Ripples #1269: Choosing Joy


I know joy is not a solution, but it feels like the closest experience I have to something that fundamentally feels like I am experiencing enoughness.
-Kate Bowler, shared by Emma in Mindoro, WI


Even a wounded world is feeding us. Even a wounded world holds us, giving us moments of wonder and joy. I choose joy over despair. Not because I have my head in the sand, but because joy is what the earth gives me daily and I must return the gift.
-Robin Wall Kimmerer, shared by Joan in Albany, NY


It happened again this week…I had a less than great night’s sleep in part due to some (minor-ish) health issues that have me feeling less than fabulous, and when I did my morning scroll of the news…oh just so much STUFF: natural disaster stuff, climate stuff, politics stuff, crime stuff…So. Much. Stuff.

I noticed that despair was creeping up my spine and setting up camp in my head and in my heart (and even in my bones now that I think about it…it was just all over). It froze me up, mentally, physically, spiritually…and I just sat there for a bit, feeling sorry for myself and the whole world.

And then I took a few of those deep “HERE on the inhale, NOW on the exhale” breaths that have become part of just about every talk I give these days, and decided to go for a walk. It didn’t fix all the stuff, but it allowed me to take a few more deep breaths and create a little space between me and the stuff.

I was indeed feeling better when I sat down to scan emails before I jumped into my busy day…and an email with the quote we’re using as today’s Boulder was just sitting there waiting for me to read it. I had actually seen the first part of the quote a few times, but not the line about returning the gift of joy. I knew that I could choose joy for myself, and then I knew I should choose joy for today’s theme.

My head is not buried in the sand: there are some very real and very significant challenges in my life and in the world that I haven’t figured out how to deal with…..yet. The thing I know for sure, though, is that choosing joy fuels my hope and reveals more options about how to respond to all the STUFF that is waiting for me once I finish writing this.

How’s that?


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