I don’t actually remember if I picked a word for 2016 (possibly, unofficially, it was Breathe which was a theme in my meetings with my spiritual director) but I certainly have in the past: Selah, Behold are two. This year, my word is joy.
It’s not just focusing on what delights me — although that is part of it, but making joy a core part of who I am. The Dalai Lama and Archbishop Tutu’s The Book of Joy shares 9 pillars of joy. Here are a few off the top of my head: generosity, gratitude, acceptance and forgiveness. I’ve explored the practice of gratitude before but I have let my practice of writing down three things lapse.
“Joy” as a word chose me for 2017. Toward the end of 2016, I had resigned as Chair of my church’s worship committee and dropped out of the church choir. I had held onto the chair position because my church was in transition in finding a new rector. I didn’t need to hold onto that any more and I needed to take care of me.
So I can see me continuing to shed the “ought to”s and things that no longer give me joy and continuing to make my priority those things that do give me joy: the process of making art, fresh air, bubble baths, etc etc.
And maybe even finding joy in God. (I have not yet explored where I stand with this but the sentences popped into my head so there it is.)
I already had in mind to work slowly through the practices shared in The Book of Joy but then Liz Lamoreux in her blog (be present, be here) referred to Ali Edwards’ course one little word.
I took a look at it and realized that not only would it help me keep on track with exploring The Book of Joy but would potentially help me to go deeper into all aspects of the word. One creative prompt a month didn’t seem like too much of an additional burden — although y’all know I will make a journal to put it in. Probably.
I hope to share here my explorations of joy -- but we shall see!