Do you feel joy in your life?
Do you notice the beauty around you each and every day?
Do you see life as a creative adventure and dive in to making and cooking and crafting a home and a life that bring you joy?
When my plans for living the life of my dreams derailed, I was consumed by darkness. Beauty and joy were almost nowhere to be seen. Almost.
I realized that I didn't want to be miserable. I wanted to rise above despair. I wanted to live a live of joy, even if that life didn't look exactly as I had imagined it.
I began to focus on searching for and celebrating joy.
That fortune cookie fortune is so true. Beauty is there. Every day. We just need to open our eyes to see it. We need to be aware. We need to be paying attention.
I hope that I can inspire you to see joy in the little beauties that surround us each day. I hope that I can inspire you to take a look around you and see that there are so many things to be grateful for and to celebrate. The trees beginning to leaf out in the spring. A bird singing outside your window. A clear sky filled with stars. A favorite cozy chair draped with your grandmother's quilt. A painting of your favorite flower hanging on the wall.
You might not think that you are creative, but I think that living a creative life is natural for all of us. Each one of us has the capacity for creativity and for joy.
I try to keep daily Joy lists, taking a few moments to jot down bits of beauty that I've noticed or any little details in my day that are bringing me joy. It has become such a valuable practice, inviting more joy into my life and allowing me to remain grateful for this amazing life. You can read more about the practice of keeping Joy Lists here.
Try keeping your own joy lists in a special notebook (my newsletter Thank You Gift makes a perfect Joy Journal) and see what a difference it makes to your perspective.
Because sometimes Mondays can be tough days, I decided that a feature on my blog that celebrates joy and encourages others to do the same should occur on Monday. I don't post my lists every week, but I try to include Joy List posts regularly on my blog as well as on Facebook and Instagram.
Won't you to join me in writing your own Joy Lists on Mondays (or any day of the week) and sharing them on social media? Be sure to contact me to let me know; your joy brings me joy, too!
From 2012-2014 I organized swaps between participants from all over the world focused on creating and sharing joy. Participants crafted paintings, jewelry, collages, fiber art, paper cuts, dolls, assemblages... Each bit of "handmade joy" was created with love and exchanged with a generous heart. (Click on the images below to read more about each of the exchanges and its participants).
In 2017, after a break of a couple years I decided to host another Joy Exchange. This time I had 40 participants from 16 US States and 7 other countries. Click on the image below to learn more and visit some of the participants blogs and Instagram feeds.
In 2014 one of the participants of the Handmade Joy Exchange was inspired to arrange her own exchange, The Fabulous Scrap Fabric Swap. You can read about it here.
The world is filled with beauty and the world is filled with joy. Few things make me sadder than when I hear someone say they aren't creative or when I see someone overlooking everyday beauty. Let go of those preconceptions. Live a life of beauty and of joy. Celebrate your natural creativity. Each and every day.
Won't you join me? Reach out to me through email or with social media. Say hi. Share your joys. Share your dreams. Then live those dreams with your eyes open.