Joy Journal #1 – It’s all about the PEOPLE!

Because my word for the year is joy, I’m keeping a joy journal, and I’ll be sharing some of that joy on this blog. Here’s hoping joy is contagious and you catch a little piece of it.

The painting above brought me joy today. It’s not about the finished product (I’m not even sure I like it that much, though it’s growing on me), but rather about the process. I started it last night at my painting class, and then spent this afternoon happily lost in a world of colours and patterns. Joy, joy, JOY!

But to be honest, when I think about joy this week, it’s all about the people. My “joy people”.

A few months ago, when I was moaning about how I didn’t like networking and I wasn’t sure how I’d build a clientele for my business, my straight-shooting friend Desiree, who’s way smarter about some things than I am, said “Girl, you’ve gotta stop thinking about it as NETWORKING. Instead you’ve gotta think about how you’re going to attract your JOY PEOPLE – the people you want to be connected with. The people whose business you want because you love what they stand for.”

She was right, of course. It’s about my joy people. And let me tell you, this past week I seem to have attracted a lot of them! Not that I have a bunch more clients, but I DO have lots of good people who want to help me or work with me in some way or another, or just hang out and be my friend. Plus a few who want to hire me! It’s been pretty darn amazing.

Here’s a little taste of my joy:

– My friend Jo-Anne who sat with me over chai lattes and listened to me talk about my book, and loved it like she would if it were a real live baby, and then helped me see some wisdom that I’d been missing.

– My friend Michele who came to speak to my class last week about the amazing work she’s doing and reminded me of why I’m so fond of her.

– My friend Desiree who gives me the straight goods in such a loving and humorous way and helps me see my path. Last week she said “You don’t really want to be a consultant, you want to write a book. So write the damn book already!” Okay, I’ve been told.

– My friend Susan who has been such a great support in the last few years as we both went a little deeper in our leadership journeys, and who believes in my crazy dreams.

– A few Twitter and Facebook friends who just happened to be in the right place at the right time to encourage me and share wisdom with me.

– My talented designer friend Segun who offered to do some work for me AND accepted a last minute invitation to be a guest speaker in my class. (Which he ROCKED, by the way!)

– A client who hired me to be her story coach and then was so excited about my feedback that it made me want to help more cool people with their writing projects.

– A few online friends who’ve become in-person friends who sent me lovely affirming/connecting emails.

– The powerful women in my circle of practice who made last week’s conference call such a warm, amazing experience.

– The people in my journal club who challenge me to ask deep questions and think deep thoughts.

– A favourite author who is just so kind and gracious and responsive to emails.

– My students who challenge me and affirm me and let me know that they appreciate my teaching efforts. AND the administration who trusts me enough to hire me for a few more teaching opportunities!

– My art teacher at Forum Art Studio who has such a genuine spirit and wonderful humanity about him, I can’t help but feel a lovely sense of trust in his guidance.

– All of the people who have commented, emailed, tweeted, etc. to say “You really MUST write that book! We WANT it and it needs to be out in the world!” You’re all amazing. Yes YOU.

– A bunch of people (too many to name) who are contributing to an exciting little project that I will be revealing in a few weeks.

That’s a lot of people! I can hardly tell you how blessed I’m feeling.

How about you? Who are your joy people?

And if you’re wondering “HOW do I attract my joy people?”, it’s pretty simple – just be yourself. Be authentic and the people who value what you stand for will be drawn to you.

Oh… and there’s one other thing… start saying your dreams out loud. Let people know what you want to do and how you want to serve the world. It’s been amazing how people have been responding when I’m honest enough to admit what’s in my heart of hearts.

To paraphrase a certain movie, “if you speak it, they will come.”

Wisdom bits

I have been busy living a full and beautiful life these past days, hosting a delightful house guest from the coast, showing him how beautiful the prairies can be in winter, paying a brief visit to my brother and sister-in-law, teaching my weekly writing class, marking papers for that class, drinking a good deal of wine with previously mentioned house guest, and attending a board dinner to say a proper good-bye to the board members of the organization I left a couple of months ago. So much goodness in just a few short days.

Here are some of the random wisdom bits I’ve been reminded of these past days:

1. Feminine wisdom is not the exclusive property of women. My friend Randy has it in spades.

2. Drinking wine in the evening with a dear friend can be a good, good thing.

3. Having a husband who doesn’t get jealous when you spend two days in the company of a beloved male friend can also be a good, good thing.

4. The flattest, baldest, snow-covered prairie landscape can hold a lot of beauty when your eyes are open to it.

5. Even a short visit with special family members can remind you just how much they mean to you.

6. Someone suffering through the ravages of her second round of chemotherapy can still offer amazing gifts of hospitality and joy.

7. Shared laughter may very well be one of the greatest riches a person can find.

8. Hearing board members say, with genuine respect, that you had a significant impact and you are missed can feel very affirming.

9. When you go for a run after missing a few days, the ache, adrenalin, and meditative mind space can feel like the return of dear departed friends.

10. Visiting tourists attractions in your city when the elements have chased everyone else away can transform them with eery, peaceful beauty.

11. Sometimes the goodness of life can be defined by very simple things: a good friend or two, lots of opportunity for laughter, a healthy body, beauty in simple things, kindness, and an occasional glass of wine (or two).

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