Where is it you need to be?

Do you need Faith?  This week go to your worship service.

Do you need a good sweat?  Go to your gym or join one.

Is it solace you need?  Go for a hike in the woods minus the IPOD and cell phone.  Just you and your thoughts.

Go where you need to be.

Not where people tell you to go.  Not a place that is negative.  Nor a place you leave frustrated and unhappy.

Go to that place of excitement, joy and happiness.

Don’t go by intimidation or guilt.

Go where your heart is telling you to go.  For each one of us needing comfort and love, it is a different place.

Walk in the woods.  Laughter with friends.  Passion with our soul mate.  Joy with our children.  Deep conversation with God.

Go where your soul aches to go.  Only you know that place.  Give yourself permission to go there.  Wherever it is.  Just go.

Choices.  Happy or sad.  Good or bad.  Go out or stay in. Ride your bike or go for a run.  ChoicesLet life pass you by or be called to action.  Watch your friends enjoy their lives or be compelled to enjoy yours as well.  See those around you take risks and grow or step out of your comfort zone and reap your own rewards.   Sit by idly and passion-less or read some inspiring books and begin your soul-searching.  ChoicesWatch your friends discover love or be in search of your soul-mate and experience it for yourself.  Observe others create and live their lives exactly how they want or go in pursuit of your lost dreams and create your own life.  Sit in the backseat and be still or move forward and make it your time.  It’s your choice.

Standing by on the sidelines without being fully engaged in the game can leave you feeling bored and resentful.  Stir up the passion.  Fully participate in your life.  Ignite your fire from the inside.  Tap into your strengths, we all have them; what are yours?

Oriah states in her book The Invitation: “I don’t want to know how old you are.  Your age tells me how long you have lasted, but not what you have made of the precious time you have been given.  Lasting, enduring, is not enough.  Tell me of the times you have taken a risk, and how you greet your fear.”

Choices.  Give up or keep going.  Overwhelmed by an obstacle in your path or plow right through it.  Cry and retreat, or cry and try again.  Choices.  By not making a choice you’re still making a choice.  It just might not be the right one.

Dream.  Create.  Joy. Passion.  Happiness.  Love.  Experience all of these.  The choice is yours.  Make the right one.

 

It starts with an idea, a vision in your head of where you want to be and what you want to accomplish.  It permeates in your brain, taking over until you can’t get the thoughts out of your mind.  You are pretty sure you are up to the challenge, but how can one ever be sure?  You spend time writing it down, you formulate the words to describe how you need to push yourself and now it’s on paper. Finally the thoughts and ideas of what direction you want your life to go in are ready to be spoken.

Your close friends suspend judgment.  They listen.  They watch you light up as you describe your dream.  They answer you with, “Yes, you can do this“, followed up by, “Yes, I see you doing this.”

That’s all one needs to begin the journey of self growth.

You commit to months of preparation, knowing that risk has advantages and disadvantages.  But it is out there.  The dream once inside your head for years is out there for the world to know.  How does one go back now?  You don’t.  Forward is the only option.

So you push through the fear, the uncertainty that creeps in when you are tired and frustrated.  Maybe this isn’t such a good idea?  Your best friend begs to differ.  She reassures that it is a good idea and you will be great.  Oh, that’s right, you think to yourself, “I am capable of creating my world exactly how I want it to be.” To ward off future doubt, you surround yourself with people who support, uplift and see you where you want to be.  They are necessary to your survival.

And the day comes when you are ready to take it all on.  You are prepared, confident and at ease.  You accomplished your greatest desire- not only did you set a goal, but you saw it to fruition.  You worked through the uneasiness and fear, knowing the feelings of success and confidence would propel you forward in your life.  You can never go back to who you once were. Why would you want to?

Growing.  Getting better.  Challenging yourself to accomplish great things.  Do it.  Take the Risk to Grow.  I did, and

Tonight I am not the same girl.

1. Income

2.  Physical Health

3.  Joy in Living

Research has shown the above 3 are some of the best predictors of successful aging.  Where do you fit in on this list?

Having your finances in order breathes a huge sigh of relief in our lives.  Stress from debt can cause one to age rapidly and as we know, stress takes a toll on our physical health.  Headaches, stomachaches, tension, high blood pressure (just to name a few, but I could go on and on) are just a few ways stress manifests itself in our bodies.  How much stuff do you really need anyway?  Instead of buying and spending money,  seek the experience instead (see earlier blog posting).

Physical Health means staying active, it doesn’t mean having the body of a supermodel.  Be fit.  Keep moving.  Embrace your body, respect it and treat it well.  It will serve you well later in life if you eat properly, exercise and feel good in your clothing.  I promise you that.

Joy in Living, YES!!  My favorite topic!!  Find out what brings you joy in your life and incorporate more of it.  Don’t focus on what brings you down, in fact, don’t even hang around with anyone who makes you feel bad or casts a negative shadow on your life.

As I come upon my professional seminars over the next few months for those licensed in the Mental Health field, (the topic is  Stress and Job Burnout: When to Get Out or Go Back In?), I studied a lot of what stress does to the body and I encourage you to de-stress and practice those  coping skills.  Those who age well have an optimistic outlook on life; they found their joy in living!  It is never too late to make some changes in your life…start by spending less, getting an education, stay active, find an exercise you enjoy and do it often, find what makes you happy and brings you joy and welcome it in your life each and every day.

Embrace your age, be better than you used to be, it’s your choice.  Make the right one.

Any idiot can face a crisis- it’s this day-to-day living that wears you out,” said the Russian Playwright Anton Chekhov. Day to day living can wear you out, for many it is filled with the same old routine- the bills, the kids and their homework, the laundry, and the list goes on and on.  How to make those days feel less ordinary and more joyful you ask? Well for starters try some of these suggestions:

1.  Laugh every day.  Call a friend and be silly.  Laugh at how awful your day is going.  Laughing is a known stress reducer!

2.  Play hookie.  Call in sick and go out and do something soul nourishing.  Go climb a mountain.  Spend the day with your lover.  Go for a walk on the beach.

3.  Let it go.  All that is bothering you, work through it and release it.  Negative thoughts, angry feelings and harbored resentments will not serve you in your quest to be joyful.

4.  When things don’t go your way or go as planned, change your plans.  Be flexible.

5.  Surround yourself with people who want to see you succeed.

6.  Break routine and have cake for breakfast.

“Intentionally expose yourself to things that you’re afraid of.  Start telling yourself that the smooth, comfortable life is not something to strive for, but rather a recipe for boredom and stagnation,” suggests West Point Psychologist Michael Matthews.

Passion.  Love.  Joy.  Contentment.  Excitement. Fun.  Strive for those feelings in your ordinary days.

C’mon join the joy ride. Be a Joy Rider.

Are you an optimist?  Or do you see the darker view of your world? Do you believe it will all work out?  If it doesn’t go in your favor, is your glass still half full?  Or are you running on empty always?

  I have been doing a lot of reading lately about positive vs. negative emotions.  The importance of feeling good, being joyful and content as a way to live your life.  I am fascinated with all the books out there and what I am learning.  Indulge me, if you will in some thoughts that could be life changing for you.  In his book Authentic Happiness, M. Seligman gives us details on Barbara Fredrickson’s theory on positive emotions, and it goes like this,

“Positive emotions broaden our abiding intellectual, physical, and social resources, building up reserves we can draw upon when a threat or opportunity presents itself.  When we are in a positive mood, people like us better, and friendship, love, and coalitions are more likely to cement.  In contrast to the constrictions of negative emotion, our mental set is expansive, tolerant, and creative.  We are open to new ideas and new experience.” 

WOW! YES!  Be positive.  It makes sense.  Do you want to be around someone who is crabby, negative, and angry?  Those who talk hurtful gossip…UGH..just walk away.  Don’t surround yourself with negative people; it can deplete you of joy and happiness.  Create your own social circles with those who encourage, love and uplift.  Find the part of you who is grateful, blessed and content.  Live your life through this lens.  The world suddenly seems brighter.

Seek Joy.

Joy. Stillness. Laughter.  Relaxation.  Rest.  Come join me at The Joy Source’s Women’s Retreat  on March 12th and 13th.  The Spa is delightful, the Inn is wonderful, and the company will restore your spirit.  Space is limited.  Sign up today.

Dream big dreams, change directions, travel, meet new people, get excited, seek silence, nourish your soul daily, find passion, intimacy, happiness, be joyful, work out regularly, have faith, give thanks, read more, replenish, renew your spirit, go for a walk in nature, love, forgive, let past issues go and be free, be joyful, spend time on you, get to know yourself, step outside your comfort zone, take risks, grow, laugh….set up a Joy Fund that will give you the opportunity to take part in activities that will do all of the above.  A New Year, a great time to start a little fund for you, a savings account for all your joy needs.  Start your own Joy Fund!

Join me for a weekend of Rest and Renewal in March, registration is now open and space is limited, check out the details on my website www.thejoysource.com 

 The Joy Course starts in 2 weeks!  What a wonderful time to focus on YOU and JOY!!  A 6 week course for women held in Salem, MA. that focuses on living a joyful life!  details on my website www.thejoysource.com