Joy Threads

good morning sunshine. The rain slips in watery threads diagonally down. An early morning phone call with a golden queen adventurer helps me pull up my sails, and the gust of joy pushes me out the door and down to the river.DSC_0681

In every moment, the question is: where is the joy? How do I follow it?

My river quest led me into the heart and fuzzy, green belly of a glistening, glittering morning. It was heavenly: lichen-covered trees, moss-bed rocks. I met horses whose gazes felt like physical waves. I licked the collected drizzle off a magenta tree branch that quite resembled a penis. As I danced home, I was simply a sunbursting grin.

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Now, after a nap and another walk and some inspired organizing, Ruby lays sprawled across my belly, like a mermaid lounging on a rock. She stares transfixed at the paisley designs on the pillow supporting my arm, which is supporting her head.

She knows where her joy is. Those shapes and sucking on her fingers–her dimples assure me it’s all good. I’m so grateful I can type without looking at the keyboard or the screen…I can stare at her and be recording my joy at the same time…double joy. Exponential, even.

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I’ve been doing a nightly practice that has got me tending my joy as if it’s a soup. I’m stirring, adding spices, sautéing, being delighted by the bubbles and surprising alchemies. I learned this practice from the golden queen adventurer. It’s called a Joy Calendar.

I write down, in list form, everything I’ve done that day. And then I rank it on a scale of 1-10 of how much joy I felt doing that particular thing. And I’m really honest.

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 This gets me thinking during my days, how can I have more fun doing this? It’s so, so satisfying to not only get to write 10 at the end of the day, but to experience a 10. To experience many 10s. So I bump up the music when I’m doing dishes or mopping. I say no to something that doesn’t really feel that joyful. I invite the toddlers to a dance party in my bedroom. If I’m feeling stalled out (I’ve found that is when I feel my lowest), I know that is not a time to try and be productive. That’s a time to go for a walk, speak my gratitude to the mountains or the rain or the stars, and let the inspiration come and grab me.

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Another part of my nightly journaling is writing down momentums that I enjoyed feeling activated that day, and I want them to continue growing. Momentums like household chore harmony, watercoloring, easy flow between me and Leaf, getting checks in the mail, making friends with community members, making collaborative art, making music. I love thinking of these as momentums, and that by simply acknowledging them, choosing them, they get bigger and stronger and sweeter.

I also make a list inspired by a dream I had somewhat recently. In the dream, I was aware that I was searching around me for love. The singular, focused love that I feel like I want embodied in an intimate relationship. And then a spirit told me to look up. I saw above me branches of a tree filled with lanterns that looked like bowling pins, all lit up and glowing warmly. I knew that each of the lanterns was an instance of love that I’ve experienced. So now, each day, I make a list of my love lanterns of the day. Getting a massage. The power of seeing the snow-covered mountains in the distance. Ruby’s smile. Remembering to stretch. If I have trouble thinking of love instances, I close my eyes, and feel myself looking up and seeing all the glowing lanterns in the branches of my dream tree, and some moment of love comes to mind that matches that tone.

Then, I gladheartedly make a list of the ways I feel abundant. Abundant in the sense that I have everything I need to do everything I want to do. Every day I acknowledge my abundance of food, of friends, of dreams and opportunities and projects and inspirations. Blankets and pillows, hot water, tea. Gorgeous nature, trees, moss, lichen. Mmmmm.

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Sometimes, I’ll also write down if something is bothering me, something I’m kind of hung up on. I’ll frame it like a wish. It’s wonderful to do this after all the happy juju is stirred up. Recently, I wished that I could find a way to ride transitions between doings with more joy and willingness, after seeing in my joy calendar that had been a continual lowness. I sometimes also do a focus wheel if I feel like something would benefit from a big on-purpose shift.

My joy is ripe and plentiful. I am a grape vine, a cherry tree, a nectarine oozing. I love choosing fun and bliss on purpose, and then seeing what shows up.

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