Thursday, November 13, 2008

What is Joy?

If you’re familiar with the self-help section of your local book store you’ve undoubtedly seen books about joy and how to create your ideal life. My favourite is “How Much Joy Can You Stand?” by Suzanne Falter-Barnes, which is all about carving out time in your life to do your art, start your own business or perform in local theatre—in short, to pursue the dream that’s been nagging you for years.

But what does joy mean to you? Some would say it means winning the lottery or finding a soul mate and marching down the aisle. And while these are worthy dreams, I don’t think they do justice to joy. To me, true joy means following the path you know you are meant to pursue, the path your soul points out to you when you’re quiet enough to hear it.

Your dream is calling. Are you listening?

I am, finally.

I’ve always been a writer, one of those “nose in a book” kids who read all the time—even during summer holidays and weekends—so it was natural for me to take up my pen as a child (and later, my keyboard) and start making sense of all the stories in my head. But my art was never a priority. I was never a priority. Kids and work and the latest hit on television always took precedence over writing. I was tired at the end of the day! Or so I told myself, as another day ended and I was nowhere closer to finishing my novel, let alone getting it published.

Then I woke up.

Earlier this year I read a fantastic book written by my friend, Patrick Mathieu, called “What’s Your Expiry Date?” In it, Patrick dares each of us to live each day as if we knew it would be our last. How would you live if you had a limited supply of days? Would you climb a mountain? Paint? Dance with wild abandon? Call everyone you know and tell them you love them?

Well guess what? Everyone’s days are numbered and life is too short to be miserable. It’s time to start living your joy.

Now that I am in my forties, I am finally embracing my creative side. Writing will always light me up and I am happy to say that I have made my novel a higher priority in my life. But I also get totally energized helping others go after their dreams.

The whole time I was reading “How Much Joy Can You Stand?” I was wishing I could help others live their ideal life too. The thought of working hand in hand with positive people ready to move their lives forward excited me so much! Now as a licensed Joy Facilitator I am coaching others, encouraging them and guiding them towards the life of their dreams. This path electrifies me so much I’m having trouble sleeping at night!

You can download a free *pdf version of Suzanne Falter-Barnes’ book by visiting: and if you want an amazingly positive wake up call, don’t forget to check out Patrick Mathieu’s site at: It will change the way you look at your life.

Remember… a goal without a plan is only a wish. Stop wishing. Start living.


djwoodfill said...

I just found your site today. Did you know that Erma Bombeck didn't start writing until she was 40? If you don't know who Erma is, you are still young! I thoroughly enjoyed your blogs. Good luck on getting your book published. There is a real need for teens to read about how teen suicide affects them. Don't give up! Have you contacted any college presses to see if they would be interested in publishing your book?

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