Tag Archives: joy

Friday’s Free Refill: The Joy of Inspiration

This past weekend my long time college friend Lisa and I said, Sayonara, to our hubbies, kids, dogs, all of our responsibilities, packed up her car, hit the highway and never looked back. When I asked Lisa on our drive to Portland what her intention for the weekend was she took a deep breath, “I want  you to have fun this weekend, that will bring me joy.” It was my first trip away after a long winter of foot surgery recovery, I was ready to choose joy for sure.

 

We stayed with her aunt and uncle, whom I could easily adopt as my own family. I acclimated quickly to their beautiful home, open hearts and peaceful way of living.

 

It is impossible to spend time with another person and walk away unchanged. Our interactions, sharing, connection and simply the experience of being in their energy motivates, inspires and wakes us up to our own creativity and purpose within. For instance, on this visit, our first conversation of the weekend was about their newly inspired kick to follow the advice of internationally renowned, Japanese born, de-clutter and organization expert, Marie Kondo. The author is all about tidying up based upon her method of keeping only “what brings you joy.” My friend’s uncle and aunt have always been tidy and organized, this new motivation deepened that awareness of organization. Their united passion for the way they live is fueled by inspiration from a particular era. My first visit with Lisa, a decade ago, was during their Victorian period. Their homes have been in magazines and their own expertise has been written about in a number of publications. In their new since my last visit, current home Japanese antiques adorn their 1920’s bungalow. I was revisited with memories of living in Japan back in my early twenties as a recent college grad. This sparked sharing stories I had forgotten with our hosts as well as chatting in Japanese with my friend’s uncle, watching a 1953 Japanese film and of course going out for sushi. Forgotten memories resurfaced of a very happy and exciting time in my life. Although, I didn’t come home ready to move to Tokyo, I did come home with new inspiration.

 

On Monday, attending to the grocery shopping, household chores and mom responsibilities, I had the sudden urge to plant and fill the house with beauty. I stopped at the local nursery and bought petunias for our front porch pots and more basil and bright colored plants for the back deck. Basil brings me joy, I make lots of pesto in the summer. Bright pink flowers call out to me to smile.  This yearning for beauty found me buying sunflowers for the living room and a new succulent potted plant for our entry way. I felt myself re-energize as I dug in the dirt outside and arranged flowers inside.

 

On our way back home to Seattle, Lisa and I discussed how we could create our own de-clutter method for each of our homes. We aren’t necessarily going to follow the Kondo rules, but instead adopt rules of motivation that work for us. We are calling it the JenLi method. (I will keep you posted in future blogs.)

 

This visit ignited planting more flowers and creating a new de-clutter plan. Interactions change us. Transform us beyond words. Even if Lisa’s uncle and aunt were slobs and didn’t serve our tea from an antique teapot, the experience still could have inspired me to choose flowers and keepsakes from a place of joy. The fact is every experience is an opportunity for inspiration. On our drive both to and from Lisa and I caught up on each other’s family life, work, challenges and we sang from the top of our longs to music from the 1970’s. If that doesn’t bring joy then I urge you to find your own era and a person who warms your heart to sing along with you.

 

Hello! I’m Jenny Gwinn McGlothern, Certified Transformational Master Coach for your Life and Spirit. I have been leading retreats for women and coaching them since 2009. One of my favorite ways to fill my own cup is by writing. May my weekly blog give you a sip to reflect, a nugget to chew, a thought to refill. If it is an accountability partner you seek, I offer life and spiritual coaching for women, men, teenagers, and couples, in person in Seattle and by phone.  2017 Mini-retreats in West Seattle 9:30 – 2 pm. Next one, September 15 (3 seats left). Limited availability, register early. info@mamaneedsarefill.com or 206 255 0463.

 

Friday’s Free Refill: Choose Joy

Joy in a cup doesn't need to be a heart or pretty flower to warm you from the inside out. I appreciate how the barista yesterday chose to make something I had never seen before. Who doesn't feel joyful with a skeleton face in their cup?
Joy in a cup doesn’t need to be a heart or pretty flower to warm you from the inside out. I appreciate how the barista yesterday chose to make something I had never seen before. Who doesn’t feel joyful with a skeleton face in their cup?

My morning walks with my dog Buford can bring grey skys with raindrops hitting me in the face. He will tug and pull me to stop as he sniffs the ground, this is when I stop too and smell the roses. I breathe in the day. We may run into a stranger who chooses to walk by without a response to my greeting of, hello. I smile anyway and am ready for the next passerby regardless if they respond or not. The sunlight  may or may not peek through the clouds. The fog may be so thick over the bay I can only trust that in the distance there are snow capped mountains.

I choose joy.

The other day scrubbing the toilet, spraying Windex on the mirror, re-filling the jar with Q-tips, on my hands and knees cleaning those hard to get to places I found joy among these mundane tasks. I wasn’t doing something particularly thrilling or life changing, I was cleaning my house. I began singing. Singing from my heart. Off key, but having such a blast. I paused briefly to acknowledge that I was giddy with delight and it all had to do with my frame of mind not the task at hand.

I choose joy.

Exchanging words with my teenage daughter is like riding a roller coaster blindfolded. You never know if I said the right thing, the wrong thing or what exactly is going on behind those beautiful hazel eyes of hers. So I ask. And sometimes I get an answer and sometimes I get a hand, Not now, mom. Nothing, mom. I take none of it personally and I am filled with joy watching her become a young woman, finding her own way even if sometimes it appears we are both lost.

I choose joy.

A rainy day, scrubbing the toilet, butting heads with a teenager. All of it joy. If I wait for the sunny day, until after everything is clean and in order, a child to be in a good mood I will miss out. Miss out on the beauty and utter joy of it all.

Where in your life would you like joy? Feel more joy in your heart? What would happen if instead of waiting for it, you created it, right from where you are standing. It’s a choice. Will you choose joy?

Hi, I’m Jenny Gwinn McGlothern, Certified Transformational Master Life Coach who has been leading retreats for women and coaching them since 2009. On the path of discovery, always seeking, it is clear that one of my favorite ways to fill my own cup is by writing. May my weekly blog give you a sip to reflect, a nugget to chew, a thought to refill. If it is an accountability partner you seek, I offer life and spiritual coaching in person in Seattle and by phone. Next Sack Lunch Mini-Retreat is March 11th in West Seattle. I’d be delighted to hear from you! info@mamaneedsarefill.com or www.mamaneedsarefill.com or 206 255 0463.

Friday’s Free Refill: Stir it Up

A little bit of joy each day is contagious. The joy not only catches and lifts you but all those around you. So what is it, what is that little bit of joy you can cultivate each day?
A little bit of joy each day is contagious. The joy not only catches and lifts you but all those around you. So what is it, what is that little bit of joy you can cultivate each day?

Find the thing that stirs your heart and make room for it. Life is about the development of self to the point of unbridled joy. – Joan Chittister

This quote stirs me, speaking directly to my heart, unveiling the intention behind my retreat and life coaching business purposefully named Mama Needs A Refill.

Upon reading the above Chittister quote you may think and even say out loud, Yah, that would be nice. I don’t have time right now. Maybe when the kids are gone. Perhaps when I’m not so busy. Hopefully when I’m older and retired I will have time to find joy, right now I’m just keeping myself and everyone else alive.

As I write this in the company of my Thursday writing partners we all have sick kids, busy schedules, messy houses, one of us is in her pajamas, not all of us have showered and a couple of us are braless. But we are here. Doing what we love. Stirring up what brings us joy. We are writing. The passion that unites us and keeps us accountable and many weeks this is the only time we write. Thursdays at  9 with our tea we show up. S and I have been doing this for eight years, it’s our church, our life blood, our oxygen tank. A joined us in the fall reminding us that there is always room for more joy.

We know this writing, this passion feeds us emotionally, spiritually and mentally. We know without writing our cup gets drained. I am learning that on a daily basis I need a bit of joy, a pocket of time to do what I absolutely desire. One of these things is reading. Reading is the thing I say I don’t have enough time for but in reality I don’t make the time for it. So I have been practicing trying on how to create the space for it in my day. When I save it for the last thing at night before turning out the light it is too late. The cup is already depleted from knowing I didn’t honor something that makes my heart sing.

I don’t care how busy you are or how messy your house is, what are you waiting for? The kids to move out? Well, I invite you to stop waiting. Show your friends, partners, spouses, children and family that when you do something that stirs your heart the joy isn’t only experienced by you. They reap the rewards. The glow reaches them too. A woman who has found a bit of joy translates far more deeply than a tidy house. If I could take back all the hours I spent tidying up the house I would have read a library full of books by now. But instead of looking back, I am looking forward, opening up a library of possibility.

Honoring the things you love and creating space for them whether it’s once a week or once a day is life changing. And not just for you. Joy is contagious.

Are you willing to stop the thought that you have to wait until the end of the day to do something for yourself? Are you open to practicing showing up to a bit of joy instead of waiting until there is time or the house is clean or until you are too tired to do anything about it?

Come on, let’s practice together. A little piece of joy at a time. One page, one thing, one something at a time.

Find the thing, let it stir you as you create space for it not waiting until there is time but saying, Now, now is the time and showing up! 

NEXT MAMA NEEDS A REFILL MINI-RETREAT, Friday March 6th in West Seattle, 10 AM to 2 PM. Register before Feb. 25th and receive the early mama rate! Contact Jenny with questions and to register: 206 255 0463 or info@mamaneedsarefill.com.

Friday’s Free Refill: Joy in a Fortune Cookie

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Joy! It’s never out of reach. Everyone is worthy to receive it. You need only to be willing.

Joy! Defined as the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something of great value or appreciation. A display of glad feeling.  A source of keen pleasure.

Joy! Want some? Reach out to another in need and end up receiving tenfold.

Joy! Looks are deceiving for joy can be found in ANYTHING. Play music. Find the song that lifts you. Cook something delicious and eat it. Savor it and let the flavors dance in your mouth. Connect with a friend. Delight in their beauty. Be resistant to going to a party, but go anyways, make a new friend.

Joy! When all is dark and you are in doubt but wanting to see the light, create it. Ask to be shown, “How can it get better than this?” Ask, “Where is there joy in this?” Open your hands and your heart and be ready to receive.

Yesterday morning walking my dog to the beach I remembered new words from my dear wise friend and I asked, “How can it get better than this?” as I already felt gratitude and joy in my heart. I kept that thought at the core of my being making my way down to the beach. I heard bird song that was new to my ears. I said “hello” to strangers. Then down at the beach throwing a stick into the Puget Sound for my dog to fetch, I heard a school bus and looked up. My son and three of his school mates were waving from the back of the bus wildly to attract my attention. I waved back, just as wildly, breathing in more joy.Walking up the hill back home I saw seven slips of paper, fortune cookie messages, strewn on the side of the road. I could of kept walking. Instead, I stopped, read each message and took their photograph with my phone.

Joy! More ways to experience it. The Universe handing me more gifts.

I considered picking up the littered paper but decided to leave the messages for someone else to discover. They were placed so perfectly it had to be art. Purposeful joy left for all willing to find it.

With gratitude and almost flying up the hill on the wings of joy in my heart, I remembered my question going down the hill. “How can it get any better than this?” I past these messages going down the hill only twenty minutes earlier and did not see them. This tells me joy is there, joy is available, joy is accessible to those who are ready to receive it.

I will ask you this, Where in your day can you create, find, discover, celebrate, dance, sing and simply BE joy? The possibilities are endless and it starts with you saying YES. Start small and let the joy spread up and down the hills of your journey.

Joy! Do one thing, at least one thing a day, everyday, that brings you joy.

One of the seven fortune's I discovered on my morning walk. Left scattered like crumbs for Hansel & Gretel to find their way home.
One of the seven fortune’s I discovered on my morning walk. Left scattered like crumbs for Hansel & Gretel to find their way home.

Friday’s Free Refill: Dig Deep

Sometimes what brings us joy and lights us up is below the surface and we have to dig deep to discover it. But it's there, it's there for sure and only you can find it and bring it to the surface.
Sometimes what brings us joy and lights us up is below the surface and we have to dig deep to discover it. But it’s there, it’s there for sure and only you can find it and bring it to the surface.

I was recently reminded of a piece of wisdom shared by a friend. On Wednesday the exhaustion of giving from the weekend caught up and found me napping on the couch in the middle of the afternoon.

I wasn’t sad but often my tiredness can easily be mistaken for being a little…off. Not in a state of inspiration, a little rudderless. When I woke up from my brief nap the words of my friend, who is no longer with us, came to me. Maybe I dreamt of her on the couch during my cat nap. Joy is my rudder and I hadn’t found her that day.

I thought of the words from my friend, “What brings you joy? Find it. Find what brings you joy.”

The answer came easily. Baking and cooking bring me joy. So right there in that moment I did just that. I pulled open the baking drawer and created a new cookie recipe. Later my family assured me that my oatmeal, molasses, butterscotch chip cookies were a bit of joy to be savoured with a tall glass of milk. Creating a casserole from nothing also touched on what I love.

Time in the kitchen. Alone. Creating food for my family. All this together brings me joy. I could feel my friend smiling down on me.

Isn’t that what life if all about? The little moments. And those little moments in my afternoon on a grey Wednesday got me in touch with a piece of joy. It was the shift I needed.

I didn’t ask myself, “What do I need to do to be successful today?” I asked myself, “Where will you find joy?” Then I went after it. And at the end of the day that brought me an overwhelming feeling of success and satisfaction.

I urge you to find the joy. What turns you up and turns you on and gets you out of your head living deeply? Go. Go find it.