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Tag: Joy

One Day At A Time

One Day At A Time

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

-Robert Frost


The holidays are a time of relaxation, family and freedom from a restrictive daily schedule. As we near the end of this year and stand on the precipice of the new, I find myself already thinking about the inevitable return to work and the bustle of a workday.  As a result, I find it difficult to live in the moment. I start to go over my to-do list and answer emails that have not even been received. Unfortunately, this forward thinking is difficult to turn off and I find myself strategizing everything. This continues to the point at which I beg my mind to turn off this constant internal dialogue, craving even a few moments of the elusive relaxation and freedom that comes with the break.


One single day, that is all we are ever promised. Tomorrow is just a dream and nothing is guaranteed. I struggle with this concept at times. As a planner I am often a few steps ahead of the curve, analyzing and coming up with necessary solutions. While this skill is helpful in some areas of life, it can be problematic when trying to fully embrace the moment. Reading Robert Frost’s poem brings to mind how fleeting life can be. If I blink by resisting the now, I might miss something meaningful and deeply regret it.


“Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.”

― Henri J.M. Nouwen


What I have come to understand is that we must strive to find the “holiday” in everyday. I certainly have not mastered this skill but I continue to recommit to the idea. Each day that I wake up and see a new sunrise is a blessing. There is never any need for a special occasion to remember this; rather the notion of finding joy in small moments becomes a daily goal. Be it the return to work with a warm greeting from a colleague, the hug from a loved one that will not be seen for some time or feeling the sun on my face as I take a solitary walk at dawn. All are joyous moments regardless of the occasion.

“If I did not simply live from one moment to another, it would be impossible for me to be patient, but I only look at the present, I forget the past, and I take good care not to forestall the future.”

St. Therese of Lisieux


As one that does not believe in new years resolutions, I can say with certainty that I will put more emphasis on the concept of joy in the New Year. Life can be messy with financial challenges, health issues and work related stresses. This much is guaranteed. Boldly putting one foot in front of the other is one way to conquer the fear and worry of life. With each new step I look for the moments of joy. Be it the blue jay I saw on my walk this morning, or the smile from a loved one that lets me know all is okay. Every moment is a blessing and once gone, just a memory. Cherish everything, even the difficult things. Life is best lived from a joyful heart.


Be Joyful

Be Joyful

My writing may seem heavy at times; so much of human emotion is agitated and brought forth during times of struggle. A mind at complete rest is not always a questioning mind and it is in the questions that I am drawn by an insatiable curiosity. This may create the perception that I am followed by a permanent cloud of discontent, living in a constant state of melancholy. While I most certainly have my moments as everyone does, I am by nature an optimistic and joyful person. Much of this joy has come from many years of soul searching and survival after enduring hardships. It is in the joy that I found my salvation, my hope and my passion.


I am a firm believer in balance.  It is only in this balance that one can achieve an equilibrium that is conducive to a soulful life. Joy with sadness, love with apathy, energy with fatigue and passion with indifference.  Each emotion is tangible and necessary. As spiritual beings, we live and thrive only from a complete human experience. It is during the journey that we feel most engaged with self and only in the journey. Avoidance will never be a successful tactic to the discovery of self.


The most beautiful people are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern.

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross


In my view, joy is a destination that is earned. How can one know what it truly means to be filled with joy if not having had a dark night of the soul? It is in the deepest of the depths that one looks up, sees the light and chooses to embrace that light filled with both joy and love. It is a choice and one that has to be made daily.


Joy does not mean the absence of all other emotion. One can feel joyful yet have shades of sadness, fear or grief that dance on the edges. This is what makes this spiritual existence so nuanced and different for each person. For me, I can be joyful, laughing and playful while still harboring some fear about the outcome of this relaxed state. When allowing an emotion to take over, there is always a loss of control if only for a short time.  To live fully is to live on the precipice, on the edge of self and peer into areas of the soul that are less traveled. Of course we will feel a mix of emotions when doing so. It is the nature of the exercise.


“There can be no rebirth without a dark night of the soul, a total annihilation of all that you believed in and thought that you were.”

― Hazrat Inayat Khan


Finding joy is very simply making the conscience decision to live in that space where the light exists even when chased by the shadows. It is walking forward rather than back and loving fully rather than creating a barrier with fear. Joyful living is embracing everything that is good without catastrophizing the end result. We are all only given this moment, this day. Why spend precious time worrying about what may or may not come about? Joy beckons us with freedom. It says, “I darn you to live fully!” and playfully calls out to us each and every day. Listen for it, chose it and relish it. Be joyful.