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I saw my neighbor walking into her home. I spoke up to say hello (this is the first time we have seen each other in roughly a year since I’ve been gone at college.) She was so happy to see me. I invited her up to my back porch. We ended up sitting outside for two hours catching up on our lives. I’d like to think it brought joy to her, but it definitely brought me joy to catch up with someone I grew up with. Sometimes all it takes is reaching out and allowing someone a space to speak about themselves so they are heard.
My son had been looking for some way use some time off and enjoy the waning days of summer so we decided to spend a few days wandering the Black Hills. As we hiked, I was reminded throughout the day of Carol’s note; “Joy is exactly what’s happening, minus our opinion of it.” Joy is about presence. This day we found so much joy hiking through and admiring the granite spires. We continued our way to the top of Black Elk peak. At the top, exhaustion and wobbly knees aside, the space was just astonishing. The sunshine, constant cool wind, viewing the surrounding mountain tops with the prairies in the background was such a blessing!
Drop a few voice messages to friends and others, and send a few cards by mail.
This is something that I do on a regular basis. Small acts of kindness mostly to close family members. Lately mostly for my children who need it right now.
Callings to my father by his children and loved ones, who is in hospital right now, as he has been operated on an open wound, raised his moods and gave some joy and with it, suppose increased strength together with a good outcome of the operation today, and with it all together, joy, again supporting healing.
I gave a few pieces of popcorn to Helios, my four-legged buddy. It’s one his favorites. I am not sure he “needed” the joy, but it sure made me smile.
BTW, I think dogs can teach us a lot about joy and happiness and living in the now and, yes, gratitude.
Yes Dolores! My furry friend loves popcorn. He gets so excited when he hears it popping in the microwave. He will run three laps around the house as it pops. One of his favorite snacks for sure! Thank you for sharing!
We spread the ashes of my mother and father in law this morning in the meadow on our farm. Two of my husband’s sisters anda brither in law all traveled many miles to share this with my husband (and I). I hope that this helped bring some joy and peace to my husband and my sister in laws. My mother and father in law are now together again….sharing in God’s earth….I will do my best to bring joy and kindness to my family. Blessings one and all.
What a wonderful resting place Nannette.
I appreciate that this question includes “one small thing”. My chronic illness (and advancing years) prevent me from doing the “big” things that I desire to do for our suffering world. But Mother Teresa (who absolutely did “big things”) is an encouragement to me. She is quoted as saying:
” ‘Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”
Mother Teresa gave me a gift by reminding me of this.
My small things include sending texts and emails to let the people in my life know I am thinking of them. Today I shall send a lovely card to a loved one, imagining their joy when it arrives in their mailbox. And, as I do each morning during my meditations, I pray for all those who are mourning, frightened, hungry, homeless, victims of violence, desperate and alone. My belief and my faith is that those prayers are no small thing indeed.
I resonate with your reflection Diane. Thank you.
Diane, Your “small” things are wonderful huge, gifts. The gift of prayers, thinking of others is so selfless. Blessings to you! If only more people would do those acts.
A special good morning to my long time cyber-buddy Pilgrim.
I hope you have the loveliest of days my friend. 🙏🥰
Thank you so much, my friend. The arthritis in my hands has brought much pain today. I am grateful to find you here on a day that has found its way back from days of torrential rain to bright sunshine, light breezes, and active squirrels in the yard (my entertainment). Blessings!
Sending you healing prayers my friend. Enjoy the warm comfort of our Brother Sun. 🙏🌞
I must have anticipated this question. My older daughter has a new kitty who’s still settling in. A few days ago I ordered some toys to be shipped to him (with his name on the shipping label) and they should arrive today. She and Daughter #2 had a rough day yesterday and this will bring her joy. Now to think of something for #2.
Ring and say hi how’s it going ?
I am getting ready to go to church for an artwork shop I volunteered to do. Not many people show up for it. An 80 year old woman, Joyce, is there every time and another woman, Sally, shows up off and on. I’ve thought of cancelling it, given the lack of interest, but the last time we met, Joyce told me it had given her new interest in life. She draws portraits and when she shows them to people they want her to draw one for them. I won’t be cancelling the workshop, even if she’s the only one showing up.
I would come to your workshop Nancymarie!
Your kindness is a blessing to those women I am sure.
I feel like I could apply finishing touches in the office. We have a little food bar we use to serve students so I am thinking restocking the food bar. I also feel like offering a since word from the heart to lighten someone’s day would go a long way.
No one is up and moving. My one small thing is to hold all of you in my heart and bless your presence in my life.
I am anxious about an event I am planning. The dark sky just gifted me with an opening of blue sky. Thank you earth!
You mentioned the event the other day so I know you’re carrying this anxiety around. I’ve done a lot of event planning over the years and have to say my favorite part of every event is when it’s over!
I did finally come to realize that I was often the only one who would notice something that didn’t happen as I had planned. If no one else knew I wanted those things done a certain way, they wouldn’t miss it when that didn’t happen. Barring the loss of a keynote speaker (and yes, I’ve had that happen and had to scramble to find an equally important replacement), so much of an event could happen a different way and still have a success. Good luck!
I try to being humor and joy to
all my interactions. Also, I take
photos while out in this beautiful
place I live, and send them along
with most of my daily texting
There’s so much suffering in this
world. It’s easy for me to think of
people who could use some joy
right now. And always.
Speaking of joy, my cat Pumpkin
is sitting on my lap and bringing me
so much joy right now. What an
amazing being. She is such a unique
I don’t know that any one who is seeking joy will cross my path today. Most of us seek happiness not joy. As the late Zen teacher Charlotte Joko Beck [1917–2011] said: “Joy is exactly what’s happening, minus our opinion of it.” Joy is about presence. I will do my best to be present to everyone who crosses my path today. If I accomplish that, it won’t be a small thing. It will truly be joyous. It will honor both their freedom and my freedom to be.
When ever I think of joy, I remember Gibran’s poem below:
Joy and Sorrow from Kahlil Gibran’s book “The Prophet.”
When a woman said, Speak to us of Joy and Sorrow.
And he answered:
Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.
Some of you say, “Joy is greater than sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.”
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.
Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.
When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.
Aahhh Carol…thank you from my heart for this beautiful poem from Gibran. I haven’t read “The Prophet” in a long while…you’ve inspired me to re-read it.
I didn’t read this question to mean they’re seeking it. Someone may not even realize they could use a jolt of joy and there you are, surprising them with the gift of recognition that the joy is there.
Thank you for the quotation and the poem.
Barb, The question indicated “some one who needs it.” For me that registered as not just any body but someone in need. Different folks, different interpretation! But you are so right,” someone may not even realize they could use a jolt of joy” and today that was me when I ran into an old friend at the grocery store. I enjoyed seeing her very much.
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