“What if there were no missing pieces in your life? What would be possible if you found yourself to be whole and complete just as you are?”
Image from Unsplash by Ross-Sneddon
We recently met a new neighbor named Larry, who has always been fascinated by puzzles, and a day never passes without him working on one.
Now in his 70’s, he takes great pride in his lifetime pursuit which covers his entire basement—including one of his masterpieces made up of 43,000 pieces!
Wendy and I enjoy talking with him about his passion and how he has created a vibrant and down-to-earth personality that is nicely put together.
How often do you focus on the missing pieces of your life?
What peace, joy and freedom could you find by simply putting together the pieces within yourself and the colorful ones you find along the way?
“Tears of joy are like the summer raindrops pierced by sunbeams.”
—Hosea Ballou, 19th Century American clergyman
Image from Unsplash by Hanna Morris
When was the last time you experienced tears of joy?
Who was present and what occasion or event precipitated this precipitation?
For me, it all started with pizza night at our daughter’s home.
During dinner, my 5 year old grandson Weston introduced me to a new word he learned —informing me that his room was “a disaster.”
Since we usually head upstairs to play on my visits, I suggested he take 5-10 minutes to clean up and proudly show off his speedy efforts.
Our daughter Rachel and little Ella (21 months) joined in the fun to everyone’s delight.
Being an old softy, I couldn’t help tearing up and laughing at the sight of these little ones playing with me and their wonderful mom.
Who are the people who pierce the raindrops of your life with sunbeams?
Please feel free to reply to this post with one of your own joyful moments.
“The belief that there is some future moment more worth our presence than the one we’re in right now is why we miss our lives.”
—Cory Muscara, International speaker and teacher of Mindfulness and positive psychology
Image from Amazon
Many people have mixed feelings about social media.
What appears as folks showing off their latest vacation or other life adventure puts off those who prefer to live more private lives.
On the other hand, seeing examples of people living large, engaged, and vital lives can be a type of coaching for those who desire greater joy and meaning.
One individual who shares her life with tremendous humility, dignity, and grace is Sam Horn. Her blogs and books are definitely worth a good look. In 2019, she even wrote a book titled Someday is Not a Day in the Week.
Check out Sam’s work and her resource rich website. Her newest book has the catchy title, Talking on Eggshells.
“Joy is the emotional expression of the courageous yes to one’s own true being.”
—Paul Tillich, 20th Century German-American existentialist philosopher
Image from Unsplash by Zachary Nelson
How often do you jump for joy? When was the last time you experienced this feeling, lifting you to new heights of self-expression?
One way to explore this topic and perhaps make a few more leaps in the years ahead is to examine all the roles you play in life. How you spend your time and who you spend it with will offer clues to where and when you give yourself permission to shout yes to your own true being.
Who are the happiest and most joyful people you know? What is it about them that attracts you and others to them? How might you use their example to be more joyful yourself? If your list is a bit short, look to the children in your life for some coaching.
“Joy is the most enduring cosmetic.”
—Chip Conley, American hospitality entrepreneur, author, and speaker
Image from Unsplash by Ian E.
I am a people watcher. How about you? Although I usually look at the whole person, recently I’ve paid far more attention to people’s faces. Beyond features of good bone structure and symmetry, I pay particular attention to their eyes. Perhaps it’s the two years of mask wearing that has us pay closer attention to these windows on how people are feeling to check in with each other.
Who are the most joyful people in your life? How can you increase your engagement with them to get a bit more of this enduring cosmetic on yourself? A good place to start is with young children.
“The best mirror is a friend’s eye.”
Rachel & Lesley (l) — Lesley & Ella (r)
My daughter Rachel’s best friend recently came for a surprise visit to see her, and to meet her new goddaughter, Ella.
Lesley and Rachel call each other Big Sis and Little Sis, and have been very close since grade school.
An elaborate plan for this visit was first orchestrated in November. With many of us playing our part, we accomplished the jaw dropping, tear-filled reunion.
Watching these two best friends reconnect over the next few days was a great gift for us as well.
Where and when have you experienced the value and joy of having a best friend? In what fun ways can you surprise them and show how very much they have meant to you over the years?
“Take only memories, leave only footprints.”
—Chief Seattle, Duwamish Tribe Leader & namesake of the City of Seattle
Image form Unsplash by NASA
Many of us are living simpler and more essentially these days. Taking less seems to be giving many of us more of the intrinsic things we value most.
I can recall visiting the Disney World exhibit sponsored by Kodak—the powerhouse of photography—when my kids were little. The catchy tune “Making Memories” inspired us to take a photo safari around the park, taking snapshots of us wearing the wild hats in each gift shop, without making a single purchase.
I also easily recall being glued to the TV in 1969 when man landed on the moon. Although some rocks were taken for study, the most impressive visual I recall was the astronauts jumping for joy, and of course, the many footprints they left, establishing the fact that they were there.
How would your life become even more fulfilling and meaningful if you embraced Chief Seattle’s coaching?
“Give every day the chance to become the most beautiful day of your life.”
—Mark Twain, pen name of Samuel Clemens
Image from Unsplash by Fikri Rasyid
Consider your life as a roll of bathroom tissue.
When you are born you have 1,000 sheets to use. As the days, weeks, months and years pass, you begin to notice the roll is spinning faster. Perhaps you are now closer to the end of the roll than the beginning.
Consider the idea that rather than fretting that some or even many of those sheets have been wasted or lost, you still have the opportunity to make each moment of every day something to joyfully enjoy and celebrate.
How can and will you be far more intentional about making the most of each precious and beautiful day ahead?
“The rising sun blesses my mind with joy. The setting sun blesses my heart with peace.”
—Sri Chinmoy, 20th Century Indian Spiritual Leader
Image from Unsplash by John Towner
Before electricity and the light bulb, our sun and perhaps the occasional fire influenced every aspect of life.
Sunlight was man’s alarm clock to rise and go about the day, to survive and be productive.
When the sun went down, it was time to relinquish our efforts and find safety in our homes with our family. It was time, hopefully, to settle into a peaceful and safe slumber until the sun woke us again.
How has the world — and particularly your life — changed from this simpler time? Consider the fact that we live in a world where the lights never seem to go out, even if its the dim light of your smart phone or the numbers on your alarm clock.
How much additional joy and peace might you experience if you more fully embraced a life guided further by the rising and setting of the sun?
Consider reading Waking up to the Dark – Ancient Wisdom for a Sleepless Age, by Clark Strand.
“I am more distress-avoidant than I am joy-seeking.”
—Malcolm Gladwell, Canadian journalist, Author, and public speaker
“Creative Tension” is a term coined by Robert Fritz in his book The Path of Least Resistance from the late 1980s.
Essentially, it describes the tension that exists between our perception of our current reality and our vision for the future. Fritz points to the desirable and attractive nature of a committed vision, which draw or pulls our reality closer to it.
A common example of this phenomenon is the TGIF (Thank Goodness It’s Friday) approach many people experience as they look toward the weekend. Unfortunately, this concept also applies to the less desirable future which many people experience Sunday night if the prospects of Monday morning are experienced with apathy or dread.
To what degree are you more joy-seeking than distress-avoidant in your personal and professional lives? What actions can and will you take to intentionally design more positive experiences in the days, weeks, and years ahead?