I sat down to write this post and then got up again in search of a quote that might highlight my thoughts on JOY. I picked up Sarah Ban Breathnach's book Simple Abundance, opened it up and, I kid you not, the topic for January 19th is "Joy: Learning Life's Lessons with a Light Heart" (the book broken up into the days of the year). Um...can you say WEIRD?! I love these sorts of synchronicities. Interestingly, they have been occuring often these days.
What I found in her words fits my life perfectly right now. I started the day out feeling a bit battered, worn out, crabby. My day could have continued on like that indefinitely, but there is another way of looking at things and the second I acknowledged that, I began to experience joy all around me. Little things--everywhere!
Anyway, here's what Sarah has to say about joy. I'm letting this quote run away from me...
"Learning to live in the present moment is part of the path of joy. But this requires a profound inner shift in our reality. Many of us unconsciously create dramas in our minds, expecting the worst from a situation only to have our expectations become a self-fulfilling prophesy. Inadvertently, we become authors of our own misfortune. And so we struggle from day to day, from crisis to crisis, bruised and battered by circumstances without realizing that we always have a choice.
But what if you learn how to stop the dramas and start to trust the flow of life and the goodness of Spirit? What if you began to expect the best from any situation? Isn't it possible that you could write new chapters in your life with happy endings? For many of us this is such a radical departure from the way we have been behaving that it seems unbelievable. Yet it is possible. Suspend your disbelief. Take a leap of faith. After all, what have you got to lose but misery and lack?
Begin today. Declare out loud to the Universe that you are willing to let go of struggle and eager to learn through joy. It just may take you at your word. What's more, you'll discover, much to your amazement and delight, that such blessings have been waiting patiently for you to claim them all along." ~Sarah Ban Breathnach
To me, JOY looks like:
- Warmer weather (above zero!), sparkling snow, a long walk.
- Enjoying the fact that I no longer have a 9-5 job. This is something my morning walks always happily remind me of. When I worked at the garden shop I would take the dogs for a walk every morning and wished that I didn't need to go to work. I dreamed of the day that I would be able to make my own schedule as a full-time artist and, thus, be able to take as long of walks as I want. This is now a reality--one that my morning walks remind me of on a daily basis. :)
- When walking all three dogs this morning I found great joy in this morning's interaction with a husband and wife who were driving past in their car. They stopped, rolled down their window, and remarked on what incredible dogs I have. I smiled and agreed wholeheartely. They didn't need to stop and say something, but they did--and I think the day was made better for all of us because they did. I smiled the rest of the way home...and so did the dogs!
- A freshly brewed cup of dark roast coffee that I'm drinking out of a white porcelian cup with saucer. Cups with saucers have an odd effect of delivering extra joy with every sip of coffee. It's the little decadences that count!
- Whipped cream--in my coffee and straight out of the can! :)
- Having money to deposit in my checking account. Never mind that the bank is closed today. Today I'm finding joy in the fact that I have money to deposit tomorrow!
- Speaking of tomorrow...after that money is deposited, this also means that it is ART SUPPLY SHOPPING DAY! Whoohooo! This is one of the perks of the work I do. Dang, I love art supply shopping. I mean, who wouldn't?!
- The sun is shining. The sky is blue.
- I'm going to eat homemade chili for lunch--cheffed up, lovingly, by my husband.
- I am in the midsts of beginning a whole new project--a series of paintings in preparation for an exhibition: Dogs of Linden Hills. I have almost 30 commissions to complete in the next 6 weeks! Part of me says: Yikes! The other part of me says: Successful Abundance! :)
- Snuggling dog love at my feet.
- Snuggling cat love at my back.
- Having an incredible support network of friends--such beautiful, creative, loving women--whom I feel joy beyond measure to know and be connected with.
- The daily dose of inspiring emails and comments that I wake up each morning to find--including today!
- I find extreme joy in the POSSIBILITIES!
- Realizing that I had gotten off track, but this time being smart enough to stop and find my way back to myself.
- Warm cornbread with butter and honey for breakfast.
- Coffee and conversation with 2 incredible artists tonight.
- Support--endless support, everywhere I turn.
- Twice (!) while driving this morning, people started smiling hugely at me. At first I thought there must be something wrong with me! Did someone put a funny sign on my car? Was my hair sticking up? What? But I smiled back anyway...and it made me feel so freaking GOOD! Turns out, people are just happy today and in the mood to share. :)
- Waking up to a clean house after embarking on a cleaning rampage yesterday. Ahhhh *sigh*...it feels so much better. I can think!
- The gurgling sound that the 5 gal. water jug in our kitchen makes. I love that sound!
ok...obviously this could go on forever. Even that makes me feel joy! What about you?
What has brought you joy today??