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Did I mention that I’m over winter? I’ve been complaining about it a lot—the dark, the cold, the never-ending bleakness of it all. To be honest, it hasn’t been all that bad. I am loving so many things about our first winter in Connecticut. There have been cozy afternoons by the fire with a glass of wine, snow days with Chloé discovering the joy of hot chocolate with mini marshmallows, and lots of slow cooking.
Still, I’m over it.
Let’s be real: When I complain about winter, what I’m really talking about is the heavy and heartbreaking state of the world. These are trying times. It’s all too much. Give me some daffodils. Give me some sunshine. Give me anything that smells remotely like hope.
To me, hope is the courageous choice to believe in something better. Hope demands strength and endurance, which we all ran out of two years ago. Herein lies the problem. Hope is not a given, it’s a practice. Being so physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted has taught me just how important it is to live my life in a way that fortifies my soul. I have to practice cultivating hope so that I can keep showing up.
The most important tool I’ve found for fostering hope is joy. Even when it feels impossible, irrelevant, or irresponsible, joy is worth fighting for. It gives me the energy to keep going. What’s more, when I invest in joy, it spills over into the lives of others. We lift each other up with our joy. Acts of kindness, love, and service make joy feel possible even in the darkest of times.
My mood board feels hopeful to me. The first thing that hits me are those cheerful flowers. They remind me of the strength it takes to burst through frozen earth. It’s like they’re being pulled up towards the sun. That moody barn with the tidy garden boxes, pea gravel, and black fence reflects a sense of order, which for me creates space for possibility. The image of the woman in a sweater makes me excited for that moment when I can finally take off my coat, hat, and gloves. Then there’s my dream house with that blossoming tree in the front yard. Tulips, because they scream spring! That luscious, jewel-colored flan is speaking to me. So simple, so rich. Finally, an artist’s studio bursting with creativity is exactly where I want to be.
I’m finding joy in new and old passions. I have started taking ballet classes again, after twenty years! I feel ridiculous but I don’t care. It has woken up a part of me I had forgotten. As always, teaching brings me so much joy. No matter I’m feeling, teaching buoys my spirit. I’ve also been cooking more, and doing puzzles. I’ve even found joy in my updated morning and evening beauty routines thanks to a new product that has put some life back into my skin.
How do you create joy in your life? What are the little or big things that give you the strength to keep showing up? Where do you find joy on your mat? How does it show up in your daily rituals? I’m excited to hear how you spark joy for yourself and for others.