What brings you joy? .....
This is a question Kathleen and I have on our Life Review for our women over 60 program (Offerings). When we invited the participants to complete the review questions before session 2, the difficulty of answering this particular question came up. It had struck a nerve. Almost everyone at first blush was having trouble naming what brings them joy. I too remember struggling with the whole concept of 'joy'. The picture in my mind's eye was of a one thing that propelled me into a constant state of happy. That somehow I was to be in a place of perpetual joy. Silly me! of course there is no such thing. Of course if someone has an idea of what would this, do share!
So a good while back I sat myself down and redefined for myself what 'joy' was to me. It range from breath taking moments like driving through red maple country this fall to quiet times of deep contentment like at the end of a productive and meaningful day. Plus a whole lot of stuff in between! Watching the squirrels cavort in the green space behind my home, a juicy conversation with a friend, meeting someone with an unusual take on life, drinking a cup of coffee in the quiet of the morning. With this I understood it was an internal marker vs an external check mark. This too opened up possibilities! With this new context my noting of joyful activities and moments came easily. With some of this discussion the women were sent home with the 'homework' of coming up with their list of what gives them joy.
Session 2 began with them putting up their ideas, one per stickie note, one a wall. The seed had been planted. Up went the beginning of a listing of wonderfully joyful experiences. One of the items took my breath away. Baby toes the stickie said. I was immediately transported to a time of wee, wee ones and the wonderful smell, feel and look of baby toes. In that moment it became a whole body experience. So incredibly simple and oh how joyful!