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Winter retreat in the Netherlands 30.11.-3.12!
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What makes you feel joy?

Pete and I are currently leading a year-long Practitioner Program and this month’s theme is: Pride and Joy.

I love that theme!

In our work, Pete and I often are dealing with the expression of “heavy emotions” such as anger, sadness, anxiety, fear, shame, guilt and so on. And those are really important to notice, express and get over—especially if we have repressed those emotions in the past—so we can broaden our capacity to having new experiences.

At the same time, I find equally important the work we do with joy, happiness, love, appreciation, pride, excitement, desire and attraction.

Recently, I was touched when a participant told me: “That came to me just the right time! I was feeling down and grey and what made a difference was to share with others the joyful things in my life.”

When I heard that, I recall a big smile coming over my face and thinking to myself: “Oh, yes! I also want to appreciate all the wonderful things in my life. Especially the ‘small’ everyday joys like a delicious cup of coffee with foamed milk and topped with cinnamon.”

Many of us are quicker to judge ourselves negatively than fully owning what is wonderful, beautiful and amazing about us.

When did you last celebrate your greatness?

When did you last talk lovingly to yourself?

Joy Exercise

I have an exercise here that I propose you do this week:

Towards the end of each day this week, take a moment and write down ten things you enjoyed or felt happy about or appreciated from that day. These can be fleeting moments of sunshine, food you tasted, a smile you received, a conversation, something you read, something you did, scenery you saw, time you spent with yourself or others. Anything!

I propose you write down ten things for the reason that most likely you pause and reflect. You will probably name a few things you hadn’t initially given much consideration. You might name moments or events which were not monumental yet, upon reflection, you find meaningful.

If you don’t feel like noticing joyful things in this way, I propose you do it anyway. And then notice what happens when you do so. Does something shift for you? Do your mood or emotions remain static or do they shift to something else? Though a smile just might come to your face, this exercise is not about forcing yourself to feel good or joyful.

The exercise is about taking stock of those small (and big) things through your day which you feel joyful or pleased about. And by doing this repeatedly, we can increase our ability to notice—and enjoy—more often pleasure in the moment that it’s happening.

How was this exercise for you?

Will you share about your experience with me?


Here is a video I made about happiness and joy:

Last week, I wrote about the book How to be an Adult in Relationships and I received requests that I write more about the books I read! Yes, I certainly will when I feel inspired! And thank you for those requests!

Have a great & joyful week!

Tuulia (& Pete)

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