the joy is in the moments…

If I’m honest, I have to admit I want to be happy all the time. I want to feel a sense of inner peace all the time. I want to feel joy all the time.

(Those are three different things, three different feelings and experiences and senses. And yes, my wish is for all three.)

But none of these are constants for me.

And I’m reminded, again and again, that even if these aren’t constants, they do exist in moments.

Joy comes in the moments.

Like watching a fun tv show with my husband, being relaxed and feeling contented and simply enjoying being together.

Like walking into the kitchen and spotting our kitty playing in some sunshine.

Like hearing a great song on the radio, a song that sets my spirit soaring.

Like being out with my husband on a beautiful day.

Like drinking coffee on the front porch and catching a lovely breeze.

Like laughing with a friend on the phone, and feeling that heart-connection of being seen and heard and mutually cared-for and witnessed.

Like playing with paint and just having fun.

Like… well, so many other things that lift the soul and bring a sense of joy.

Noticing them. Connecting with them. Not clutching them tightly, because there isn’t really a way to save or force joy – but we can be more aware of it when it comes.

And I think the more we notice those moments of joy, the more of them we’ll notice.

Sometimes I forget about that. But then a moment of joy will remind me.

 

shame-free zone…

Even after all these decades of living, I’m still learning about shame. About the power it can have over us. About how it can get tangled up with guilt, and embarrassment, and how we might not even recognize that what we’re truly feeling is shame.

But one thing I know is this: shame can be destructive and devastating.

When I started to realize how, far too often, I felt shame (even when I thought I was feeling embarrassment or guilt instead), I started to become more intentional and deliberate about being on the lookout for shame – and not giving it a foothold.

As a reminder to myself and others, I took a photo of a small part of one of my much-larger canvases where I play with acrylic paint, and I made a shame-free zone printable.

It’s yours if you’d like to print it out. As with the other printables on the blog (you can find those here – be sure to go back to the “older posts” to see them all) there’s no charge, nothing to sign up for, no strings attached. Just download and print as you wish. The file is in .pdf format, which you can resize to suit your needs.

The link to get it is here.

Or just click on the printable’s photo below to get the file.

Treat yourself – and others – with kindness and gentleness and grace… not shame.

 

breathing a moment of joy and peace…

A few days ago, a weekend morning, I spent time with my husband at a small park we like to visit.

The sky was a somewhat hazy blue, and a gentle breeze kept us company.

We walked two times around the not-very-long path, with me being able to walk without holding onto to anything – not my husband’s hand, not a walking stick. (Walking unassisted while out ‘n about has been a challenge the past few years.)

Then I took a seat on one of the benches as my husband made another round on the walking path.

I took a few photos while sitting there. The above picture is one of them. Sunlight through branches and green leaves, the rolling hills in the distance.

I felt relaxed. At ease. At peace.

I felt joy.

And I breathed it in.