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!
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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).
- 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,
Joyful Travels – China in 2019
Come 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.
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!
“Touching the Stillness” – The Backstory on the Song
This is the story of how the song “Touching the Stillness” came about. It is Track 2 on my new CD:
I met Rev. Paulette Pipe during one of my trips to Unity Village to take S.E.E. (Spiritual Education and Enrichment) classes. She is the founder and host of an internet radio program called “Touching the Stillness” on Unity.FM. I LOVE her pioneering spirit that calls us to come apart from our daily activities to focus on stilling our minds and having quiet time to go within.
One day last summer while I was out for a walk, a little melody popped into my head as I began to turn my walk into a meditative walk. I began to think on how much meditation means to me, and words began to flow out of me that reflected my experience with meditation.
My deepest heart’s desire was just to sing and share a soulful, spirited ballad about my personal experience that would in some way call others into this beautiful, sacred experience of meditation. I knew the title was not original, but I always believed that there was an instant connection when Paulette and I met. And I believe this song came “through” me as an expression of a shared joy and appreciation for meditation.
Personally, the biggest leap in my prayer life came when I learned to meditate. I felt it deepened my prayer life tremendously. It was the mid-80s, and I was coming to a crossroads in my life. Everything was falling apart it seems. But that’s when I knew I was headed for a break-through to another level. Prayer and meditation carried me through it all. Meditation was all new to me back then. I didn’t really know how to get quiet and still the incessant mind chatter that was going all the time. The grieving of a divorce, having to start all over, finding new employment and a new place to live was all given over to the living, indwelling Presence within. Somehow my darkest days turned bright as I just let go and sat in the Silence, and just listened for the still small voice guiding me, loving me, and strengthening me. Old patterns started to break up, and I started to see the reality of Truth living in, as, and through me, instead of me trying to pray and make things happen. I started to love myself more and started to see the radiant, brilliant light of God’s Love even more by meditating. By spending quiet time, my sense of worthiness grew. I could see the pattern of “looking for love in all the wrong places” was starting to wane.
Each and every moment is so precious in meditation. Contemplating God’s infinite love was how I began, if only for 5 or 10 minutes….and then I moved into sitting quietly acknowledging my Oneness just as Jesus did (I and the Father are one), not asking for anything (15, 20, 30 minutes….or whatever; it’s not about quantity but quality)….just being there, being fully present made all the difference. What was significant was to just DO it; it felt weird at first, just sitting and doing nothing??? But after a while, things started to shift and unfold. I knew something greater than my little ‘self’ was working and creating my NEW life, renewing me, re-shaping, re-inventing, etc., and it’s STILL going strong!
So, this song is not about some fad or passing fancy, but it’s about something I have lived for over 20 years now. And it has made all the difference in my life. No matter where you are and what you are experiencing, there is a place you can go….within yourself… and find peace, love, and the true joy that’s always been there waiting for you to tap into it. I pray that this song, “Touching the Stillness,” will be a blessing to you and a blessing to the world! May your life blossom and spring forward as never before!
Love & infinite joy,