“Be joyful because it is humanly possible.”
I’m declaring this a week of joy.
Because I need it. We need it. The tumult and fear and all around bad news is piling up, and it’s threatening to stall my own growth. To dull my positivity. I’m not going to allow it.
What’s the antidote to bad news? A life rooted in joy. (I was going to say good news, but news is fleeting, and the real antidote is not something outside of ourselves. It’s cultivating a groundedness inside ourselves).
And the reality is, despite what the headlines read, we’re living in the most peaceful time in human history.
If you turn off the news and take a breath, you’ll find endless opportunities to engage with people and the natural world, to learn new things, and encounter new ideas. You’ll find there’s more than one way to plant a seed.
You don’t need to wait for conditions to be perfect to cultivate a life rooted in joy.
And you don’t need to wait to own land or live in the country to plant that seed. Community gardens and urban farms are rooted in cities across the country. Even where high-rises dominate the landscape, rooftop gardens are places of growth and nourishment. Container gardens overflow on porches, and indoor-plants green up homes from the inside out.
There are endless ways to grow, to connect with nature, and to re-root yourself to the soil. And all of this creates joy. (Touching soil literally makes you happy).
Here are a few ways I’ll be growing joy this week:
1. Starting the day with gratitude : notice what is already here and bringing me joy. The goofy expressions on my son’s face, the way my dog wiggles when we’re about to go for a walk, the garden and all it gives to us.
2. Giving Gratitude : say thank you to those who support me, who make me smile, who bring joy into my life. Maybe it’s simply the phrase “thank you” or maybe it’s a hug, or a little surprise gift (like cookies—see below). My mom taught me “what you give out you get back.” And it’s true; every time I give gratitude to someone else, I feel the joy of it grow inside me.
3. Baking Cookies : I love baking. I love creaming the sugar (or maple syrup), mixing the ingredients, dropping handfuls of chocolate chips into the batter. I love the smell of cookies wafting from the oven. And I love how baking calms me and pulls me into the present moment. It’s a delicious way to bring myself back to the now.
In the comments below, tell me one thing you’re doing this week to grow joy in your life. Just like a smile, joy is contagious. So share it, let it spread, watch it grow.