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Posts Tagged ‘Joy Lessons’

Joy Lessons Week 17

4-24-17

For those of you who have been participating in the Joy Challenge this month, how are things going?

Do you find some days easier than others? I sure do.

But today’s challenge is “Notice the Magic.”

Hmm.

That seems like a fun and interesting challenge. Can you find magic in a loved one’s smile? In the colorful array of spring flowers? The decadent taste of a piece of rich, dark chocolate?

Where do you think you’ll find magic today? Wherever it is, I hope it brings you an abundance of joy!

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Joy Lessons Week 13

3-27

On Thursday, I set aside all my to-do lists and worries about deadlines, climbed in my car, and made a five-hour drive to spend the weekend with some of my favorite people on the planet.

I have to tell you – there is so much joy in spending time around people who know you (really know you) and love you, faults and all.

As we shopped our way through a mall, we tried to recall when we first began taking these trips together. It started back around 2006 (give or take a year). My cousin Brad called and discussed doing something special and fun for his mom. I was all ears.

Brad is one of those super nice, incredibly sweet all-around great guys you are thrilled just to know. Add in the fact that his mom, my wonderful Aunt Robbie, has been like a second mother to me for my entire life, and I couldn’t refuse whatever it was he was going to ask.

My most wonderful auntie has always been extra special to me. I was born the day after Aunt Robbie’s birthday, we share the same middle name, we both love the color pink and have yet to find a mall we didn’t like.

Aunt Robbie was blessed with two boys, but no girls. So Brad proposed a few of us girl cousins do something fun with Aunt Robbie. We plotted and planned and ended up with four of us girls taking Aunt Robbie for an overnight stay in a cute little town with fun shops, great food, and a nice hotel. It was bliss!

My three cousins are daughters of my Dad’s two other sisters, both of whom have passed away. Aunt Robbie became “Mom” to us all on that trip. With each of us she loves, laughs, cries, teases and counsels – and that just makes us love her all the more.

We had such a great time on that first trip, we decided to make it an annual event. We all look forward to the time we can spend with each other, reconnecting, sharing memories, shopping, eating and enjoying the company. Our little group includes my cousins Julie, Nancy and Twylia – all fun, fantastic women in their own unique way- and Aunt Robbie.

Brad’s girlfriend, Brenda, was able to join us this year and brought even more fun to our group.

These women know how to laugh and cry. They know how to offer encouragement and support. They know how to tease and be teased. And they really know how to shop.

As we packed up our cars and prepared to head our separate ways home, we were already discussing plans for next year.

I think we all look forward to it and just enjoy that special time we have to connect, relate, and deepen our bonds of kinship and friendship.

No matter if you gather with one or a dozen, whether they are family or friends, I think everyone needs a special weekend now and again to reconnect, to grow, to just be and celebrate the joy of spending time with special people you love.

It does your heart and spirit so much good!

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Joy Lessons Week 12

3-20

Happy First Day of Spring, everyone!

Although it is rainy and foggy here today (what a combination), I’m so excited it is finally spring. This weekend, I even saw a robin playing in the cat’s water bowl, splashing and shaking its tail feathers, having a marvelous time.

And this morning, I feel a little bit like that robin, excited and full of joy (even if I have no plans of shaking my tail feathers around) because it is officially spring.

Spring is such a beautiful, glorious time for so many reasons. It means winter is behind us (something I cheer about every year). It means new life is springing up all around us as the grass begins to turn green, flowers begin to bloom, temperatures warm, and the sky seems bluer. To me, spring is also about renewal and hope and faith.

It’s about filling our hearts with joy brought on by the possibilities and wonder that await us.

Today, I wish you all a heart full of joy as we welcome in the arrival of spring.

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2-27-17

This is the time of year when I like to sort through cupboards, closets and drawers, purging things I no longer use, need, or want.

Every year, I find myself hanging on to stuff I don’t really like for a variety of reasons. Perhaps it was a gift (but isn’t my taste or style). Maybe it’s something “too nice” to get rid of. It could even be something I bought on sale and never used. (Yes, that does happen).

Have you ever walked into a room in your house and looked at something and experienced an instantaneous thought of “I don’t like that” followed by “but, (fill in the blank with a name of a relative who gives hideous gifts) gave it to me so I have to keep it.”

You don’t. You really, really don’t. If the item makes you frown instead of smile, time to put it in a box and donate it or add it to things you’re saving for your next yard sale.

When I find myself staring at an item and realizing it’s just taking up useless space, I ask myself three questions:

  1. Does it bring me joy?
  2. Does it have a sentimental value?
  3. Is it useful?

If it doesn’t meet at least one of those criteria, out it goes. Last year, I took fourteen boxes of stuff to our local Goodwill center. And although I haven’t really done much sorting yet this year, I already have half a dozen boxes of assorted stuff ready to donate.

My point of all this rambling today is that when we give ourselves permission to let go of things that don’t bring us joy, we make more room in our lives (hearts, minds, and souls) for the things that do.

One of the hardest areas for me to purge is my closet. (Anyone else have that trouble. Let’s see a show of hands!)

Here’s a super helpful chart I’ve used before (and will again) to keep my closet from overflowing.

wardrobe-edit

Happy sorting and purging. May it bring you joy to clear out some of the clutter (I know I’ll be working on that this week!)

Oh, and when you ask yourself those three questions, they do not apply to immediate family members! 😉

 

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Joy Lessons Week 6

2-6-17

In the midst of a rather unpleasant situation this past week, I had a bit of an epiphany. The person who has being so rude and unkind and just downright ornery had nothing to do with me.

Nothing.

It was all on them. That nastiness began somewhere long before they interacted with me. I just happened to be the one around when they decided to let it spill out.

Mindful of this fact and with a purposeful intent of digging into my well of joy, I gave that person a hug and a smile and went on with my day. And surprisingly, the joy I’d been scrambling to find in the midst of that person’s bad behavior went right along with me.

My lesson was that even in the midst of something hard, unpleasant, unwarranted or unwanted, we can still tap into our joy.

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1-30-17

Something rather unpleasant, extremely frustrating, and more than a little unsettling happened last week.

And, being me, it’s hard not to mull over what happened, to think about ways I may have handled things differently — better.

The following day, Captain Cavedweller and I had plans to go do something fun we’d been looking forward to for a while.

He knew what had happened and that I was still upset, but assured me in his calm, upbeat way that everything would be fine.

So rather than ruin a perfectly lovely outing with my guy, I decided to choose joy. To let it flow through me and fill up those spaces formerly occupied with worry and anxiety. After I did, we both had a great time.

There are days when choosing joy seems like such an easy thing to do. And there are other days, when we might feel beaten down or unsettled or unhappy, when choosing joy is really hard.

But it sure is worth it.

 

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Joy Lessons Week 4

1-23-17

I saw this quote and immediately loved it – because it is so true!

Joy isn’t something that is only found in a fixed location. It’s inside us.

So wherever we go, we can take it along for the ride. Even when we are facing something hard or challenging, we can still bring along our joy to help us through.

I’m making it a goal today to take joy with me through each step. And isn’t that all any of us can do – open our hearts and minds to joy, one step at a time.

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