It’s that time of year where Holiday lists are made and  gifts are bought.   Thoughts of how to access that perfect gift is the challenge.  The intent is to make everyone happy, especially on those holidays where the perfect gift leads to hours of excitement and laughter.  And for you?  What is on your list?  I have a few amazing ideas.  How about:

 A pampering spa get away.

A luxurious room that invites relaxation and rejuvenation.

Being with like-minded women who come together to laugh and to nourish.

 An awakening of passion felt deep within your soul.

A hot jacuzzi on a cold day, with wine or tea delivered to you as you soak with a smile.

A full day of workshops featuring women who will ignite a glow in you.

  A quiet whisper to yourself , yes this is what I need, this is my time.  Join me for an amazing weekend at the Stonehedge Inn and Spa, (www.stonehedgeinnandspa.com) on March 10th & 11th, 2012.   There will be workshops to choose from, delicious healthy food, a Jacuzzi you can relax in,  order wine  anywhere in the Inn and Spa,  raffles, fun Athena’s Party on Saturday night.  Encourage your friends to join you.

  Start off the New Year number one on your list

Create your own Joy Fund,  put a little money away each week for you.  Or better yet, ask for it for your holiday present.

 You have made everyone else happy.  Now how about you?

Details on the spa weekend and registration now available on my website www.thejoysource.com.  Space is limited, register today!

Friends, wonderful friends!  They uplift, console, and understand you.  They add joy to your life and give you confidence to take the risk of making your dreams come true.  They offer a softer place to land when life throws you unexpected curve balls.  When you leave the company of such friends you feel full and content.  Your soul has been nourished, even if it was just a quick hour and a hot cup of coffee.  My day was once made lighter and more joyful after an unexpected hug from a friend in the parking lot of my daughter’s daycare.  It was one of those warm embraces that said “I am here with you at all times, keep going.”

Who shines their light on your life?  Who do you call when you have exciting news to share?  Who are your most cherished friends?

My favorite inspirational speaker Dr. Wayne Dyer says,” Choose to be in close proximity to people who are empowering, who appeal to your sense of connection to intention, who see the greatness in you, who feel connected to God, and who live a life that gives evidence that spirit has found celebration through them.”

Go out and LAUGH

Sit together and TELL STORIES

Eat dinner and SUPPORT EACH OTHER

Sip tea and CRY (let it all out, you are in good company)

Go for a walk and DREAM BIG

Talk on the phone and GET INSPIRED

Hug for an hour and BE HELD

Share your accomplishments and SHARE THE JOY

It’s all in the company you keep.

How wonderful the feeling of a woman who is full, who is content,

 who feels worthy and who makes the right choices

How wonderful the feeling of a woman who makes the right decisions, who believes in her strengths, her capabilities and doesn’t spend much time trying to correct her weaknesses

How wonderful the feeling of a woman who capitalizes on her strengths, who doesn’t let the past define her, who doesn’t try to be better than anyone else in her life

How wonderful the feeling of a woman who is creating her life exactly how she wants it to be, a woman who sets boundaries for herself, who can disappoint another to be true to her self

How wonderful the feeling of a woman who knows the feeling of going from lack to abundance; a strong, confident woman, who has the feeling of contentment with her self

How wonderful the feeling of a woman who is fully aware and insightful, spending time in quiet reflection on how far she’s come and where she hopes to be

How wonderful the feeling of a woman who sets goals and dreams for herself, always looking forward reaching, not dwelling on the past, only looking back long enough to know she never wants to return there.

Being better than you used to be requires not dwelling in the past but reflecting long enough to marvel at how much you’ve grown

Being better than you used to be is about making positive choices each and every day

Choices that affect your happiness, nourish your being and bring you joy

Being better than you used to be is about igniting your spirit in such a way that you feel fully alive and vibrant

Be This Woman.  Be Better Than You Used To Be.

Our next JoySource Event is our March Retreat “A Weekend of Rest and Renewal”  March 10 & 11, details to follow

If you drew a big circle on a piece of paper and I asked you to divide it up like a pie, each slice representing how you spend your time, would there be  nice big chunks of pie devoted to REST, RELAXATION, REFLECTION, RECREATION????  When I do this exercise with people the majority have way too much time devoted to work, chores and responsibilities and not enough time devoted to the four R’s( as said in the book The Inner Game of Stress by T. Gallwey).  Where is your balance?  We all maintain a certain amount of work, chores and responsibilities but it all must be balanced with time devoted to the four R’s. 

 How happy can you truly be if all you do is work and not play? 

 How fulfilled can you be if you run from place to place with no time for rest and relaxation?

How nourished can you be if you have spent no time in reflection of where you have been and where you hope to be?

We are happier, more satisfied and LESS STRESSED if we can take the time to rest, relax, reflect and PLAY.

When do you find yourself doing exactly what you want to be doing and never wanting it to end?  When does time stop for you?

Find more of that time for yourself; happiness and joy will follow.

Registration has begun for my Woman’s Day of Inspiration and Joy on October 2nd at the Peabody Marriott.  Please find the details on my website www.thejoysource.com , last year it was a huge success, join us for another amazing day!

Opportunity knocks at your door.   You are seeking excitement and pleasure.   Which do you choose: a vacation or a shopping spree? If you have the opportunity for an experience rather than stuff I might re consider your need for more stuff.  On the Oprah show a few weeks ago, she spent the show focusing on happiness.  A happiness Consultant reported that “stuff” can bring you happiness for up to 9 months; an amazing experience can bring you happiness for a lifetime.  Telling and re- telling of your adventures, showing pictures, re-living the experience continues to fill your being with joy.  Though my months of living in Honduras was over 15 years ago, I am consumed with joy and excitement when I tell those stories of adventure.  ( got an hour? ok maybe 2, I don’t want to leave out the good details!)  My kid gets a bike and he is thrilled.  He has stopped talking about it after a few weeks.  He still remembers every moment of our family vacation to the Dominican Republic last year.

Set up a Joy Fund, just like a Vacation Fund and a Rainy Day Fund but a Joy Fund is for experiences that you choose for a more joyful being.  You are worth it.  You are deserving.  Yes You!!!

In one of my favorite, definitely worth reading books called Flow by M. Csikszentmihalyi, he explains the following;

“One of the most ironic paradoxes of our time is this great availability of leisure that somehow fails to be translated into enjoyment.  Compared to people living only a few generations ago, we have enormously greater opportunities to have a good time, yet there is no indication that we actually enjoy life more than our ancestors did.  Opportunities alone are not enough.  We also need the skills to make use of them.  Surrounded by an astounding panoply of recreational gadgets and leisure choices, most of us go one being bored and vaguely frustrated.”

Get excited!  Seek the experience!  Grab a friend and go snowshoeing deep within the woods.  Go skiing and stop to breathe in the scenery.  Book a last-minute vacation anywhere outside your comfort zone (and maybe your time zone too).  Talk about it. Re-live it.  Show pictures.  Carry the thoughts, the memories in your heart and let them resonate within your soul.

Need a slower pace experience?  Only 2 rooms left at the Women’s Retreat of Rest and Renewal.  Come renew your self and nourish your spirit.  March 12 and 13th.  Grab the last room! We are waiting for you.

Seek the Experience.  Leave the stuff behind.

Tell me about your joys.  Moments of happiness, living in the present time, being truly present in today, not tomorrow or next month; today only.  You are elated.  Excited.  You feel it through your entire body, you are glowing.  These moments, these so very important and wonderful moments can be referred to as “Flow” moments.  According to M. Csikszentmihalyi in his book Flow, he uses the term flow to mean

“joy, creativity, the process of total involvement with life.”

 

What are your flow moments?  When did they occur today?  At work when you were giving a truly prepared, intelligent, words coming out perfectly presentation?  Inside your mind you were shouting YES!!! Or was Flow happening at  home with your family as you  laughed loudly and hugged those little ones tightly?  Maybe you experienced flow while working on your hobbies; feeling energized with creativity.  Or in quiet moments with your lover, sharing a joy of intimacy that nourishes your soul.

 Maybe you have you not felt flow moments in a long time. You are depleted, empty, tired, stressed….not in a joyful or creative mood.  It is easy to get disconnected from your life; there are errands to run, kids to bathe, work to complete, bills to pay.

Moments of flow are necessary to a joyful life.

Spend some time with your friends.  I was out with my Boot Camp ladies for dinner in Boston last night, 5 women who come from different backgrounds and experiences,  meeting at the gym at 5:30am weekly for years, over time becoming friends, companions, confidants.  We gather for dinner to laugh, share stories, details of our lives, totally immersed in this circle of friendship.  Flow moments.  Laughing.  Enjoying.  Smiling.  Intently listening and learning.  And eating delicious food.  There are no kids to demand our attention, no pans of food to cook nor to wash.  We sit for hours dining, smiling and relaxing.  There is nowhere to be but right here… together.  In this moment we are not thinking about the kids lunches to be made tonight nor the clothes to wash nor the tiring work schedule this week.  We are just here.  Now.  In the present moment.  Flow moments.

 I wish you flow moments today.  Everyday.  Flow.  Find that joy, the creativity, the process of total involvement with life.

Join me all you wonderful women! Come celebrate joy and creativity at my March Retreat of Rest and Renewal.  It will be a weekend of relaxation, inspiration and fun.  Space is limited and starting to fill up.  Send your deposit to hold your spot today.  Email me with any questions at Julie @thejoysource.com

“Intimacy- closeness to yourself in times of solitude or closeness to others in moments of sharing and connecting- reflects your inner world as almost nothing else does.  And this intimacy begins from the inside; it begins with your own self.”~  Intimacy and Solitude by S. Dowrick

Are you comfortable with yourself?  Do you know yourself well? Or, do you rely on others to shape who you are?  As I read the book Intimacy and Solitude, the constant message is know thyself, know thyself, know thyself.  How can you give to others what you yourself don’t have?  How can you truly love another when you don’t love yourself? 

 NOW IS THE TIME.  Seek out solitude.  Spend time dreaming, setting goals and getting to know  yourself.  A Woman who knows herself fully is emotionally strong, firm in her beliefs and doesn’t get thrown off course when things don’t go her way.  Nor does she engage in harmful gossip.  There is nothing to prove to others when you deeply are connected to yourself, because the belief is

 I AM GOOD ENOUGH.  The rest flows smoothly.  You feel joyful from the inside and it reflects on the outside.  You glow.  It is real and people take notice.  Jump start your journey by spending the weekend with me  and some amazing women in March at a soul nourishing retreat as we inspire you to be joyful and discover your inner beauty.

Moments of solitude are hard to come by in the holiday season.  Parties, get togethers,  shopping malls filled with noise and people… did I mention parties?  Despite the Holiday rush, try your best to slow it down.  Be creative in finding your quiet moments.   Take the time to wake up a little earlier when the rest of the house is still sleeping or turn off the television at night, sit in front of the fire or the lighted tree or in darkness and JUST BE.

S. Dowrick continues to say in her book, ” The person who feels real inside…knows too that when she is alone she is not alone with no one, but is alone with her own imagination, thoughts and feelings, experiences and memories.  In short, she is alone with her own self.”

Know Thyself.