“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy."
Thich Nhat Hanh
I've been told I have a nice smile. I remember thinking that people said it only because my other features weren't so pretty...but hearing it made me smile more anyway. I also remember being surprised when someone asked me why I always smiled, because I wasn't aware that I did...yet hearing that made me smile more too.
I do have a positive outlook; I smile easily and widely and apparently for no reason at all. I laugh a lot, too - at funny and happy and silly things. Sometimes I laugh at inappropriate things, like the time a coworker forgot there was no chair behind her and sat down in the wastebasket! And sometimes I laugh when I am nervous or sad - another life coach said she enjoyed having me as a client because, even when I cried about something in my life, I would laugh at something ironic in the telling of it.
Surely I am influenced by my late father, who was the funniest person I have ever known. I remember laughing at the hilarious stories he would share about his childhood - that he and his brother could go to school only every other day...because they had only one set of clothes between them, ha, ha, ha! (Only much later did I learn that he grew up in abject poverty). My dad had such a positive attitude and believed anything was possible. He assured me that I could have or do or be anything I wanted, and I believed him because he had accomplished so much in his life. He definitely was a "self-made man."
The truth is, each and every one of us is self-made. The questions then become, Am I consciously creating my life? Do I believe in my dreams? Am I willing to face my fears and do the inner work to change the self-limiting beliefs and patterns in my life? And most importantly, Do I take actions that support my intentions?
Impossible things happen every day...
"And because these daft and dewey-eyed dopes keep building up impossible hopes, 'impossible' things are happening every day."
Oscar Hammerstein, Cinderella (the musical)
One reason I loved fairy tales as a child (and I still do!) is the impossibilities: magic wands, fairy godmothers, talking animals, flying with the help of a little pixie dust, an entire world inside of a wardrobe or a mirror.... Like my dad, I believe anything is possible. I believe in miracles, and magic too. Do you?
"Alice laughed. 'There's no use trying,' she said: 'One can't believe impossible things.'
'I daresay you haven't had much practice,' said the Queen. 'When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.' "
Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass
Before breakfast - what a great idea! First thing in the morning is a great time to consciously create your life. It's a great time to meditate or journal or whatever-your-spiritual-practice-is. It's a great time to imagine your dreams coming true. It's a great time to do your affirmations. It's a great time to plan your day from a spiritual perspective (What kind of person do I want to be today? With whom do I want to connect, and how can I do that well? Does it look like my day includes a potentially stressful situation, and if so, how can I bring my best self to it?). And it's an especially great time to take actions towards a personal goal.
Well begun is half done
"Mary Poppins: Our first game is called Well Begun is Half-Done. Michael: I don't like the sound of that. Mary Poppins: Otherwise titled Let's Tidy Up the Nursery. Michael: [to Jane] I told you she was tricky." Bill Walsh and Don DaGradi, Mary Poppins (the screenplay)
You can dream and plan and imagine all you want - but if you don't take action towards your goals, they will not materialize. (Read that again). The good news is that both concrete and symbolic actions move things in the right direction. So go ahead, tidy up. Clear some clutter. Schedule that appointment you've been thinking about. Write the email. Say yes. Take a first step.
Even though I've just given away several key concepts from my upcoming workshop, New Year, New Life, New Joy, I hope you'll attend anyway. First, as far as the 2020 calendar year goes, Sunday, January 12 counts as "before breakfast." Second, you won't just be reading some great tips on how to consciously create a life that you love, you'll be actively working with your real-life intentions and priorities. And finally, I'm offering this workshop at an insanely tempting price (Happy New Year to you!), so "It's not in the budget" is an unlikely excuse.
And just one day before that - on Saturday, January 11 - is a workshop on creating Sacred Space. It's a hands-on class in which you'll apply the tools and techniques - and learn why "clearing clutter" is so important (hint: you make room for the things you want in life by letting go of things you no longer need).
Your inner vision
And, if you aren't yet clear on where to focus your attention, join me tonight -Tuesday, January 7 - for an inspiring evening of Inner Visioning. You'll embark on a meditative quest to receive insights from your higher self about the coming year, then you'll create a treasure map (a simple collage or mini-vision-board) to inspire you as you traverse your path.
I hope this email has inspired you with some ways to invite more joy into your life. You might also take a look on the Inner Compass calendar because there are even more events coming up that could put a smile on your face....