Just Joy

I’m recycling an old mantra for the new year, one I made up a while back. Just joy.

Just joy comes in really handy for what I like to call those “situations of the moment.”

Like when your cat pukes on the carpet and you step in it on your way out the door…IMG_1517 copyyour to-go coffee lid pops off and spills all over you and the driver’s seat…and you miss your train to work by a millisecond. Take a deep breath. Just joy.

Sometimes they pile up – those little or not-so-little things that make life seem difficult, annoying, or even occasionally unbearable. Some of us have the ability to look at the bright side no matter what, and others of us need a reminder. Just joy.

It’s been a whopping three degrees for a week now, with no end in sight. Climate change or cruel joke from the weather gods, doesn’t matter. It’s absolutely painful to go outside. Just joyIMG_7822

You’re just sitting down to open presents on Christmas Day with your family, and your ex-husband and his wife show up unannounced…and stay for brunch. Surprise! Just joy.

IMG_3654When you have a fire in the fireplace, are pajama’d up and hunkered down to watch a movie and that feeling of dread sets in because Internet TV options are overwhelming. There’s too much to choose from.

And, despite the “turbo blast” internet you pay for, your TV can’t keep up with your scrolling.    Click click click, lag lag lag, ugh ugh ugh.    So you give up and go to bed. Just joy.

When you wake up in the middle of the night with social justice anxiety because you feel like America has become a corporate dictatorship, run by the cable company and a crazy government, and you realize you are whining about First World problems but don’t really care because in that moment it’s all relative. No guilt! Just joy.

When you are thinking of New Year’s resolutions your kids might want to make, then you realize resolutions don’t work anyway…either does judging (or hounding) your kids… Just joy.

When the toilet is clogged, your grey roots sprouted too soon, you’re out of milk, and it’s way too cold to go outside…doesn’t even matter! No need to invest in stress.

Because when life seems unsolvable ~ it’s actually really not.

Say it with me.

Just joy.joy



Partaking In Joy Is Part Of Our Daily Grind

Wisdom food for thought:

Do we define joy by achieving a desired outcome? Or is the joy on the path itself?

soul food 1

I don’t really feel like chewing on that, because like the rest of the human race, I just want to feel the joy whenever I want, which of course, is always. But it doesn’t work that way for the majority of us, so I’m trying to figure it out.

When Sir Husband received the news that he was getting his dream job a couple of months ago and we would be moving back home, we felt this burst of joy coming through us at light speed. Ironically, it was exhausting and we experienced some weird physical symptoms that are typically signs of distress. Bathroom issues…GERD…headaches…and both of us stopped sleeping.

It was weird because we were so excited that our path was finally changing for the better, so why were we so wiped out? Years of heavy stress finally lifting, and cloud nine was wearing us down. Oh we were definitely happy, we just didn’t expect the process of executing the joy to feel different than how we defined joy itself. It didn’t seem to make sense. Joy after all, is a feeling. Or is it?


When I mentioned this to local guru Dr. Christiane Northrup, she laughed and said, “Correct – your body and mind don’t know what to do with all the toxic overload from the past now that it’s over.” As we know, emotional toxicity can cause physical symptoms from stress, and we’ve had plenty of that. So turns out feeling joy is actually a process. Who knew?

pathAfter a few weeks on our new path of joy we noticed something else. That joy doesn’t always override the daily stressors. Life still happens in all of its grit and glory no matter what. That also tripped us up. Hold on – we have joy now, why is sh*t still happening that feels stressful? First we’re joyful and tired, then we’re joyful, stressed and tired, doesn’t joy win out and erase life’s other junk? Easy answer, no.

Intellectually I guess we knew this, but when you get a taste of pure joy, you don’t want it to leave. So things had to become a matter of perspective.

We habitually went to feeling sad or bad when anything went “wrong,” but interestingly yin yangthe joy of our new path was still happening. Is it possible to experience both things at once?  Stress and joy linked in a yin yang circle bouncing like a super ball through our daily existence?

The goal I’m told, is to experience joy as the constant undercurrent that rises to the surface – and here’s the key – when we let it. So that begs the wisdom question again, is joy in the desired outcome or is it on the path? Only we can know.


no guts no glory

(Notes from the Universe)

Finding Joy Is All How You Look At It

2016062695152226You know that feeling when everybody around you seems to be feeling joy and you are too *fill in the blank* exhausted, busy, overwhelmed, stressed, anxious, upset, any un-joyful feeling works… to feel the bliss?

Everybody feels this at one time or another. There are times in our life when our day/week/month/year isn’t flowing with contented ease. It can be anything – work, family, health, circumstances – that keep us teetering on the edge between feeling good and feeling bad. Sometimes all we have to do is see somebody happy and we get that twinge of wondering when we will feel that too.

I’ve not only been reading about this a lot lately, I’ve been living it. Caught between the yin and yang of finally experiencing some dreams come true and the static surrounding their reality, I’m still on a wild and crazy ride every single day.

It started when Sir Husband got his new job. This was his dream job come true. Miraculously we also found a wonderful place to live a week before he started, right where we wanted to be. It’s where I originally thought I would live forever many moons ago when I bought a house here. But life happened, and it took literally 16 years to get back “home.”

IMG_2001We’re not in not the house I lived in, but it’s in the same town. He moved in when he started his job a month ahead of our official move. All I heard every, single day (and night) was how happy he was. How much he loved it. How he couldn’t wait until I moved too, and how he dreaded having to deal with going back to our old abode to sort, pack, and load.

Hey! I want to feel that joy too! Totally not fair. 

Although I was beyond happy that he loved his new job and my old stomping ground – the place we would soon call home together – I struggled hearing his joy. I wanted to be there…wave a magic wand and poof – all the hard stuff done – from packing our belongings to un-doing and redoing every, single detail of our lives. That takes a lot of work and a long time, and I’m not good at seeing or feeling the joy when I’m buried in the hour-to-hour process of trying to do it without a magic wand.

That’s what we all want – the hard stuff to be over. But guess what I recently learned as I was working on my latest dream-come-true venture with Sir Husband. There will always be hard stuff.  So while he was busy in a new unfamiliar job, living in unfamiliar surroundings and loving every minute, I realized it’s all how we look at it. It was hard for him too for different reasons, but he opted to look at it differently. To shift his focus.


Joy a mindset as well as a feeling. It’s the difference between existing and experiencing. It’s so easy to just habitually exist – trying to get through each day as opposed to living each day. Thinking only about what it would feel like if…or when…instead of noticing our life that happens in between the tough stuff.

It’s possible. That phrase take time to stop and smell the roses is trite but true. Some people just know how to do it. Joy is always there, we just have to stop and experience it.


When Destiny and Fate Meet For Lunch

lunch tableI think that’s Dr. Northrup over there, my friend said when we were waiting to be seated for lunch.

Oh let me see…yes it’s her. That’s great I wanted to chat with her and tell her we are moving back home.

Three years ago I never would have thought I would see Dr. Christiane Northrup in a local eatery, let alone walk up to her table to say hello. I followed her work for years as my health declined, hoping one day to meet the renowned physician who is changing the way the world thinks about women’s health.

I finally did meet her, and yes, she is an enlightened and brilliant soul.

IMG_1201We live in quite a small town and she’s a local here, and not even a local celebrity, although some would call her that. I met her through another friend, the two are quite chummy, I found the whole thing special. Eventually I landed on Dr. Northrup’s local team that distributes nutritional supplements, although for me that didn’t work out.

Several social gatherings later, we got to know each other a bit. I hoped she might consider my writing for her, health and wisdom writing is sort of what I do. In fact, it was a starlit dream of mine, one that never flickered.

Now we are moving away, so we won’t be attending any more team events, and I wanted to thank her for her kindness and support. You know, closure.

I had been thinking about how I might contact her for several days and then ~ voila ~ there she was, waiting for her friend. I introduced her to mine, and I told her about Sir Husband’s new job and our plans. She was thrilled of course, she lived right where we’re moving for several years herself.

newspapertypewriterAs the conversation progressed she learned my friend standing with me is also a writer. An amazing one I might add – a sought-after author and journalist who is as humble as they get. She is truly gifted and softly downplays her talent and intellect. She spoke with my friend for a few minutes then asked her for her business card for her writing needs.

In that very moment – as my friend was on the receiving end of the words I had longed to hear – I felt a wave of peace and joy come over me that was incredibly pure. It was if the angels began to sing, and the heavens began to clap. I knew right then that my job here was done, although I can’t really put into words why.

It was a wonderful feeling to think perhaps I was a vehicle for them to meet. All the time I had spent hoping for the opportunity to work with Dr. Northrup came to a roaring halt right then, and instead it felt complete. Kismet at its finest.

I don’t know what will happen with Dr. Northrup and my friend, but it doesn’t really matter. Because deep down I knew that connection was completely meant to be. It’s very rare to feel joy as you hand your dream away, but that’s how we know it’s right, when it’s perfectly okay.

I don’t think it’s a dream for my friend, but I know that what may come of it is part of her personal path. Mine is shifting yet again and in such a joyful direction. The takeaway from that afternoon was as simple as can be.

Don’t chase joy ~ follow it, and see where it might lead.

fairy tale path


It’s My Birthday in 3…2…1… And Why Birthdays Are A Big Deal

IMG_1860.JPG copyThere’s one day of the year that we can call our own. Our birthday. And it’s birthday countdown week for this fairy. In just three days and four hours, it will be my special day. That is also national Chocolate Covered Raisin Day, not that anyone cares about either. When it comes to birthdays we either like them or don’t, and I do. I’m a Birthday Person.

I love birthdays – yours, mine, and the person in the restaurant at the other table who is getting her free birthday dessert with a candle and a song. Because birthdays are special – they are the only day we get to honor ourselves as the “one and only” on the planet. There is no other me, and until we have learned to clone humans, there will never again be another me. This is the cool miracle of existence.

So why not celebrate that? Not that we need a reason, but how often do we really give ourselves permission to honor ourselves without feeling guilty or selfish. It’s not about a showering of gifts and attention – although those are awesome traditions. For me, it’s about celebrating myself and my life however I choose. Our birthday gives us a free pass for a little deserving self-recognition. Birthday People get that.

Loosely defined for a Birthday Person, this is the day we are off the hook for everything from what we think about, to what we do. Want to eat cake for breakfast? Have at it. Indulge in a guilty pleasure? Be my guest. Ignore things that stir up grrr? Hit the delete for today button. Buy a new outfit, shop till you drop, wine and dine – whatever it is, enjoy it, it’s yours.

I’ll admit, I don’t get Non-Birthday People. What’s the issue? Aging? Attention? Haunting from birthdays past? You don’t like cake? Who doesn’t like cake? Ok maybe it’s the flood of reflection. It happens on our birthdays like clockwork. Reflecting on our lives isn’t always easy, especially if our lives have seemed hard. Maybe on our birthday we unintentionally expand focus on our perceived shortcomings, or time lost, or bypassed opportunity. Hindsight is a valuable tool but only if used for future good. If we are going to look at our birthday as an annual marking of our failures and loss, of course the day will suck. Same goes for expectation – any judgement of how something should or shouldn’t be is an automatic buzzkill.

We can’t turn back the clock, but we can recalibrate and focus on success and achievements. Remember it’s all about celebrating. Non-Birthday People, try to find the zen.

I’m married to a Non-Birthday Person. He is happy to have his invisibility cloak on and go about his business, as if he is harboring a sacred secret of introverted knowledge. Makes it tricky for his Birthday Person wife who will decorate the house with helium balloons, a table full of gifts, his favorite food and drink, and of course have a centerpiece cake that screams Hey I’m so glad you were born. He of course acquiesces or at least pretends he’s enjoying the loud and visible expression of joy.

And isn’t that what it’s all about? Simply expressing some joy?

Everybody has a reason to celebrate their time on the earth. We just may have to stop and think about it before we can grasp it. I, on the other hand, enjoy the prequel as well as the actual day. Throw in some nutritious raisins covered in chocolate and we’ve got a recipe for bliss.

raisin cake