Savoring joy

sunset 2

“And joy is everywhere: It is in the Earth’s green covering of grass; In the blue serenity of the sky; In the reckless exuberance of gray winter; In the living flesh that animates our bodily frame; In the perfect poise of the human figure, noble and upright; In living; In the exercise of all our powers; In the acquisition of knowledge; In fighting evils…Joy is there everywhere.

 –Rabindranath Tagore


No doubt about it, the weather outside can affect our moods. Yesterday, in Scottsdale, Arizona, we had one of those rare rainy days, which was minimally disruptive compared to the impact of the horrific snowstorms and cold temperatures the Boston area has endured. Still, it was a little more challenging to stay positive with dark clouds and torrential rains outside.

Yet, I am reminded that we have a choice about how we feel no matter what the circumstance. The other day, overwhelmed by a frustrating encounter, I huddled inside, regrouping to find my “center” again by connecting with the grounding energy of silence.

Then, I gave myself “a pamper day,” in which I literally walked myself into a state of bliss along my favorite lakeside path. I intentionally embraced freedom from any external stressors by disconnecting from all technology, inhaling the crisp air, listening to the birds sing and observing the magnificent wispy clouds.

Spending time alone in nature is one of the ways I shift from despair or angst to greater joy. I, along with 31 other people from a diversity of cultures, share more ideas for expanding into more positive states in the recently released book, Finding Joy Around the World by Kari Joys, MS, who is director of the Center for Creative Change in Spokane, Washington.

Since participating in her book, I continually learn that joy, like love, is an internally driven state, not an outside acquisition. Sometimes, we first may have to feel a clutter of negative emotions to release them to create openings for new and more positive feelings.  Then, we have the power to choose to make a shift.

If you’re ready to make a shift into a greater state of well-being, sit for a moment today and remember one or more happy times in your life. Feel those feelings again. Then ask: What was it about those moments that brought you such joy?

Allow yourself to fill up with possibilities for expanding into even greater joy. Then, take at least one action that supports that choice, whether it be something significant like choosing to forgive someone from a major hurt or simpler like doing a random act of kindness for a stranger.



1. I allow myself to go within to find my joy.

2. I allow myself to feel all my feelings to create openings for even greater joy.

3. I allow myself to take at least one action within the next 24 hours that expands my sense of joy.


Stepping outside to a gorgeous Scottsdale sunset, (pictured above) after a day inside writing, intensified my feelings of joy as I delighted in another miracle of nature.





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  • Gail,
    Once again your beautiful words articulate the hope and wisdom that inform your life.
    Love to you, dear friend, Dijana

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Thank you, Dijana: And your eloquent insights continue to remind me that we all have access to hope and wisdom from within…the gifts of silence:) Love, Gail

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