What brings you joy?

IMG_4004I am busy. At least, that’s the story I tell myself every day to explain why I am not doing the things I say I want to do to take care of myself and have a feeling of balance in my life.

I didn’t meditate this morning. I’m busy. I gotta get going. I don’t have the time.

Now, some of that is true. Time is shorter in my mornings these days as I begin my day at the office an hour earlier than in the past. And getting up at 4:30 simply does not appeal — I don’t want to be too busy to sleep!

I didn’t take Ellie for a long walk this evening — just a short neighbourhood saunter. I’m busy. I gotta get…. to here or there or maybe simply do, this or that.

I didn’t… work out, clean the house, mow the lawn, do the laundry…. whatever the task, my reason for not doing it is usually the same.

I’m busy. I don’t have… time, energy, inclination, the right dress, the right shoes, the right moment, the right inspiration. I’m busy.

Now, I could beat myself up for not doing the things I need to do to keep my life in balance, but truth is, I’m too busy, and tired, to beat myself up! Tired, as in, I’ve done enough beating myself up to last a lifetime. Isn’t it time I gave it up?

But, the busy part… that’s my rationalization for vegging out, slumping back, sliding down into that place of doing nothing more than watching mindless television. Because watching TV is what I do when I am avoiding doing the things I want to do.


Of doing nothing more than avoiding.

Time to do that which I want to, need to, do to have more of what I want in my life — passion, harmony, joy.

It was the question my friend Ian Munro asked last night as we worked on the outline for the introductory to The Essential Journey that triggered my realization. It’s been percolating all night. Resonating in my heart and mind and belly. Rising up to greet me with the rising of the sun. What brings you joy?

He wasn’t asking it of me, specifically. He was asking it as a component of the course. It’s a question trainees will answer in their exploration of their essential journey. It’s a question we all need to answer if we are to live our lives from the core of our exuberant, vibrant, vivacious selves living essentially in the rapture of now.

What brings me joy?

Sitting in my garden, listening to the birds, feeling the evening air against my skin, hearing the water in the fountain, the breeze rustling in the trees. Being one with the world around me, taking time to feel and be at peace in the moment. That brings me joy.

Walking with Ellie, the wonder pooch, along the water, stopping to let her sniff the leaves and branches, stopping to take a photo of the sunset, the light dancing through the leaves, the fairy dancers glistening on the water. That brings me joy.

Spending time with my daughter and step-daughter, laughing over a meal, sharing stories and thoughts and ideas on life and living and loving and being all that we are meant to be. That brings me joy.

Chatting with my eldest daughter on the phone. Hearing her ideas on life and living and loving and being all that she is meant to be as we share in the moment what is happening in our lives. That brings me joy.

Hearing C.C.’s voice read me the daily verse and meditation from Mark Nepo’s Book of Awakening. That brings me joy.

Feeling part of the process of creating — words, art, ideas. Flowing into the muse. Feeling the muse flow through me, with me, into me, out of me. Being the ebb and flow of my creative expression. That brings me joy.

There are so many big and small things that bring me joy every day. And vegging out, filling my mind and spirit with the trivial and mundane happenings of soon to be forgotten television shows, or not particularly inspiring reading does not bring me joy. Doing things that don’t inspire me doesn’t fill me with more of what I want in my life, it just fills up space with the unbidden, undesirable and unpalatable essence of my adapted self that would have me believe, I’m too busy to create, do, be, have all that I want in my world.

Passion. Harmony. Joy.

Ian asked a question yesterday. He didn’t ask me specifically, but I’m glad he posed it because, in its presence I feel myself expanding into the truth of where I’ve been letting myself off the hook of living from the essence of my essential self shining brightly. In his question I am reminded, to have passion, harmony, joy in my life, it’s up to me to let go of my excuses and live into the wonder and awe of every moment unfolding in grace. It’s up to me to create the space where what I want and always have access to, flows freely.


11 thoughts on “What brings you joy?”

  1. Louise thank you for also reminding me that every word counts! I wrote on this a few weeks back, but examples always pop up. As you mentioned that comment came in an entirely different context but had great impact with you. I am glad that it was a positive one … and leaves a lesson for me that ill considered words might have exactly the opposite effect.

    But back to joy … I can’t think of a more important thing to pursue each day. Real joy comes from the soul, and when our soul is alive we are moved to be a part of something bigger. And that is where we can do the most for ourself, our family, our community, our world.


    1. I love the idea of my soul being alive — with joy! thanks Ian. I think that is the wonder — that no matter the context, words resonate differently for each of us. We can only be true to what we think and feel — and let go of how the other responds. As long as I come from my place of truth, honesty, love — with the intention of creating harmony, joy, love — then I am doing my best — and my best is good enough. the rest…. is up to the other.

      your question inspired my feeling/thinking — and I am grateful.


      1. That is true, and when you have lost or nearly lost so much, what you have left is so precious; and what you do with your time so important.
        You are one of my guiding lights.
        Hugs to you too 🙂


  2. Many of us make that excuse about being too busy to do this or that, me included and I will often lay in bed at night and think to myself I should had done this or that but didn’t and promise myself I will attend to them the following day only to have a replay that night since I again felt too busy…………


    1. Joanne, your honesty and straightforwardness are always so refreshing and engaging. You invite me into that place of possibility where I let go of ‘the lies I tell myself’ and move into the truth of what I’m doing. as always — thank you for being you. thank you for your inspiration.


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