“One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar.”― Helen Keller, The Story of My Life
“The root of joy is gratefulness…It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.”― Brother David Steindl-Rast
Get out into the world.
Look up and around.
Reach, dig, hunt for joy.
Make it a practice, intention, habit, action.
Invite and welcome it in.
Expand your mind and thoughts as big as the sky.
Right where you stand now.
In stillness, rooted in gratitude, laughter, connection, in now.
Joy is a practice, a discipline, an effort at times, easy at times.
Become a student of joy.
A master of delight.
“There is not one blade of grass, there is no color in this world that is not intended to make us rejoice.”― John Calvin
“The Sun will rise and set regardless. What we choose to do with the light while it’s here is up to us. Journey wisely.”― Alexandra Elle
“Patience is the calm acceptance that things can happen in a different order than the one you have in mind.”― David G. Allen
Time. Allowing it to unfold and unfurl.
Timing. Moving and staying with precision and clarity.
Patience and trust in the waiting. Ugh.
Accepting and taking a path we didn’t choose. Sigh.
From sunrise to sunset, journey wisely the path you are on. Embrace.
Awake and aware. Joy.
Watchful and in inquiry. Imagination.
The appointed hour shall come.
Time and timing.
“Everything comes gradually and at its appointed hour.”― Ovid
“The key to knowing joy is being easily pleased.”― Mark Nepo
“The further I wake into this life, the more I realize that God is everywhere and the extraordinary is waiting quietly beneath the skin of all that is ordinary. Light is in both the broken bottle and the diamond, and music is in both the flowing violin and the water dripping from the drainage pipe. Yes, God is under the porch as well as on top of the mountain, and joy is in both the front row and the bleachers, if we are willing to be where we are.”― Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have
As you walk and wake into this day, feel your feet touch the earth.
Pause and be still.
A new angle and perspective.
See in new ways.
Listen and observe.
Praise and sing.
Present on all levels – physical, cognitive and spiritual.
Be where you are fully, easily pleased to know joy.
In each step along the way.
“We work so hard to get somewhere, to realize a dream, to arrive at some destination, that we often forget that though some satisfaction may be waiting at the end of our endurance and effort, there is great and irreplaceable aliveness in the steps along the way.”― Mark Nepo
“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.”― Nicolas Chamfort
“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.”― Nicolas Chamfort
Do not waste this day.
Laughter. Joy. Wonder.
Bubbles floating in air.
Take a pause.
Dance. Delight. Walk lightly.
Sun. A soft breeze.
A thousand, no, ten thousand springs.
Delight here in this very moment.
“I am so fresh in soul and spirit that life gushes and bubbles around me in a thousand springs.” – Robert Schumann
“Grief is visceral, not reasonable: the howling at the center of grief is raw and real. It is love in its most wild form.”― Megan Devine, It’s OK That You’re Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn’t Understand
“Joy is oxygen for doing hard things.” – Gary Haugen
Not over “it.”
Never will be.
It will change, morph, transform or not.
Rising and falling with the day, in moments.
Taking on an unpredictable life of its own, no preparation or planning.
Platitudes become hollower with time and repetition.
Dogs get it, thank God they don’t talk and just gaze, reside next and with.
Take the good days at face value.
Let joy, laughter and delight enter too.
No questions asked.
No analyzing, counting, comparing, measuring, assessing.
Some things will never be resolved, gotten over, fixed, ever in a lifetime.
It will change though, with time.
These are the people, places, things that went deep, touched our soul, and mattered most.
We don’t want to ever get “over” these things.
This is love.
Just quietly sitting, resting, waiting, wandering, no solving.
Listen more, talk less, choose carefully.
Silent presence is more than enough, witnessing.
So remember, you are not alone in what you carry.
Find your person, maybe two, reach out.
Carry and be carried.
Hold and be held.
“True comfort in grief is in acknowledging the pain, not in trying to make it go away. Companionship, not correction, is the way forward.”― Megan Devine, It’s OK That You’re Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn’t Understand
“Do anything, but let it produce joy.”― Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass
“…You should stay alive
As often as possible and keep yourself open
to anything out of place and everything
with nowhere else to go, to carry what’s left
of your voice out and beyond, into, over,
and under, past, within, outside, between,
among, across, along, and up and around
and to be beside yourself when the spirit moves you…”
― David Wagoner, After the Point of No Return
Wide open field.
Unbound and ablaze.
Space to wander and explore.
Dancing the dance.
Singing the song.
Present in the present.
May you be efficient, effective in your production of joy, pursuit of awe.
Pay close attention, instilled and alive with curiosity, a capacity for delight.
“Do stuff. be clenched, curious. Not waiting for inspiration’s shove or society’s kiss on your forehead. Pay attention. It’s all about paying attention. attention is vitality. It connects you with others. It makes you eager. stay eager.”― Susan Sontag
“Whatever may be the tensions and the stresses of a particular day, there is always lurking close at hand the trailing beauty of forgotten joy or unremembered peace.”― Howard Thurman, Meditations of the Heart
“In the stillness of quiet, if we listen, we can hear the whisper of the heart giving strength to weakness, courage to fear, hope to despair.”― Howard Thurman
From stillness, an arising and awakening.
From reflection, an anchoring and tethering.
From quiet, a whisper of strength, courage, hope.
From the heart, a deepening and connection to a wellspring of love.
Brushed and brushing, the wisp an angel’s wing.
Joy and peace remembered, renewed.
Trailing beauty catches up.
“It is curious how one’s cup may be filled up by another and no words are passed to indicate the process that is taking place. . . It was as if, for a moment, I had been brushed by the angel’s wing.”― Howard Thurman, Meditations of the Heart
“Animals praise a good day, a good hunt. They praise rain if they’re thirsty. That’s prayer. They don’t live an unconscious life, they simply have no language to talk about these things. But they are grateful for the good things that come along.” – Mary Oliver
“Today is life-the only life you are sure of. Make the most of today. Get interested in something. Shake yourself awake. Develop a hobby. Let the winds of enthusiasm sweep through you. Live today with gusto.” – Dale Carnegie
I take the girls to the dog park almost every day.
A few blocks out, Abby starts groaning with anticipation.
If no one is around, I let them off leash at the top of the hill and they barrel down the wooded path as if arriving somewhere new for the first time ever.
Every single time, enthusiasm overflowing, fresh and new joy.
We can make the ordinary daily activities extraordinary by entering them through doors of wonder and windows of awe.
Seeing the same from a different angle.
Like we’ve never been here before and that we won’t ever be in this day again.
One is in our control and the other is not.
Time is moving swiftly.
We slow it down when we savor and celebrate it while we are in it.
No where to be but here and now.
Like never before or ever again.
Praise this good day.
Plenty to be found.