Tag Archives: Joy

Generosity. #reverb14

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Look back at the last year and consider: how did generosity open your heart? How can you cultivate generosity in the coming year?

My mother was generous. She laughed a lot, gave what she could and when we needed help, help was given to our family. I made it to the age of 13 knowing that people were warm and kind. That when you suffered, that was the best time to help others.

We were one of those families that have their names, ages and a small wish list put upon some random office or school Christmas tree. People fulfilled those wishes for us. It was nice. I remember sitting on the twin size bed that shared a room with my brother’s at my dad’s apartment, playing with the slime lab that I was given. We got some clothes, some toys. People always gave us food.

After my mom died, I learned that not everyone was generous. I remember being 15 and asking my dad for lunch money, $20. Enough for $1 a day, which was the bare minimum to have a lunch, a cup of noodle soup. He gave me $5. My friends fed me and then I got a job when I was 16. This is not new information. I’ve mentioned this many times.  But I learned from him that sometimes when you ask for what you need, the bare minimum, you don’t even get that. I learned the feeling of shame and guilt in asking for anything.

My goal is that whoever comes to me for help, I don’t want anyone to feel ashamed. So, I give. Love, joy, time, concern, sometimes I can even afford gifts. I want Josh to always feel cozy and loved at home. Home should be a safe space. I give big hugs, because people forget how wonderful they can be. I’ve had someone cry in my arms because of how loving my hug was. FOR REALZ. She just burst into tears. She was, incidentally, a big crier. But still. My hug made someone cry in joy.  I want to be that safe space for people.

I’ve been lucky in that my life is full of generous people. I always feel like I take more than I give. It is a perpetual guilt that I feel. My car, my home, even my bed are mine because of my friends’ generosity. There are beautiful things in my life because people have given them to me. I’ve gone to wonderful places and had great times because of my friends’ generosity. I feel grateful to them but also awkward,  because I’ll never be able to give them the things they give me. How can I ever match the joy and love they provide me with?

I try to make the world better in little ways that mean so much to other people. I don’t like talking about it because it’s not about getting a pat on the back. It’s about making a conscious choice to make a difference. When I’m having a hard time in life, I try to give, because making someone else happy makes my day better too.

With all that said, I’m still a dick. I’m still judgmental and abrupt. Making people uncomfortable with my honesty will always be an unfortunate side effect of being me. Awkwardness is embraced and accepted. I just know that I can do small things to make others happy, so I do those things.  Cultivating my generosity is something that I try to do daily. Sometimes I fail, but most days, I can get one or two things done to make someone’s day brighter.

So, thank you. Thank you for helping me through my life.

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To revel in love. #reverb14

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It’s all too easy to put off loving where we are until everything is perfect. What can you love about where you are now?

My typical day is nothing special to most people. I wake far too early, go to work, come home, go to the gym, do laundry, etc.

I wake next to a man who is my partner. Sometimes partners make mistakes and then we work through them as a team. I wake surrounded by warmth and love, a pile made of blankets, a dog, a couple kitties and Josh. Sometimes the cats throw up and we step in it. Sometimes the dog wakes us by dropping her toy on our faces.

Getting ready for work, I get to have quiet moments to myself. Doing my makeup makes me think of the people I love as most of my really awesome stuff was given to me by friends and family. Because of them, I have more eye shadow in my life than I know what to do with and I adore it. I can attribute my use of my skincare line to my friends who work in salons. A picture of my mother hangs so that I can see her over my shoulder as I get ready. I get dressed and then go back to turn on the light and kiss Josh goodbye. He rolls over and smiles at me in his sleep, then wakes and smiles more.

When I come out of my house, I say good morning to the three chickens outside our door and then head to work. I drive a beautiful 40 minutes to work, passing water and mountains and the glorious views that the Pacific Northwest offers. My work is a lovely place, full of its problems, sure, but all in all wonderful. It’s hard, but challenging work and I’m lucky to do what I do.

When I drive home, I’m tired. I come home and my dog greets me as if I’ve been gone for years. My cats come running to the door. I change into my gym clothes and pull out whatever I need to make dinner. Sometimes I’m too tired, or forget. I gather Josh’s clothes and meet him at work. We grumble and go to the gym. Our experience at the gym is one of work, laughter, and people watching. Sometimes we fight when he demands lunges and I don’t want to do them. Most times we grumble and then are happy with our workout afterward. We part ways and meet at home.

Josh winds down with video games and I cook dinner. We laugh about our days. We watch the Daily show together as we eat. He holds me to put me to sleep some nights. Some nights we fall apart in a tangle of limbs and sweat and high five our approval of each other.

I see my friends, I laugh with them, I commiserate. They know I love them. I love my family, though I am not as good at being a family member as I am a friend. But I love them, and will fight tooth and nail for the best for them. I am loved. I am rich in the joy of life. I am warm of heart. It is not a grand life, full of money and fame, but it is mine and I love it, for better or worse.

My life is good.

My life is love.

I cannot find fault in the joy of it, in the humanity of it.

 

Shine on, little soul. Shine on #reverb11

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Music is powerful – Think of one song that you turn to time and again, and describe why it’s important to you.

I know nothing of music. I can’t tell you why I love a song, other than it touches a part of my soul. Some are songs that are deep and resonate, others are just light and sunny. Ella Fitzgerald to LMFAO are on my playlists. So, here are a few that just make some part of me shine. Please enjoy.

If I hear this song, I stop what I’m doing and dance. I can’t help it. Its involuntary joy.

This song is always in my brain. I don’t know why, but it just resonates with me. Of course I love other songs but this is the one that my brain plays all the time. Its my groove.

This song and video are so silly that I can’t resist. I really think there needs to be a Wiggle flash mob.

Any time I am ever feeling down, out of sync or weird about life, I play a little Jason Mraz and suddenly life is beautiful again. He is a genius with lyrics and his music is suffused with joy.

Joy! A state of it, if you will indulge me… #reverb11

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Joy – Take us back to a moment this year when you experienced pure, unadulterated joy.
Did- did you not see the name of my blog? Or my wrist tattoo?

I find pure unadulterated joy every day. I make it a point. It’s something I search for. It can be found anywhere. Its part of who I am. I like to laugh and smile and cherish stupid moments so that I can share them with others to make them laugh or feel happy. I am at my best when I am in a moment and feel the radiance of it shining through.

I remember walking in Seattle, after it had rained. I was by myself, and there was a huge puddle. I was wearing my boots, so OF COURSE I jumped in it. My legs were wet, but it was so much fun. The resistance of the water as the soles of my shoes pushed it down and away. I jumped and spun and even indulged myself in a movie style kick, where the water sprays in a whip from your toes. I laughed and continued on towards warmth.

Joy can be found in a bite of food as you examine the texture and the flavors and everything that is happening to bring all of your senses into this dance. I LOVE Creme Brule. It is a food that is so simple, but look at it like this: the start is a little pot, with crystallized sugar on top. This gift is glittering and shiny with that oh so soft scent of burned sugar, the rich deep golden color and sheen beckoning you to just shatter it. Make it a little less perfect. You snap the back of your spoon on the sugar and it cracks with a satisfying crunch of noise. As you push your spoon through the wreckage, the shards of sugar glass impale the soft custard, the color of white walls and linen napkins. In this one little dessert, you’ve wreaked havoc, destruction, and it makes it better. The smoothness of the creme on your lips, the sharp bite of the sugar, the way it just melts. Its joyful destruction of this magical little dessert.

Sometimes I am greedy in my joy. I’ll see a moment in nature that is a living photograph and just keep it to myself. I leave the camera alone and just enjoy sitting on the hiking trail, crows and blue jays hopping about, the sun barely peeking through the trees, my heart beating and slightly labored breath, my fingers laced through another’s. This makes it my moment. One I get to keep, and take out to look at whenever I like. I turn it over in my memory smiling as I see this shiny part, or this scary bit.

I can just keep writing. I can wax poetic about the sensuality of the moment. That’s really the key to my joy. I am sensual. I like to touch and feel and intensify moments for myself by isolating a sense and then the next, and then once I have noticed each, given each its own respect, I let them rejoin so that I can better understand and sense what is making this moment. Everyone is sensual in their own way. I like to steep myself in it, to let some moments just overwhelm me.

Its how I isolate moments of joy so that I can collect them.