Reclaiming Your Joy

7 Tips for Reclaiming Your Joy

Sometimes we can get bogged down in life. We drift, we can get stagnant, and we can sometimes feel no sense of direction or purpose. I have come up with these reminders to help me reclaim my joy.  I’ve used them over and over. This is not an exhaustive list, but it’s a great start! In the book, The Revealing Word, it says that joy is “the happiness of God expressed through its perfect idea in [humankind]…and that joy and gladness are strength-giving.” Wow, did you know that joy and gladness can give you strength? (Nehemiah 8:10)

Joy is more than a fleeting moment of happiness.  For me, it is more like an underground reservoir that shoots up warm springs of living waters in my soul whenever I need them.  True joy arises from within as we focus on all the good that is in our lives and the Source of our good.

When you claim and reclaim your joy, it does not mean you are not compassionate with others or that you don’t notice the challenges of life that are going on around us or in our world. We are not side-stepping anything. But with joy, you will have the strength and energy to be up for the tasks that lie before you.

So here are some of the tips I use for reclaiming my joy all the time and help me keep it stirred up!

  1. Stir up love, and you’ll stir up joy. Joy stems from divine love, unconditional love, the God-kind of love (agape love). I call it loving “just because.” Boost up your love with kind thoughts, words, and deeds, and walk in the wisdom of divine love and you will find your joy meter rising. When you feel your joy is at a low point, consider how are you doing in the area of expressing and manifesting unconditional, inclusive, non-judgmental love…to everyone! Stir up love, and let joy rise! “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” – John 13:35 NRSV
  2. Praise is the language of joy.  Whatever we praise, bless, or magnify grows! Gratitude and thanksgiving multiplies, germinates, and fertilizes everything in our lives and affairs. We can express our appreciation and gratitude to those around us each day. In prayer, we can give thanks. With a heart full of thanks, joy automatically rises. “I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.” – Psalm 34:1
  3. Prayer, Meditation, and Contemplation fills up our reservoir of joy.  When we consciously commune with the Divine and tap into the Presence, we are continually filling ourselves up with joy. Allow yourself to get still and go into the Silence…and be filled with the spirit of joy.  “You show me the path of life. In your presence there is fullness of joy; in your right hand are pleasures forevermore” – Psalm 16:11 NRSV
  4. Set your mind on God’s good. Think on all the good that God is unveiling and expressing in your life and all around you and joy will rise in your heart.  “Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. – Philippians 4:8 NRSV
  5. Go and do good for others. Find a way to serve joyfully in community, in your spiritual community, at your school, in your neighborhood, or globally. Selfless service without thinking about reward and benefit can open up your heart to more love and joy. Your giving becomes the gift, and the joy of giving is its own reward. “So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith.” -Galatians 6:10 NRSV
  6. Play, engage in creative fun. Go dancing, …yes, dance! wave your arms in the air, like you just don’t care! Play music. Go to an art festival, a museum, or do some art! Go sailing, go to a play or a concert, and find a way to get in a good belly laugh (not at others, of course, but with others). Proverbs tells us “A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance.” (15:13); “but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast.” (15:15); and “A merry heart does good like a medicine.” (17:13).
  7. Find your tribe.  Find and share your joy in a community that is inclusive, accepting, loving, non-judgmental, uplifting of one another, and supportive of you finding your spiritual highest good. It may not be a traditional brick and mortar church. It can also be some collective group that enhances the individuals involved with it. “And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” – Hebrews 10:24-26 NRSV

Add a SPLASH of JOY to everything you do this week! Share more JOY tips with us online at: Facebook Page and Discussion Group and like our Page.

Blessings & love,

Rev. Dinah

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Joyful Travels – China in 2019

Screen Shot 2019-03-17 at 9.58.58 PMCome go with us Oct. 29 – Nov. 13! This time we’re heading west. Download the brochure.

See the brochure for details and order form. Sign up and send in deposits right away. I am looking for at least 7 more people to go with us. It is the trip of a lifetime.

We will be joining my friend and mentor Rev. Mary Anne Harris, an experienced tour coordinator. The trips I’ve taken with her to Italy, Spain, and Portugal were high quality and well planned (through NAWAS- -she deals with the best companies). Join us! And check out her photo gallery of the other trips she’s led at the Harris House website.

Join the “JOY” Train! Woohoo!

Greetings!

Ok… so it’s February! I can still say “Happy New Year,” right? It might be a little late, but it’s not too late to send you wishes of PEACE, HEALTH, ABUNDANCE, and JOY for the upcoming year and beyond. As a matter of fact, I am wishing you a LIFE of joy!

I can think of no better way to start the year than in the spirit and energy of divine joy. My goal this IMG_3457year is to reach as many people as I can and splash their day with some joy.  You might have heard in January 2018 that I launched an on-line ministry of joy – – UNITY JOY ABUNDANTLY EXPRESSING MINISTRIES. However, I admit I was slow getting it out the gate due to taking on a full-time day job and becoming the senior minister of Unity of Tri-Valley Spiritual Center in Dublin, CA in early 2018. But the call to this work of joy never left my heart.

So, it’s re-charge time! I am inviting you to join me in lifting the world in the spirit of true joy. Joy is not just for Christmastime. Though our challenges and experiences may be tough, the ever-abiding truth is that the reign of God’s joy never ends. No matter how dark the night, joy comes in the morning. It is always present to those who choose it and expect it.

If you would like to join me in this re-commitment to joy and gather into this circle of rich, heart-warming, spiritually nourishing connection, I’m asking you do three things to help me have a successful launch by February 28th:

  1. Go to unityjoy.org and join my mailing list.
  2. Like my Facebook page – @UnityJoy
  3. Join my FB discussion group – and tell me what brings you joy!

I look forward to connecting with you on-line.  Until then, I envision you blessed this year with all your heart’s desires and joy abundantly expressing!

Joyfully and lovingly,

Rev. Dinah

Announcing…More JOY!

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Great News to Share!

I am delighted to announce that Unity-Joy Abundantly Expressing Ministries has been approved as an alternative Unity ministry by the Unity Worldwide Ministries (UWM) Board of Trustees! Stay tuned for more news as I embark upon exciting ways of sharing and connecting with others as we all awaken to our spiritual essence of JOY and discover our own joyful expressions of this magnificent quality of being. A host of opportunities for you to join in are coming soon! I am inviting you to be a part of keeping the JOY going….so stay tuned… If you haven’t already done so, I would love for you to join my mailing list at dinahchapman.com to start receiving updates and the latest news on the launch of this NEW ministry! Let’s share more JOY and let JOY rise in our world!

Blessings always,

Rev. Dinah Chapman, M.Div.

 

Bye-Bye, Summer!

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Greetings! As you probably recall, I graduated with a Masters of Divinity from Unity Institute and Seminary and was ordained as a Unity Minister June 9th at Unity Village. It was a joyous occasion! I am so grateful for all the support, encouragement, and prayers as I followed my heart and answered the call to ministry. Thank you to all who attended the ceremony and celebrations and to those who showed their love by sending cards and gifts! I am grateful and I know that I am blessed by your outpouring of true, genuine support.

I am currently working at my home church Unity Church of San Leandro in the northern California Bay Area as Associate Minister. Many have asked if I will continue singing. The answer is “Yes!” As a matter of fact, feedback from so many of you re-confirms for me that music is foundational for my ministry and most likely always will be. I am still available for singing engagements as well as speaking engagements.

Music is such a great part of how I express God’s gifts and the message of love and Oneness. I feel like my creativity is waking up from a long hiatus, which probably has to do with the right-brain research part of me working on overtime through school. Now, that the program is complete, there’s some blossoming and re-surfacing of my imagination faculty going on. HeartMath – TM experts say that when we are stressed our creative side shuts down. So I am doing a lot of walking and contemplating. When we access our hearts, our creative side blossoms!

I feel the joy rising!

So, …the eagle (me) has finally landed…I had to massage my cheeks from smiling so much. OH THE JOY! Again, I am so very grateful for all the outpouring of love. Already, I’ve had several opportunities to speak and sing. It is truly a blessing! Life is good!

The Birdie on the Beach

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On my birthday last year, I sat on the beach watching the waves roll in and out across the white sands of Bermuda. I wanted go some place special for my birthday, and so I did.  I have been divorced for over 20 years, and strangely, I don’t feel lonely. There is a difference between “lonely” and “alone.” I believe life is what you make it, and if we don’t learn to celebrate what’s good in our lives we humans can end up “lonely.”

I don’t have to worry about outrunning “lonely” when I know that I can never really be alone. Everyone who crosses my path, I consider to be some unique manifestation of God’s love. The Presence of God is always surrounding, enfolding, and indwelling me. I did not always feel this way. I had to put some time into developing this awareness – – it took practice, practice, and more practice spending time getting still and quiet enough to receive the love that was pouring into my life. Nowadays, there is so much help to get us spiritually in tune and out of the reactionary, emotionally hijacked states with which we might have been conditioned as we were coming along in our childhoods. For me, spiritual growth has come in many ways and not always in a straight-line progression all the time, but perhaps a curvy line.

So as I took my Bermuda birthday beach walk, I had time to sit and just look at the ocean and the sky. I looked out as far to the horizon as I could, and I felt swallowed up in the vastness of space. I felt so tiny. I felt like I had the whole beach to myself and loved every minute of it. Gratitude welled up in me as I reflected on all the decades of my life, each decade was a huge leap in the right direction with many turns and missteps along the way. But overall, forward progress.

Actually, I spotted about eight of us on the beach that day; I remember two couples and a couple of joggers, and me. And then…I spotted this bird, undaunted by my presence and unmoved by the waves. I watched the bird. The bird seemed very focused on looking for the tiniest bit of seafood in the sand. This led me to focus on God as Infinite Source of everything and  Jesus’ words about considering the lilies of the field  and how they neither toil nor spin. This bird seemed so unconcerned about the possibility of a wave splaIMG_3728shing upon it, or about any joggers coming toward it. Just as a wave would roll in, the bird quickly hopped up just in the nick of time and never got close to being splashed by a wave. “Good instincts!” I thought. Then I thought again, “noooo, it’s more than that; when you know how to fly, you don’t WORRY about the waves!

I think I’ll take a lesson from this little bird and rise up and live as if I have the whole beach of life to myself in joyful freedom and not be worried about the waves of drama, despair, or loneliness. Wow!…all this from a little birdie on the beach. I was in good company that day on the beach.

Classes finished!

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It was three years ago, I left my job. My sister and I drove to Missouri so that I could start  seminary. Stopping at the Grand Canyon seemed to signal to me the vastness of the experience into which I was about to leap. My faith said “You got this!” Holding to that faith and that initial still small voice carried me through all the way. And now…
I am happy to announce as of March 10, I have finished all coursework for my Masters of Divinity at Unity Institute and Seminary!  When I returned to California in December, I went to work right away part-time at Unity Church of San Leandro as Assistant to the Minister. It has been a joy to work in this loving spiritual community. Now, the countdown has begun. Graduation is approaching fast on June 9th, and I will be flying back to Unity Village for the ceremony and celebration. I am also anticipating ordination at that time. My heart is full of so much gratitude for the past three years of my seminary experience. I stand on the shoulders of so many great, wise spiritual teachers! So many prayers and words of encouragement kept me marching to the finish line. Thank you, all!  I have come to realize, a finish line is always the start of something new! I’m excited to see what is unfolding in my life as God continues to reveal each step of the way!
 -DC

Ministerial School – I’m Making Progress!

Greetings!

Well, after 4 months, I think I’ve adjusted to the life of being a “student.” We’re all students of life, yes. But I mean, REALLY being a student, like taking classes, doing homework, terms papers (oh my!). For many years, I thought I’d never go back to ANY kind of school. However, it began to dawn on me that if I ever did, it would be something along a spiritual nature. This is where I’ve found the most fulfillment, joy, and valuable tools for life.

 I’ve completed some great coursework already during the spring term – – History of Christianity, Pastoral Counseling, Spiritual Intelligence, and Homiletics – – and two courses just completed during the first summer session:  The Peace Seminar with Dr. Sharif Abdullah, author of Creating a World That Works for All and global peace negotiator; and Advanced Homiletics with Dr. Robert Fish (who I had known years ago when I sang at Unity of Fremont).

 So, HERE I AM, loving it! I’ve finished my second term and I’m now taking summer courses. Oh, and yes, I have had a chance to sing here at a Vespers service in the Fillmore Chapel for the graduating S.E.E. class back in April. I sang “Touching the Stillness” from my CD. They liked it so much they invited me back to sing for their graduation ceremony on Thursday evening! Their theme was “Welcome to Your Awakening.” It was beautiful. So, things are moving along nicely.

It’s funny, in the mid- or late-80s, I had considered getting a Masters of Divinity (M.Div.) when my brother was pursuing his M.Div. at Howard University, but I dismissed it, thinking…now, what would I do with that? At the time, I guess I was mostly concerned with “survival.” Following 11 years of marriage and then a divorce, I went on to carve out a career in Information Technology in the 90s to support myself; but simultaneously, I continued my passion of singing and connecting in a spiritual community so that I could continue to grow and evolve spiritually. I spent many years trying to put my life back together again, that is trying to put together a life – – period. Taking several baby steps in personal transformation, I grew and found a spiritual path that worked for my life, which helped me get back on track and be on my way to expressing more of myself and trusting myself. So, really I have come full circle with an idea that was dropped into my mind over 20 years ago.

 Well, it’s been 4 months since I’ve landed at Unity Institute and Seminary. My life took yet another exciting turn when I finally answered the call to ministry. I’ve always believed we are all called; however, it is up to us to answer and determine what that means for us and how we can best express it. I believed I had answered “the call” in various ways throughout my life, or so I thought, by being more dedicated to my church, or being more loving and serving in my community and family, even by singing. I understood my calling was to accept, live, and be all that Jesus taught us to be… and to be about my purpose. Many of us spend a lifetime figuring out and finding a way to articulate exactly what that is all about. I know it’s a very personal thing.

It was so easy for me to sit back in a conditioned, pre-conceived, packaged form of what my role was supposed to be…afraid to live out loud. But now I’ve come to realize even more of what I sing in my song “Greater Things.” We WILL do greater things when we awaken to our true spiritual identity. We all must find a way to release the imprisoned splendor inside and bring to the world our own unique gifts, which will awaken everyone around us to their divine purpose.

 This summer, may you have all the fun and excitement, joy and relaxation that brings a smile to your face and satisfaction to your soul…as your spirit continues to soar!

 Love & infinite blessings,

 

Dinah

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The Eagle Has Landed…And Taking Off in a New Direction!

Here we are at the Grand Canyon!Greetings! I’m happy to report I have arrived in Lee’s Summit, MO, to attend seminary! Yes, I’m entering THE ministry. I have been singing all my life and will continue to sing. There’s just been this “slight” shift. I left California on March 19 and began my 4-day road trip traveling east with my oldest sister Bertha Young. It was quite an adventure!! We stopped at the Grand Canyon (the South Rim). We had great weather all the way through Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Oaklahoma. Upon our arrival in Missouri, however, there was snow (very funny!). It felt a little weird to be scraping snow off the car again. It’s all melted and gone away now.

I MUST thank everyone who came to my send-off party at Unity of San Leandro on March 17th or sent me good wishes before I left California.  Thank you, Rev. Diana McDaniel and Rev. Ken Murdock for being my mentors. It was a little sad leaving Kaiser (my old job) and the many friends I made there, but I know that I am following my heart. Please feel free to keep in contact with me – – I am so “findable” on Facebook and Twitter.  Also, you may enter your email address in the subscription box on this webpage and keep up with my travels and progress through ministerial school.

Have a wonderful SPRING!!!

Love and infinite blessings,

Dinah

 

Announcement – Here, Here!

I know it’s been quiet on my blog lately, but that’s going to turnaround soon! This is why…..

I am pleased to announced I have completed all requirements for becoming a Licensed Unity Teacher! My spiritual journey has been full of surprises, and I have met many new friends along the way.  It has been very rewarding to explore and deepen my spiritual experience, awakening to my divine purpose and calling more and more each day.  I look forward to teaching workshops and classes in the Bay Area and beyond as well as singing. What an exciting time! I wouldn’t take nothing for my journey now! Thank you all for your prayers and for supporting me through this process with your love and encouragement. Blessings, peace, and love always,

Dinah