebensfreude (or an example of it) for you?
It is through sharing these positive experiences in the real world and with real people that we create the space for them to manifest, grow, and flourish.
And remember there is no right or wrong. We are here to celebrate each other's individuality and to infuse each other's lives with the type of optimism, vibrancy, and (ok fine, you got me, I will say it one last time), LEBENSFREUDE that we all want and deserve.
Oh, before I forget, if you liked this post and feel that someone you know might enjoy it and this growing community as well, feel free to share the love. <3
Cannot wait to read everyone's comments.