“Joy” is one of my favorite words.
Even when life is a disappointment or a trial,
we can still have a consistent joy.
I believe that joy is that which runs deep in our spirit,
and it flows from gratitude and appreciation,
and the ability to recognize and cultivate them.
Sometimes having joy requires
making the choice to take it easy.
Breathe. Enjoy. Relish. I love that word “relish”.
By definition it means…
great appreciation of something,
or enjoyment, gusto, liking, loving, savor, zest, and taste.
I have “great appreciation of”, or relish, those moments of pure simplicity….
like evenings, or unexpected snow days, at home
with my “treasures” (better known as my kiddos),
birds chirping after a season of cold silence,
that flash when the sun breaks through after long periods of cloudy sameness,
oh, and the first lick of chocolate cake batter from the bowl.
Perhaps the simple things are the big things in life after all.
Did you know you can teach yourself to recognize them?
Of course, that means being purposeful about it
and being aware.
Looking for those precious moments of pure gift.
Actually seeing everything around you.
Yes, there is a lot of ugly.
And yes, it means we can’t be numb,
and when we open ourselves it can sometimes
be the gateway to emotional pain.
But without allowing ourselves to sense and see,
we also delete from our lives the gifts of joy we are given on a daily basis.
Sometimes we have no choice because we are overwhelmed by life.
Many times we do more….we fill our lives with unnecessary busyness,
often trying to please others with agendas that aren’t in our best interest.
I’m learning what matters most to me (what a process!)…
being with my children, conserving my energy so I can be “present” with them
(and learning what “conserving my energy” means, when I used to believe I had a bottomless reserve!),
choosing carefully when to meet with people,
not sacrificing my important priorities because others want me to.
Wow, it’s taken a very long time to reach this place!
I used to absolutely run ragged doing all the “shoulds”.
I’m so thankful I have learned to choose (most days).
It’s funny how all the unnecessary stuff begins to fall away
and we are left with the things and
people who matter most.
The people we treasure, the acts that feed our spirits,
and the laughter that connects us and supplies endorphins to keep us going!
I wish for you, my friend, the choice…that you may relish–with JOY–your life and the people who fill it.
May you be blessed with JOY and abundance of the simple things in life!