Monday, October 29, 2012

Where Does Joy Come From?

"Joy springs from within; no one makes you joyous; you choose joyfulness." Unknown

Last Sunday at 11:45 a.m. I was finishing up facilitating a retreat for 55 amazing women at Kripalu Yoga & Wellness Center when my ten year old son--who had just flown in from Austin to visit his MA grandparents--appeared at the door. My heart exploded, a huge smile spilled across my face and I motioned for him to come sit beside me and join the circle of women. My entire body surged with JOY--I loved having my child there to witness and experience the profound nature of the work I do and to connect with him in this way!

This week, everywhere I turn I'm surrounded by quotes or teachings related to joy. Joy is "up" for me right now!

I remember a time when I used to think joy was corny, that it was something that happened to you. A fluke--like a butterfly landing on your arm. And when I felt it--I often shied from it's warmth and power (I recently heard author Brene Brown say that one of the most vulnerable places we can go is allowing ourselves to experience and express full-out joy).

I believe that joy is one of our greatest gifts and it lies in great reserves within us. We just have to allow ourselves to tap it, cultivate it, dig deep for it, nurture it and believe we're worthy of its grace--not just at birthday parties, "wins," or weddings, but all the time: driving to work, telling stories over dinner, waiting in line at the grocery store.

I'm passionate about helping men and women experience greater balance (read more) and emotional well-being in their everyday lives. As part of my work, I travel and lead workshops for women around the globe and am often saddened by how I often I hear participants share they feel that a joyful life is passing them by. They're at the buffet, but joy isn't on the menu (read more on a survey I did last summer on this topic).

They often ask, "How do I recapture joy?"

On the last day of our self-renewal retreat at Kripalu, we headed out to the majestic front lawn with its expansive view of the MA Berkshire mountains. The women took turn reading aloud pearls of wisdom that had surfaced for them over the weekend--insights from their "Wise Selves"--that part of them that holds the highest/best for their continued evolution and growth. After affirming each woman's truth, we headed back to our room and danced our wisdom so we could "lock" it into our bodies and carry it back home. While dancing, the joy and unabashed delight that swirled through the room was euphoric, contagious and heady-- like a perfume. Everyone in that room could feel that the waves of joy being unleashed were coming from inside of them. From their own Divine nature.  

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin said, "Joy is the most infallible sign of the presence of God." I couldn't agree more. Here's to more joy for us all this month. 

I love to hear from, connect with and meet The Journey readers at our events. I invite you to:
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  • Read past issues of my Life Balance newsletter or Career Management newsletter
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Photo: Fifty four beautiful women--mothers/daughters/girlfriends/colleagues/grandmothers/birthday girls-- ages twenty to seventy-five from around the globe joined us at Kripalu last weekend. We were blessed with gorgeous weather and stunning fall foliage.

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