I’m feeling inspired by the lovely words of the divine Maya Angelou:
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
So how are people left feeling in your wake? Are they inspired, filled with laughter, knowing they’ve been fully heard or even just curious? Go ahead, sprinkle some of your JOY today . . .
As I sat at the edge of the ocean today, listening to a meditation about anxiety, they introduced the notion of remembering when you have anxious feelings that many people the world over are experiencing similar feelings. I’ve always liked these themes of interconnectedness and my mind readily settled into the space. But apparently my mood wasn’t satisfied with looking at anxious feelings. Instead I started to think about other feelings and emotions and the fact that they are all being shared simultaneously with millions of people around the world. JOY was the shining example I was drawn to and I started to think about a twinkling light growing brighter and brighter with each person’s uplifting experience. Mid this ‘warm and fuzzy’ meditation train – I heard piercing levels of shrieking coming from the ocean. My eyes flew open and I truly didn’t know what to expect. What unfolded was a brand new appreciate for JOY.
The Surfers Healing Australia had set up camp next door and were interacting with an Autism Awareness group. Talented surfers were giving autistic kids tandem rides on waves that left them bubbling with so much JOY their laughter and delight were flooding the beach. Their squeals of excitement were matched with various exuberant dance moves and spontaneous high fives. These erupted from the kids, the surfers and random bystanders like me.
What a gift . . . to truly share something in your life that brings you pure JOY! These surfers and these kids both had a magical experience today. I was just lucky enough to be on the edge of that growing light. What layer of JOY can you share today?
I just know you’ll enjoy this guest post . . . its by my divine and inspiring partner, Richard. He’s such a wealth of ideas and a master at sourcing JOY and integrating it into his daily life.
For most people the daily commute is a chore. I know driving in busy traffic turns me into a frustrated lane hopper. And bussing makes me feel like I’m a pawn in a human traffic ring. However there are many ways to brighten up the routine. Recently, I have ignored social pressure and found joyful ways to commute. My favourite is via kayak. An option for me as my work is often directly on the other side of Sydney Harbour. The paddle takes about an hour each way, which isn’t a fast commute, but I enjoy every stroke and would like to be out exercising for that time anyway. I do get some funny looks as I walk from the beach to office with little more than a paddle in hand, but most people offer encouraging remarks. I have yet to witness a traffic jam on the harbour, there are no parking issues and I arrive at work (and home) with a wide salty smile. As a bonus, I feel like spoiling myself with super foods on the money saved from tolls, ferries, tickets, petrol, parking, etc. Cycling is another lovely way to commute. Although, it can involve some stress when competing with hurried cars, trucks, buses, and taxis. It’s a little different for me as I’m on a rather tall, 36″ geared unicycle, which is another joy-mobile. Running is a healthy option, although since it’s a long run for me, it’s only practical infrequently. I also enjoy commuting by motorcycle. It doesn’t satisfy my need for exercise, but it is a lot more liberating and faster than driving, and it feels much safer than cycling. Walking is a beautiful option. A 30-60 minute walk is, in my view, much more attractive than a 15 minute vehicular commute. Many people can combine a long walk with public transport, which can be made even more joyful by sharing part of the walk/commute with a loved one. Let’s face it – anything is better than stressing behind a wheel or squished into a bus. Many employers support these healthy alternatives by providing showers, lockers and laundry services in the workplace. I encourage everyone to de-stress by seeking out more active and JOYFUL ways to commute.
Hopefully this leaves you inspired to re-think your daily commute! Get creative and imagine arriving at your place of work with a mile wide smile versus a collection of stressful layers.
I absolutely love this sentiment (thank you sister Nicky for sending it my way) and find it so true! At times I feel like people are addicted to some sort of drama compulsion. If there isn’t something falling apart in their life or the life of someone close to them they seem to have little to say. A related chapter of this compulsion is perhaps the endless self assessments, introspection, analysis and desire to really ‘know’ oneself. While I applaud a healthy level of self awareness, this habit of continual navel gazing can become a form of self absorption that dances on the fringes of addiction.
So where do you want to place your attention? What do you want to offer the world? Let’s all aim to spread just a little bit more JOY. After all, its rather contagious.
I truly adore the various outdoor cinemas on offer in SYD and last week heightened the love affair. It feels so magical to nestle in on the ground in an intimate setting, with preselected picnic bits and flying foxes swooping overhead. On this particular night, as the movie came to a close and we made our way back to the parking area I found a man’s wallet. It was dark, without street lights and the crowd of people was rather constant. I scooped it up for safe keeping and we motored back over the bridge towards home. Since it was well past my bedtime I had a sleepy look at the contents while feeling like I was intruding on some unspoken realm of privacy. Since there was no telephone number nor obvious way of contact I slept with the hope that ‘William’ wouldn’t know his wallet was missing until I could find a clever way of letting him know it was safe in the morning. With fresh eyes I had another, still uncomfortable, look at the contents of William’s wallet. And during this review the American Express card caught my eye. Having suffered a stolen wallet in a foreign country I had first had experience regarding the incredible customer service they offer during times of loss. I rang them with the hope of connection and they were as incredible as I had remembered. Taking my number down, William was soon calling me to coordinate the return of his lost bits. A shared experience of an outdoor theatre grew into a reminder that we are all truly connected and at times we need to take on the role of ‘safe keeping’ for others who at first glimpse, may appear to be a stranger. Expand your JOY and trust that we’re here to look out for one another.