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That's when the joy happens

Deanna Keahey  ·  Dec 24, 2008  ·  9 Comments

Today's quote:

Joy is what happens when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are."
~ Marianne Williamson

It's a wonderful life

It's a wonderful life

And how often do we do that?  Stop worrying about the future, and think about how good things really are, right now?  Stop focusing on our problems and what we don't have, and think about the wonderful things we do have?  I'm betting that for most of us, it's not too often.

We spend a lot of our lives working at one thing or another -- job, school, cooking, child care, cleaning up after Christmas diner, etc.  And working by its nature is usually forward-focused.  You spend your time working because of something you want to happen in the future, not because it's so inherently enjoyable right this minute.

There are people who love every working day, and leap out of bed each morning eager to face the new challenges the day will hold.  I've always envied those people!  I love my job, but I still keep hitting the snooze button, wishing the alarm clock would just shut up and leave me alone.

But for all of us, there are times when this present-tense realization happens, and that's when we find the joy.

Sometimes you can fully focus on a task at hand, and get "in the flow".  You're totally engaged in the present moment, not worrying about future results or what's happening elsewhere.  You've probably had this experience, and know how productive it can be, and how good it feels!

Sometimes it's on vacation, out in nature.  Hiking through the mountains, you sit down for a break at a beautiful spot looking out over a lake.  No thoughts of work, politics, or the economy.  Instead, you just  think about how beautiful it is, and how glad you are to be there.

Maybe tonight the cooking will be joyful in the present moment, as well as doing it for the later results.  That's especially true at Christmas, where there are family members standing around the kitchen, chatting and enjoying each other's company, while the cooking is in progress.

Today, I'm too focused on the the future to get a good flow going on work.  Christmas Eve dinner is tonight, and that (future) dinner is calling me more than this (present) blog post.  In fact, I can hardly wait to get into the kitchen and start cooking, and it's a rare day when I say that!  :-)

As we wind down the work day today, it's time to stop the rushing and bustling and running around.  Stop the worrying for a bit, and reflect on just how good things really are.  That's when the joy happens.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everybody!


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Categories: Inspirations · Quotations
Posted from:   Phoenix, AZ      Photo credit:   Mrs Gemstone (flickr)

9 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Ari Herzog // Dec 24, 2008 at 4:32 pm

    Too true! My mom calls it "being in the moment," which a lot of Zen writers routinely reflect on.

    Before I printed my business cards and told everyone what I was doing as a social media strategist, I kept saying "I am building a business," "I am developing a model for a business," "I am planning blah blah."

    One day, I stopped looking to the future and decided to live in the moment. I am this. I am that. No more of the I will be this or that.

    Joy, indeed.

    Happy holidays...and here's to a joyous 2009!

    Ari Herzog�s last blog post.. Why I Donate to Wikipedia

  • 2 Deanna Keahey // Dec 26, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    Ari - Exactly! In business, we're always doing plans and goals, and working toward targets. It's all about the future. Meanwhile, our life is flying by, and we're missing a lot of what's happening in the present. It can be hard to find the right balance.

  • 3 Karen Studebaker // Dec 28, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    Deanna- You are spot on!! I can unwind on vacations and especially in the Southwest. I feel that flow of energy and can return to home ready to take on the tasks at hand. Hoping that you had a wonderful Christmas holiday with your family and friends. We do have good things around us and we need to focus on them. I'm hoping to take a much needed vacation somewhere in 2009 and looking at all of the options. A Happy Prosperous New Year to You

  • 4 Deanna Keahey // Dec 28, 2008 at 5:24 pm

    Karen - Thanks! You're right about the vacations. I think it's easier to get go of all our normal "worries" when we're on vacation, and just feel the good energy flowing. It can happen at home too, but it's harder because we're surrounded by all the pressures of work and everyday life. Hope you have a wonderful new year too! :-)

  • 5 Cindy Lietz, Polymer Clay Tutor // Jan 4, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    Great advice! I have heard that term 'forward-focused' a lot lately (probably because I need to hear it)! I bet we would all feel a lot less stressed if we focused a little more on the present than only on the future. I don't know about you, but I never quite seem to get to the future. It's always just a little out of reach!

    Happy New Year and Happy Right This Minute!

    Cindy Lietz, Polymer Clay Tutor�s last blog post.. Using Alcohol Ink With Polymer Clay And Other Craft Supplies

  • 6 Deanna Keahey // Jan 5, 2009 at 10:31 pm

    Cindy - I love that line "Happy right this minute!" Thanks - I'll remember that one. :-)

  • 7 Denise S // Jan 14, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    Deanna, just found your blog tonight. wonderful, wonderful! I have done a fair bit of travel and the southwestern US is breathtakingly beautiful. One interesting experience I had was staying in an adobe hogan in St. George, Utah. The view out the window just took my breath away.

    Happy New Year!

    Denise S�s last blog post.. Precious Moments

  • 8 Deanna Keahey // Jan 15, 2009 at 8:48 pm

    Hi Denise -
    I agree with you that the southwest US is very special. Amazing scenery, intriguing cultures, and fascinating history -- there's so much to discover and savor here. The adobe hogan in Utah sounds like an unforgettable adventure. And thanks for the good words!

  • 9 Sammy // Mar 2, 2011 at 7:04 am

    We can't help but plan.. then worry if it won't push through or if it brought about some negative consequences.. Yet, knowing that we can only do so much and focus on what we have at present should make us feel better. Thanks for the wise words! :)

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