Saturday, March 26, 2011

Joy List

Today was one of those days, when all plans were pretty much cast aside. I have inhaled the pollen all week, and yesterday I realized that walking from my car to the front door was causing shortness of breath. Today one of my best friends and I were going out to celebrate my birthday(a girl lunch) but I knew as I drank my first cup of coffee this morning, my body had other plans. So I called and rescheduled and I spent most of my day on the sofa reading a new book. The facility that I teach at is based on the Twelve Step Program, so I am always looking for books that I can recommend.

A few weeks ago, I wrote a about a book I was reading, Excuse Me, Your Life Is Waiting by Lynn is an incredible book. Well she had also gone through a 12 step program and had written another book, Beyond the Twelve Steps. Lynn had twenty something years sober, but she reached a point in her sobriety where there was still something missing.......thus began her journey beyond.
I read this book's a great book, and if any of you have been through any sort of Twelve Step Program, I highly recommend it......and even if you have not gone through twelve steps, it is a great book.

In Beyond the Twelve Steps, she talks about joy. She says one of the most profound statements about joy that I have ever read......"Joy is high energy that can exist only in the now, not yesterday, not tomorrow. Joy is knowing you're in the process of change."

Lynn suggests making a joy list. She talks about her first list, and how she realized there was little in her life that gave her joy. At first making a joy list, most of us list the know the trip around the world, a million dollars, that new sports car, the big house, the movie star lover........but if we continue and we are honest and true to ourselves, we find that real joy
comes from everyday things.......time to read, a hot shower or bath, looking at the stars, fresh coffee, flowers, a drink of cold water, a run with the dogs, hearing your favorite song, watching a great movie, playing a musical instrument, spending time with someone you love, a phone call to a friend, ..........most of us can complain about all the things that make us many of us have sat down and really thought about what makes us happy. Do you honestly know what makes you happy?

When we start to really look at what brings joy to us, we began to look for ways to achieve it.
When we have a joy list, it is there to remind us and we can choose to do something that day that will give us joy. When we recognize what truly gives us joy, we understand that we can have joy. It is not something we have to wait for, or work for, we can obtain joy every single day of our lives. Think about it, you can have joy in your life..........every day.

So, make a joy might be difficult at first.......maybe you think you don't deserve joy, or that you don't have time for joy, or that there is no joy. Start the list with the big stuff, you know the joy of your dreams.......and then begin to think about little things that give you joy.....a hug,
a juicy strawberry, an ice cream cone, a walk in the rain, a bouquet of flowers, sitting in the sun, a walk, a cup of tea, talking with your best friend or loved one, a drive, five minutes alone.......
Once you start to think about joy, and the small things you can do.......then how can you go a day without joy? Write your list, type it up, print it, look at it every day. Give yourself permission to have joy, to share joy.

I see people every day who have no joy......who think that there will never be joy in their lives again. Look around you, at the grocery store, at the mall, at work, so many faces, no joy.
Many seem to think if every thing was like it use to be, that's joy. Isn't is amazing that when many of us remember the past, we have totally forgotten all the bad we are here in the now, bemoaning the fact that we can't live in the past, because that's where all the joy was.
And chances are, back in the past, we were complaining too!

Make a joy list.......look at it......know that you deserve joy, it is your choice. Tomorrow, allow yourself joy, do the same the next day, and the won't be long, and you my friend....
will be living a joyful life.


  1. I live with my joy list everyday. I don't think I ever needed anything to put my life into perspective - but being ill with something that is incurable you do find that it doesn't take a heck of a lot to find joy.

    I am incredibly fortunate that my life is filled with my family - my husband, children and my beloved in laws [nope, not kidding...they are awesome]. A roof, food, utilities - it so easy to be happy when you are surrounded by such goodness.

    I know that sounds very Pollyanna - and we have just "met" - but if you know me, it isn't. What is the point of not looking at the bright parts of life if you want to keep on living?

    As a therapist told a blogger one day [she blogged about it] if you can't think of anything good about your life when you wake up in the morning just say to yourself "Well, at least I have legs."

    It is one of my favorite quotes - because isn't there a joy in having legs [or arms, or hearing, or sight....etc. even if you are missing something else?]

    We all have SOMETHING that is going to make our life....joyful.

    Thanks for the post Jilda. [and sorry for the long comment]

  2. Great Post Jilda and Skippy that comment was amazing and so true. Too many people don't realize the blessings they already have.

  3. That post was so true Jilda. When you think of what is happening in Japan and other parts of the world, we should all just stop, and think of all the joys and blessings that we do indeed have in our lives. It is all too easy to complain, but it's the little things that really bring us happiness. I loved Skippy's comment by the way, which I thought was excellent. Sorry you had to miss your birthday girly lunch though!

  4. Happy Birthday girl and I sure hope you feel better soon. I also experience Joy every day and yesterday it was holding the head of baby goats in my hands, rubbing them and feeling the love they wanted to give and receive. The newness of spring was all around me and that is Joy to me. I pray this pollen will not be too bad for you this week but maybe you will have something to make it better.

  5. You all are so wise. One of my greatest joys has been the connection that writing this blog has created with you all. By the way, Odie, my sister's goat had four babies this week!
    In the words of Three Dog Night....Joy to the World!

  6. I always add your book recommendations to my book wish list!

  7. A joy list is a good thing, to count one's blessings. I pinch myself every day, living in retirement has been wonderful.