“Hardiness gives you the COURAGE AND MOTIVATION to do the hard work of


 rather than


(S. Maddi-Psychology Today)

What makes us hardy?  Life.  How we engage in life.   Challenging ourselves.  Taking risks.  Learning new ways to deal with stress.  Getting back up after life kicks us down.  Facing your fears.  Participating in your life, good or bad, instead of just showing up.

Courage + Motivation= Growing and Developing

Get up of the couch, shut OFF the bad reality television that broadcasts negativity, put the pint of ice cream away and go out for a walk.  Start reading a new book.  Learn a new skill.  Seek out a quiet spot in nature.  Challenge yourself today, tomorrow and the next day.  What have you been meaning to do but haven’t found the time? It’s time to grow and develop.  This is a constant process for us, your age doesn’t matter; strive to be better than you used to be.  More hardy.  More joy.

You have to work at being resilient.  Hardy people have higher levels of committment to themselves, their faith, their work and their families.  They believe they control their destiny; they don’t fall victim to what is going on externally around them.  “Hardy people see the changes in life as challenges to master, not obstacles to overcome.” (Stress management; B. Brehm)

I encourage you to keep growing, take risks, seek out quality friendships, face your fears. Be better than you used to be.

Denying and Avoiding will get you nowhere fast  (and annoy everyone around you).  Hardiness is a quality that will serve you well in life.  How hardy are you?

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.

Vacation Funds.  Rainy Day Funds.  Retirement Funds.  I think it is about time you start a Joy Fund.  A fund whose only purpose is for joyful activities.    Activities, places, people who bring you joy and a smile to your face.  Recently, I went to visit the Stonehedge Inn and Spa in Tyngsboro, MA. where I am hosting a Woman’s Retreat of Rest and Renewal, and I was once again reminded of why I am drawn to this most lovely place.  Immediately upon walking in you begin to de stress.  Relaxation comes over you as you take in the tranquil surroundings.  The rooms are lavish and pampering.  The workshop rooms are a perfect design to aid in our learning and renewal.  The spa simply invites your spirit to be nourished.

The price for the Retreat Weekend in March is $250, includes your overnight stay, 2 healthy meals, all day workshops, use of indoor pool and jacuzzi, a wild Athena’s Goddess party on Saturday night followed by gentle yoga on Sunday morning.  Or stay in bed and relax.  Or get a massage, facial and pedicure. 

 You do so much in your daily life, why not take a night just for YOU?  I know you know ladies who are able to take advantage of weekends like these.  With a Joy Fund, it could be possible for you too.  Budget and plan for activities and events you enjoy.  I travel to the West Coast every year for  fun inspiring workshops as well as enjoy my spa weekends, all made possible with a Joy Fund.  I budget all year so I can take time out for me.  The planning is so worth it!!!I encourage you to set one up too!  Even if the retreat is not something you want to do.  Find something that brings you joy and get that fund ready for action!

If you send in $50 (non refundable) deposit for the March Woman’s Retreat by January 1st, take $25 off the total price.  You then can send in $25 a week until it is paid off or in whatever increments you would like.  

 Budget.  Plan.  Get excited to nourish your soul.  Do joyful activities.  Set up a Joy Fund and Be Joyful.

“I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments” as stated by Oriah in her book “The Invitation”.

Have the courage to sit alone and look deep within yourself.  Sit with your own company and be still.  Await the words of the heart.  What dreams have you put on the back burner?  What do you wish for?  What goals are you ready to pursue?  Do you even know for sure which direction to go in? 

Clear the chatter in your head.  Be Still.  Be silent.  The answers will be revealed if you are patient.  It is time now to create the life you want.  It takes courage to set your dreams in motion; determination to keep them on track; risk to take the first step; passion to fuel your inner fire; joy in living the life created by YOU.  And create it you must!

Get to know yourself, what is it that YOU really want in your life?  Be still.  Turn off the television, shut down your computer, put your phone on quiet mode for one solid moment.  Think.  Dream.  Pray.  Meditate.  Give thanks.  Ask to be lead to where you need to be.  There are signs all around you pointing you in the direction of your dreams.  I truly believe nothing is by chance.  When you stay in tuned with yourself and to your surroundings; answers are everywhere.  All around you are people you are meant to meet, places you need to go but you must stay present.  Don’t be 3 steps ahead of yourself.  Be still.  Pay attention.   Be alert.  Now is the time.  Create your life exactly how you want it to be.   Imagine a life of joy knowing you are living your dreams.  It all started for me sitting in solitude by the ocean.   In silence our dreams are manifested. 

That is my wish for you.

We always attract into our lives whatever we think about most, believe most strongly, expect on the deepest level, and imagine most vividly.”  ~Shakti Gawain

Are you ready to embrace joy?  Dreaming of passion and excitement in your life? 

The Joy Course is a great place to start!  A small group atmosphere of women where we explore finding joy, leading joyful lives and how to stay that way!  There is something very special about a small group of women coming together to share their goals and their dreams; finding support and nourishment in simply being together on the journey. 

Questions we will ponder….Do you take risks to grow?  Or are you stuck in your comfort zone? 

Are there negative people in your life bringing you down?  Or are you inspired to live your best life as evidenced by your friends? 

 Do you set realistic goals?  Or do you just daydream about the life you wish you could have?

Do you take time for yourself to renew your spirit and nourish your soul?  Or are you too busy saying YES to everybody but yourself?

Come join me in re-discovering your passions, interests and joy! The next session begins on Tuesday night, September 21st, 7-8:30pm, Peabody location.  $125 for 6 weeks.  Email me at Julie@thejoysource.com  to sign up. For more information and testimonials from previous Joy Course participants please check out my website at www.thejoysource.com

Come join the Joy Course for 6 Tuesday nights group sessions and you will be nurtured and

You Have the potential for more, I just know it.  I can tell you are capable of more too.  Are you safe in your comfort zone?  Being in your comfort zone is… well, comfortable, safe and easy.  I am one to always feel a need to push the limits of my comfort zone and take the risk to grow.  In fact, at my September event, I will be speaking on this topic of Risk.   If taking a risk offers you an opportunity to grow in a positive direction; personal, professional, emotional, spiritual, I encourage you to take it!  It is natural to be fearful, but many of us stay in this fearful thinking and it can paralyze us from moving forward.  I am in no way encouraging you to make a move you are not ready for or saying you should not be comfortable where you are in your life right now.  I am gently encouraging you to take a look at your life, career, partner, friends, hobbies, faith, and find an area that you might need to push yourself a bit to grow.

Surround yourself with people who support you and nourish you.  People who take the risk to grow in their own lives and celebrate those steps of growth in yours. 

Sitting in quiet reflection can help you ponder, is it time to move forward in some area of your life and does that require taking a risk?

Keep on growing my friends, keep getting better, because you are worth it.

I start off my Joy Course with a discussion on Friendship.  I encourage the participants to take social inventory.  Who do you spend your time with?  Are they negative people who cast a gloomy shadow on your life?  Or are they positive inspiring people who lift your spirit?  If you surround yourself with people who nourish, support and love you, you will always feel held, your burdens are shared and your soul is always nurtured.  You never feel alone.

We underestimate the impact negative people have on our life.  They can suck the joy right out of you and leave you feeling annoyed, frustrated and depleted.    Find friends who give you joy not take it from you!!    With such limited free time, I have learned to choose wisely the company I keep.  I encourage you to do the same.  Spending time with my friends is a gift I give myself.  They laugh with me, support me and allow me to just be me.  No gossip, no drama…who needs that bad energy? 

One of my favorite quotes by Wayne Dyer, ” 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”    YES!!  Exactly right!!

Surround yourself with people who inspire you to be your best. 

It’s all in the company you keep.