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emotional health and well-being


September 4, 2022

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Normally, I shy away from posting pictures of myself, as I am much more comfortable sharing my words than I am my photos.  This picture, though, is more than an unfiltered shot of me, in my pajamas, no less.  It actually is a moment of pure joy that was years in the making and that I was not always sure would be possible.

Every picture tells a story, and this one is no different.  Last February, my husband and I spent our honeymoon in Sedona, Arizona, where we thoroughly enjoyed the red rocks, beautiful blue skies, amazing energy, and an unexpected snowstorm.  The day before the snow began to fall, we stocked up on food, grabbed a board game from the lobby of the inn, and prepared for a cozy day in our cabin.  

I love snow, so, this was a wonderful surprise, even though it temporarily prevented us from exploring more of Sedona.  We walked around the property after breakfast and took in the breathtaking scenery, before hunkering down in front of the fire for a Trivial Pursuit tournament.  We agreed that the first one to win three games would be crowned the champion, and after three rounds, I was down two to one.  So, I had to win to keep my hopes of a tournament win alive.  And I did.

My husband snapped that picture of me after my come from behind victory.  One of the many things I love about John is his vast knowledge about various subjects, so, beating him in Trivial Pursuit left me feeling proud and happy.  Really happy.

This moment of joy was not solely due to winning the game, as it was much more about putting together a number of moments, much like assembling the pieces of a puzzle.  The feeling of the cold air on my skin and the snow beneath my feet during our morning walk. The warmth and glow of the fire.  The conversation and laughter shared with John. The magic of Sedona.  All of these little moments created an avalanche of joy and a reminder that these moments exist in our daily lives, not just when on a vacation. 

Too often, we wait for the right time or the perfect circumstances to allow ourselves to seek and experience joy.  Finding joy when everything is going right is easy, but it is even more important to search for joy when everything isn’t going so well.  It is essential to hold space, no matter how small it may be, for both joy and pain.  They do not cancel one another out, but rather, they can exist simultaneously, without sacrificing one for the other.

Our minds go where our focus goes.  We can create an intentional daily practice to identify moments of joy, whatever that means, or looks like, for you.  When and where do you feel even an inkling of joy?  Hugging your partner.  Watching the sunrise. Sipping your favorite cup of tea. Hearing your favorite song and singing along with it.  Smelling the scent of rain.  There are countless moments of joy every single day, just waiting for us.

Once we engage in the regular practice of finding joy, it becomes easier and easier to discover moments we may have once overlooked or dismissed.  This builds our resilience and helps us to navigate the less joyful moments better.

I would love to hear about your joyful moments, and if you are struggling to add more joy to your life, I want to hear about that, as well.  In the meantime, I look forward to finally finishing the Trivial Pursuit tournament that ended in a tie, and, hopefully, I will be throwing my arms up in victory once more.  

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emotional health and well-being

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