journey with joy – again…

Several years ago, I did a blog challenge for myself to journey with joy.

It was in the midst of an incredibly difficult year and I was doing my best to get through each day. More than ever before, I came to understand the importance of being connected to JOY (which isn’t the same as being happy). I decided to live into being connected with joy by blogging about it. I thought having such a conscious action focused on JOY would be helpful for me.

I called it my journey with joy.

My challenge to myself back then, in August 2013, was to blog daily for a month about JOY, even if it was only posting a photo that brought me joy.  I started off consistently (when I moved from my former online home to this current blog, I only brought one of those August ’13 posts over) but I ended up not blogging every day, mostly due to my father’s declining health and then death later that month.

But even without blogging every day, the challenge was helpful for me with dealing with all that was happening during that time. And consciously doing my best to stay connected with joy has been helpful for me in the often-difficult years since then.

So I’ve decided to blog my journey with joy again.

I’m not planning to blog daily, though.

And even when I do blog, not every post will be about JOY.

But from now through the end of this year, JOY is going to be a sort of theme here.

My hope is that it will help me in my own journey to stay connected with joy (which, again, is not the same as being happy).

And I’m also hoping it might help you too… maybe by offering a bit of hope, a reminder that you’re not alone, a gentle nudge to keep your eyes open for whatever brings you joy, something (even a moment) that’s uplifting to your day.

May our journeys with joy help us travel this road of life.


summer’s end…

Tomorrow is the last day of August, and (in the hemisphere where I live) the end of summer is approaching.

Our temperatures here are still reaching into the 80s and 90s. Our air conditioning still runs during the heat of the day. It’ll be a while before summer truly turns into fall.

But the mornings have a new coolness now. The slant of the sun’s light is noticeably different. Our backyard balloon flowers have entered their second cycle of blooming, the one that comes closer to the end of the season.

Summer is nearing an end.

For me, September has always felt like the start of a new year and the start of fall. When I was growing up, from kindergarten through high school, the first day of school was always the day after Labor Day — and that felt like the end of summer, no matter what the calendar said, no matter what the temperature reached.

This weekend is Labor Day weekend here in the US. And even though so very many years have passed since those days I attended school, this weekend feels like the end of summer. And the start of a new year.

It feels like a shift, a time for something new.

I have some thoughts about what that might mean for me. I’m tentatively making a few plans for the beginning of something next week. But right now, as I continue my healing journey, I need to give myself a lot of time and space and slow pace and gentle ease… and so I’m not going to beat myself up if those tentative plans don’t go into effect immediately after Labor Day.

But it feels good to even think about them. It feels like a positive change in energy. A renewed optimism. A light breeze of air tinged with fall’s invigorating nip.

And I’m grateful for that.


free printable – your dreams are given to you…

There’s another free printable for you! (You can find more of these little gifties here.)

This one is meant for inspiration to go after your hopes and dreams.

Your dreams are given to you for a reason.

As with the other printables, there’s no charge, nothing to sign up for, no need to give your email address… simply download whatever file(s) you wish.

The files include one pdf file (you can set the size when you print), as well as jpg files for sizes 4×6, 5×7, and 8×10. These are high quality, 300dpi, suitable for printing to frame, or put on a bulletin board, or put somewhere as an inspirational piece, a reminder, a declaration, an encouragement: Your dreams are given to you for a reason.

The links are below – get all the files or just one, whatever you wish.

Get the pdf file here.

The 4×6 jpg file is here.

The 5×7 jpg file is here.

The 8×10 jpg file is here.

Download, print, and enjoy!

I periodically add new (and free!) printables, so please check back or follow my blog for updates.