Sunday, December 20, 2009

JOY to the world!

Before we discuss this week's word, one little aside about last week's word - LEARN. I was at a luncheon on Friday where we exchanged gifts. One of my gifts Angel of Learning! Don't you just love it when something affirms what you knew all along? :-) She now sits proudly next to my desk where I conduct my online workshops - to inspire me and keep me focused on my purpose...

Now on to this week's word... At this time of year, it seems appropriate to ponder JOY. What does joy mean to you? Happiness? Contentment? Peace? All of the above??

So let me ask you this: has anyone ever stolen your joy? I'm a pretty upbeat person, as most of you know, but there are occasions when someone tries to steal my joy - or if not steal it, at least kidnap it! Today was one of those days.

We had taken a "mini-vacation" (some of you will recognize that term from my "Returning Balance to Your Life" workshop) to Barnes and Noble to enjoy a nice warm quiche and a good, strong cup of coffee. It was the perfect setting for a mini-vacation - for about the first 10 minutes. Then two ladies started discussing the pros and cons of their portable e-book readers - not really a notable happening, except they were sitting tables apart from each other, basically yelling across the room. That abrupt end to the peace and quiet was quickly followed by the always-present cell phone users, who proceeded to talk at a volume at least 50% higher than normal (why do they feel a need to do that, by the way - and does "Lisa" really need another cookbook??). Soon our mini-vacation turned into a hasty exit as we quickly left our relaxing experience - and our joy - behind. We have so little "leisure" time to really soak in joy and contentment, that we treasure those moments - and can get pretty resentful of those who seem determined to "disturb the peace."

But my recovery time is pretty quick with "joy stealers" these days. Life is just too short to let something (or someone!) that I cannot change have an effect on my joy that lasts more than minutes (of course, life can throw us curve balls that tend to keep our joy hidden for much longer periods). So in my typical fashion, I adjusted my attitude as I walked to the car and by the time I was home, I was feeling at peace again.

I think part of the reason for my ability to "recover quickly" is due to a speaker I heard several years ago (thank you, Pastor Tharp), who said something about joy that I found very profound. I have since adopted it as one of my life principles. He said that whenever he is around someone who is negative, mean-spirited, or seemingly doing all in their power to turn an experience from positive to negative, he offers these simple words: "I will SHARE my joy with you, but I won't allow ANYONE to steal it."

Makes a lot of sense, doesn't it? I decided I didn't want to BE one of those people others think of as a joy-stealer, so I chose to change my own attitude. And I certainly wasn't going to allow the Barnes & Noble gremlins to steal my joy, even if they did manage to camouflage it for a few minutes.

So I'll ask you again, "Has anyone ever stolen your joy?" Maybe it's time you share it instead...

Have a blessed Christmas and a healthy, happy, and JOY-filled New Year!

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