It’s time to reconnect with joy!
Sweetheart, listen up:
YOU belong. YOU are important. YOU touch the lives of people around you in ways you can’t begin to imagine. YOU are a force for good, a node of Divine connectivity enriching our greater experience, and I LOVE YOU.
You and I are among the amazing souls showing up and caring deeply about ways to create alchemy in your lives…but we aren’t necessarily embodying this knowledge. Too many bright spirits are sharing a feeling of being profoundly isolated…like they just don’t belong anywhere in this world.
Today I’m taking a stand to help you reclaim your joy by connecting with your greatest physical ally:
Joy! Today my friend and bestselling publisher Linda Joy released Inspiration for a Woman’s Soul: Cultivating Joy featuring the soul-inspiring stories of 38 amazing women who share their intimate stories of transformation. Please join me in celebrating this beauty-filled book by sharing your experiences of joy on this blog and going to www.CultivatingJoyBook.com to get over 50 transformational gifts with your copy of Cultivating Joy!
Today I offer an open love letter to the Universe for the joyful synchronicities that occurred during my trip to Boulder, Colorado this weekend.
Who is one of the most potent, life-changing teachers you have had the pleasure of experiencing in your life?
Gifts from my heart to yours: I’m dreaming up exciting behind-the-scene changes on The Alchemist’s Heart, complete with our new weekly rhythm. We will be enjoying Musical Mondays, Teaching Tuesdays, Wondering Wednesdays, Top Talent Thursdays and Feel-It-Work Fridays ~ a pattern of powerful modes of sharing!
Today’s Wondering Wednesday question is this:
Who is one of the most potent, life-changing teachers you have had the pleasure of experiencing in your life, and what made them so very special?
I’ll share mine and encourage you to share one (or more – because the Universe is abundant!) of yours:
Top honors go to Dr. David Madsen from my teen years at Seattle University. He was an irreverent genius at a Jesuit university who made Latin, Greco-Roman architecture and the joys of critical thinking come alive. He smoked so much his shirt armpits were stained yellow, made inappropriate comments (think Hugh Laurie playing House, M.D.), was proud of “breaking” 4.0 students (although he didn’t crack me), and had an infectious enthusiasm for life. My pig-tailed, 16 year old Sophomore self was utterly delighted to be respected and taken seriously on the basis of my thinking skills, not my age. His out-of-the box teaching inspires (puts the breath of life into) my avocation. I am tickled to see he’s still teaching and am concocting a letter of gratitude to share the difference he’s made in one life…and everyone I’ve worked with. Have you had a teacher who rocked your world in the best possible ways? Consider letting them know – there has GOT to be something supremely satisfying to have that gift of knowledge a quarter of a century later.
8 years ago, I felt lonely and unsatisfied as a caregiver. I was homeschooling my 5 year old while chasing after my toddler and caring for my elderly grandfather at home. My days were filled by tending to the bodily functions of other people (and rarely my own). Although I loved my family fiercely, I knew something needed to change.
With no time to read, but desperately seeking help, I downloaded an MP3 of The Joy Diet: 10 Daily Practices for a Happier Life by Oprah columnist Martha Beck. Within 30 minutes, I knew I had hit gold. It turns out that the original meaning of the word “diet” had nothing to do with food, and everything to do with the way we live our lives. In her typical down-to-earth, unassuming style, Martha delivered on the book’s promise to help me add 10 simple behaviors to my way of living and thinking to enhance my life. Her action points were so remarkably do-able, even on my fully packed schedule that even I could follow through.
The ten “ingredients” of The Joy Diet will challenge and delight you. Martha recommends working through the practices in order, making sure each one feels like second nature before moving on to the next. Just one step a week is all it takes. The first assignment, “doing nothing” for 15 minutes a day, is tougher than it looks! By the time you integrate the next action steps, creating and absorbing a daily moment of truth and exploring one of your heart’s desires, you will be well on your way to creating a life you actually enjoy. And if you want to expand your enjoyment of life beyond what you thought was possible, add in the final seven ingredients: creativity, risk, treats, play, laughter, connection and feasting.
Sounds easy, right? After all, you’re “just” tuning into your deepest truth and learning how to be good to yourself with play-filled steps. Yet it is impossible to incorporate these life ingredients without transforming long-standing patterns of thought and action. While The Joy Diet is technically a diet for the spirit, I found myself feeling healthier and losing weight as I filled myself up ecologically from the inside out. So whenever anyone asks me if The Joy Diet will help them lose weight, I say “it certainly may, but that’s just a side benefit!”
I longed for one thing when I finished the book – something to remind me of each day’s steps and provide space to write down notes about my journey. Customized journal pages just for The Joy Diet.
Well, they didn’t exist – not yet. My family commented that I should approach Martha (did I mention she’s Oprah’s life coach?) to propose the creation of such a thing. Me? Are you kidding? Who am I to do such a thing? I hardly thought that was in the realm of possibility. But I did create a template for my own personal Joy Diet Journal Pages to assist me in my journey. Two years later, on a delightful radio interview with Martha Beck, I asked if official Joy Diet Journal Pages had been developed. Imagine my surprise when she said “No,” and suggested I contribute my personal template to the Team. Here was the exact opportunity I couldn’t imagine how to manifest not so long ago. The ability to collaborate with Martha Beck and share a life enhancing tool with other people embarking on The Joy Diet.