2024! A new year full of new possibilities, even as we are faced with horrific images and stories about violence and strife on this beautiful planet we gratefully inhabit. Even for the most optimistic of us, it can be challenging to remain hopeful and optimistic. Many of us find ourselves in conversations where we are trying to encourage others to see bright spots in the world and to recognize that many people are doing admirable things in the face of adversity. “How do we keep going?” This is a question people often ask me, and as 2024 begins, I invite you to consider a new commitment. I invite you to gift yourself moments of joy each and every day.
During an especially stressful time in 2023, I experimented with this commitment and honestly, the initial results were not great. Relying on what many people throughout my life have labeled as stubbornness, and I have reframed as determination, I kept trying to build joyful moments into my day. I learned a lot in this experiment, and here are some of the highlights…
… Experiencing moments of joy is a choice, and the uplifting effects of that choice can last for several minutes and sometimes, even for several hours.
… Connecting with Nature is an excellent source of joy, and here are some of the things that instilled joy and a sense of wonder in me – looking up at the sky, or watching the changing shapes of clouds for a minute or two, or studying the formation of the branches of a tree, or listening to birds chirping, or staring at the moon and her sister stars at night.
… Moving to music always made a big difference in my frame-of-mind.
… Lighting a candle, even if I had only a minute or two, and staring at the flame felt soothing and made me smile every time.
… Focusing on the many people for whom and to whom I am grateful, or the many experiences for which I am grateful, always rekindled joy within me. Always.
I am inspired by my family and friends as I observe the ways they solve problems and navigate difficult times. Some of them will read this post and I hope they can now, and will always, feel my love and gratitude.
💕 Wishing YOU ALL a love-filled, joy-filled, gratitude-filled 2024!💕
Photo Credit: © Olga Itina | Dreamstime.com