Finding Joy

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How do you find joy in your everyday life?  What are you passionate about or what lights you up from the inside out?

For me, joy is the result of practicing daily gratitude because when you focus on what you have, it changes your perspective and creates joy from within.  Joy is what gets you through difficult times, it turns on a light when you’re in the dark, it heals wounds and can make your soul sing.  Joy is contagious and can spread like wildfire if you allow it, we’re all connected so it’s better to spread positive vibes and emotions that lead us in the right direction.

In today’s busy world, stress and anxiety are topping the charts of workplace absence and prescription medications.  It’s not overly surprising because the faster the world turns, the faster we run and when we’re running, we’re not paying attention to what’s around us.  It’s only when we slow down to catch our breath and notice the little things in the moment; that’s when we are able to find our joy.

Here are a few ways you can begin the search for joy in your everyday life.

  1. Play with children. They are innocent creatures who love to laugh and goof around
  2. Let your inner child out too. Just like the picture above, we all have that little girl or boy inside of us, waiting to get out again so get silly and let loose
  3. Learn something new such as a language, recipe, or sport
  4. Explore nature. It is the most beautiful and imperfect thing on earth
  5. Travel somewhere new and exciting. Do this solo or with someone you like
  6. Surround yourself with animals. They have the most unconditional love to share with you
  7. Be romantic. This allows you to use your creativity and can find joy in two places at once
  8. Spread random acts of kindness to strangers. The appreciation they feel will come back to you tenfold
  9. Play a musical instrument or put some music on. This is soul food and can be very healing
  10. Sing a song no matter what your voice sounds like. Remember that inner child?
  11. Read a great book or see a movie you’ve been waiting for
  12. Helping others creates huge amounts of joy from within
  13. Wake up those endorphins in your body because they will definitely make you feel better
  14. Meditate or practice mindfulness. Enjoy the silence for a change
  15. Write something, anything. Keep it private or make it public it’s your choice but keep it positive and inspiring
  16. Dance in the rain and get soaked. If this doesn’t make you feel like a kid, I don’t know what will
  17. Be like a cat and take a nap. Time to feel rejuvenated again
  18. Watch a sunrise or sunset. Not only is it live entertainment, it’s free and it’s beautiful
  19. Take a hot bath or get a massage
  20. Eat your favorite desserts like cupcakes or something with chocolate
  21. Spend quality time with friends and laugh so much it hurts

Sometimes the best way to find joy is to surrender to what is.  By surrendering, you are opening your heart and mind to the infinite possibilities of what life can offer you.  It’s not about giving up, it’s about letting go, and the benefit to letting go is finding joy.

 

Much Love ❤

Jen

 

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Love More By Caring Less. Huh?

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I love my friends they are my rocks in life.  We lean on each other in times of trouble and in times of laughter so much to the point where we offer each other advice on everything.  It doesn’t always mean we take the advice from each other but it is very comforting knowing we’re all in this together with big open hearts and love.

Friends often give each other advice even when we don’t ask for it.  It’s because we care so much and don’t like to see our friends suffering so we try to brainstorm a solution for them right there on the spot, I know I am also guilty of trying to fix a situation. This can be interpreted in two different ways, one that it is being done out of love and protectiveness or two, they are controlling, judging and criticizing everything you do.

I can understand why someone might think about it in the second example because it may come across like an attack and they aren’t accepting you as you are.  “You need to change.”  Change is scary and when we’re scared, we get defensive.

Now imagine if I said to you “Well *friend* I just love you.  I don’t care what happens to you.”

Huh???

Does this statement make you feel more relaxed, less anxious?  To some, it may come across as something cold but if I were to translate it to mean, “I really don’t care what happens to you, no matter what you do, I won’t love you any less.”  Real love comes from people who are both totally committed to helping—and able to emotionally detach.

Try this example; think of someone you love but causes you to feel angry, sad or anxious.  Now write “If ________ would only ____________ then I could feel ______________.”  Now scratch out the first part of that sentence so only this remains; “I could feel _______________.”

Yes, your lovely friends’ cooperation would be lovely, but you don’t absolutely need it to experience any given emotional state. This is incredibly hard to accept—it would be so easy to feel good if others would just do what we want, right? Nevertheless, you can feel sane even if your crazy-making friend stays crazy.  This is the key step to loving without caring.

We need to find our own ways to be happy and not depend so much on other people, especially the undependable ones!  Even if all your lovely friends remain insane forever, it’s still possible you’ll find opportunities to thrive and joys to embrace.   The bottom line is that we are powerless over other people and when we can accept that hard fact, that’s when we start creating our own happiness.  There are days when it feels like a non-stop cha-cha where it’s one step forward and two steps back but you have to trust yourself and your friends.  It’s all in the power of letting go of control and loving more.

One day it would be nice to hear “Friend, I love you unconditionally—I don’t care what happens to you.”  This is the kind of loving and uncaring friend we should all have in our lives.  The one who lets us be who we really are, to be free to do and choose what we want.  Live and let live, love and let love.  And in the end they will love us till the day we die no matter what.  As you support your friends this way, maybe they will mirror the same support back to you.  Either way you can be happy so what do you care?

At the same time, if you disagree then I lovingly and respectfully do not care 😛

To all my loving friends out there ❤

 

So much love to you all,

 

Jen 🙂
xoxo

 

 

 

 

All My Gratitude

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I know I’ve been on a roll lately with my This Is India mini-series and I just wanted to thank everyone within and outside of WordPress for their love, support, kindness, likes, comments and friendship.  You guys are amazing!  Thank you for joining me on my healing journey through India by following me and reading all my blog posts, it was a way for me to get my story out.  I really enjoyed reading the comments every day and answering them with a smile or laughing right out loud!

All my gratitude to everyone in India for making my experience so memorable, Piyusha, Shambhavi, Chandrajit, Darshith, Binay, Bhavya, Neerja, Dinesh and Srinath.  You are all in my heart.

I have made even more WP friends in India because of this mini-series so it looks like my water bottle and I will have to make another trip one day to more cities and hilarious airports.  In the meantime, if you would like to connect more with me and see how crazy my life really is, join me on:

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

 

All My Gratitude To YOU From Around The World,

Jenny ❤
xo

Finally, my friend Michelle reminded me about this song by Canadian artist Alanis Morrisette titled Thank You and it’s about taking time off, letting go, forgiving, being vulnerable, exposing your true self courageously and thanking all the consequences that happened to you.  It’s a true story of her career and her time off in India, while thanking India for the healing.  How appropriate, connected, relevant and amazing.

Thank you India

3 Day 3 Quote Challenge, Round 2

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Welcome to day two of the quote challenge!  I have recently been nominated for another 3 quote 3 day challenge by one of my new friends and followers Gursimran Kaur and her blog titled Rum n Raisins.  Just the name of her blog makes me think of rum raisin ice cream which makes me hungry!  Gursimran is a young aspiring blogger who wants to work for peace, become the most amazing lawyer, travel the world, follow her bliss and live her dream!  She is truly an inspiration, please feel free to check out her blog and follow her.

I am a huge quote person so this challenge is more about narrowing my thousands of choices down to three per day! For today, I will be sharing quotes on perseverance by Thich Nhat Hanh who is such a comforting person for me.  So here we go again…

 

“No mud, no lotus”

 

“People have a hard time of letting go of their suffering.  Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar”

 

“To love our enemy is impossible.  The moment we understand our enemy, we feel compassion towards him or her and he or she is no longer our enemy”

 

 

I am changing the nomination rules to anyone and everyone is welcome to participate in this 3 day 3 quote challenge.  I look forward to reading more and adding them to my massive collection.  Hope you all had an amazing weekend.

 

Much Love,

Jen
xo

The Inner Game of Tennis – Love vs. Fear

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Dealing with change and finding the positive silver lining hidden within our experiences are tough life lessons to be learned.  It sounds pretty straight forward but when you are really in it, it takes every ounce of energy and focus to actually do it.  Easier said than done right?  Sometimes it feels like these life lessons and difficult decisions are being launched like tennis balls out of a cannon one after the other with no break in between to catch our breath while we use our racquet as a shield.

From what I have seen with many people, myself included, letting go or surrendering to what is can be the hardest life lesson to swallow because it’s scary and unknown.   Should I stay or should I go?  Should I control the situation or just accept it as it is? Will I choose to be a victim or a victor?  We fight to hang on and we fight to let go.  It’s that constant back and forth rally in our minds that keeps the Wimbledon inner game of tennis alive.

Is letting go giving up?  Not at all, it’s actually quite the opposite.

Caroline Myss wrote something that shook me to my core when I read it and I will share it with you.  When someone says “I want to get out of this circumstance, but I’m too afraid.”  She is betraying everything in her heart.  She’s making choices that are harming her and that’s why she’s hurting.  Her intuition is trying to tell her that.   When your life begins to harm you, know that you have taken a detour from your true path.  You are no different from the people who hurt you.  People know when they have betrayed themselves because the little voice inside says “You’re still with that person; why didn’t you leave?”  Your intuition speaks the truth that you don’t want to hear.  It also says “You’ve done everything you can so it’s time to let go and surrender.”

Wow.  “I am no different from the people who hurt me.”  That was a huge light bulb moment and reading that was enough to make me want to let go.  It’s bad enough that someone or something is hurting you and by ignoring your own heart, you are hurting yourself on top of it.  Double punishment hurts.  I love Caroline Myss and her perspectives.

It’s been a tough match so far, that inner game of tennis is almost finished and silence is everywhere.  What will your next move be?  Time to focus, your opponent Fear is about to serve.

What a perfect opportunity to discover a new and unexpected strategy in your game.  By releasing someone so they can be where they need to be, do what they want to do and be with whomever they want is actually an act of love and courage on your part.  Trust and respect yourself and let them go.  Let them be the destructive one, you be the kind one.   In that exact moment, you become more peaceful and free and you create the much needed space in your life for bigger and better things to come flowing in.  It leads you to the next.  Ah, finally the silver lining; acceptance and happiness.  And the crowd goes wild…

We all have our “stuff” we are dealing with but that doesn’t mean we can’t find our joy along the way.  Even a caged bird can find something to sing about.  And when you do find the courage to surrender to change and let go, you will fly like a free bird and think “why didn’t I do this sooner?”  Not only that, the tennis balls will stop flying at you and you will have victoriously won the match.

Congratulations…Love always wins.  At least at this game.

Tennis anyone?

“The longest journey you will make in your life is from your head to your heart.”  ~ Gary Zukav

 

Much love,

Jennifer

Positive Ripple Effect

ripple_effect2   Hello to all my friends and followers!  I hope you are enjoying your summer and making time for friends, family and the things you love.

I decided to share a few of my favourite quotes and sayings I came across in the last little while that help inspire me and carry on.  I have to admit, I am a big lover of quotes and sayings because of the impact they have on opening the mind to a fresh, new perspective with greater meaning and they only contain a few words in a phrase or two.  It just goes to show that even a little stone thrown into the water can create a ripple effect extending out to others.  Therefore it is highly important to keep your words and actions positive because they not only affect one person but everyone around them.  Sometimes a good quote is just what you need to stitch the tears in your heart back together again.  See which ones speak to you…

“Some changes look negative on the surface but you will soon realize that space is being created in your life for something new to emerge.”  ~ Eckhart Tolle

“Everything is just as it needs to be.  And if we would forgive, our minds and hearts would open and we could see another possibility.”  ~ Iyanla Vanzant

“Make peace your ultimate goal when you want something.  If you get what you want, that’s great.  If you don’t get what you want, you are still peaceful.  This will prevent emotional self-destruction.”  ~ Marianne Williamson

“The longest journey you will make in your life is from your head to your heart.”  ~ Gary Zukav

“The root of suffering is attachment.”  ~ Buddha

“To be successful means you have to live your own dream, not somebody else’s dream.”  ~ Arianna Huffington

“The art of being helpful is behaving as if everything we do matters-because we never know which things might.”  ~ Gloria Steinham

“People are like stained glass windows.  They sparkle and shine when the sun is out but when the darkness sets in, their beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.”  ~ Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

“When you awaken love and laughter in your life, your mind let’s go of fear and anxiety and your happy spirit becomes the healing balm that transforms every aspect of your human experience.”  ~ Jesse Dylan

“One of the essential tasks for living a wise life is letting go.  Letting go is the path to freedom.  It is only by letting go of the hopes, the fears, the pain, the past, the stories that have a hold on us that we can quiet our mind and open our heart.”  ~ Jack Kornfield

“Look for the answer inside your question.”  ~ Rumi

“When you hold on to your history, you do it at the expense of your destiny.”  ~ Bishop T.D. Jakes

“There is also something deeply lovely about uncertainty:  the possibility of optimism.”  ~ Joan Wickersham

“Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words.  Keep your words positive because your words become your behaviour.  Keep your behaviour positive because your behaviour becomes your habits.  Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values.  Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny.”  ~ Mahatma Gandhi

“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.”  ~ Maya Angelou

I hope one of these great quotes creates a positive ripple effect in your life so that you can pass it on to someone else.  Always move forward.   See you in August!

~ Jennifer Juneau