“Speaking of Joy” — Joy Week begins NOW!


"Speaking of Joy" by marielliot

I am delighted to have you join me. For those of you who don’t know, Bliss Habits is a continuation of my personal project to inject more Bliss into everyday Life. It is based loosely on Ben Franklin’s practice to concentrate on each of thirteen virtues he felt would make him a better person. In my version, I’ve come up with thirteen virtues I believe, when practiced, will cultivate the habit of bliss. We could all use a bit more of that now couldn’t we?

Each week I will explore one of my virtues, listed along the top of the blog, and you are invited to join me in this exploration. The blog is also designed so that you can come by and find inspiration on any of the topics by clicking on the associated tab. The latest posts on the topic and, in time, a resource page for each, are available to encourage each of the bliss virtues NOW, whether we are exploring that topic this week or not. My hope is that Bliss Habits becomes a regular destination for your blissful pursuits!

Today we begin with Joy. What brings it, what inspires it, and in tomorrow’s post, why we all deserve it. Each day this week will feature a little contest and the winner will walk away with a joyful little prize. Click here to see the complete contest line up.

Simply be who you are, do what you do best, be where you are called by joy, and let life work its magic on your behalf. — Alan Cohen

When I think about joy, of course I ALWAYS think of my family. Watching my almost 4 year old’s antics are always immensely joyful. Check out this joyful drawing by my daughter:

It is her self portrait. Drawn for her Daddy so “you won’t forget what I look like when you are at work.”

I love this drawing. The happy smile on her face, the exuberance of living in her outstretched hands, it honestly depicts my daughter’s JOY in living. I couldn’t have captured it better myself. My daughter is always “talking about joy” as she moves through life:

  • “Look at those snaily guys mommy, they are having a party!”
  • “Play with me and we will be so happy!”
  • “I love the rain. It makes me wet.”
  • “That birdie is singing to me!”

Today’s Bliss Initiative is to take her lead and open our eyes to all the joy around us!

So take a moment.


Yes, an even longer moment.


Feel the air in your lungs.

Feel the awareness drift into your body and look around you.

What are the small and delightful things that bring you joy?

Take a moment an notice them.

As I do this now,

  • I hear the slosh of water as my Sweetie plays with our girl in the bath.
  • I notice the perfect magic light of sunset sneaking through the plantation shutters.
  • I feel the clean flannel sheets with my toes.
  • I see the gorgeous eagle feather found on a nature walk.
  • and the sparkle of my engagement ring, still reminding me why I said yes.

All these things bring me immense joy yet I barely if ever take notice. Today is the day to take notice.

Let’s see it, let’s feel it and let’s share it!

Scatter joy. –Ralph Waldo Emerson

For today’s joyful contest you are invited to answer this question:

What are the small and delightful things that bring you joy?

(Every comment here or on our companion Facebook page is one entry, at the end of the day I will randomly select the winner  of today’s prize… an 8 x8 marielliot print.  Click here to see a complete list of the week’s contests!)

17 thoughts on ““Speaking of Joy” — Joy Week begins NOW!

  1. Oh Kathy, I feel a sense of joy that goes so deep right now. The breath I took in just reminded me of the joy I experienced this weekend at the conference as we were invited to be present, to feel everything in the moment without judgment.

    Here, late at night at my desk, your words reminded me to breathe…and reminded me of joy. THANK YOU.
    (p.s. Still loving the site) 🙂

  2. Tamara says:

    My peppermint tea in the morning brings me joy. Playing badminton with my daughter Natasha and making dinner with my husband Cary. Simple, delightful, joyful.

  3. Kate G says:

    This morning as we drove to preschool, my 3 1/2 year old said,” I searched and searched the garden for a delicious treat and then I found it… it was parsley.” His openness to new experiences and delight in telling me about them is a joy to me.

  4. Bring me joy at this moment: bright sunshine, a handful of excellent chocolate, a day with few responsibilities, and the Hornby Island eagle cam bringing sounds and sights of nature. Have fun with your new venture here; it’s very inviting.

  5. The barista at Starbuck’s this morning said to me with a smile, ‘You look like you’re having a great day already.”

    It’s funny; I wasn’t. I’ve been feeing very sad this morning in particular, about our oceans and all of the beautiful creatures that inhabit them, for the people of Japan, and for our country.

    “Thank you,” I said.

    He told me he’s been trying to say this to everyone he greets. I said “good for you” and that I imagined it made him feel really good, too.

    He smiled a soft but nonetheless BRIGHT smile. I was in a state of bliss in that moment. And that very brief, random, anonymous interaction made my day. Everything flows now from my heart.

    Thank you, Kathy, for your BEAUTIFUL, blissful blog.


  6. This is such a great post! My morning yoga at 5 gives me joy. It begins my day in calm and awareness and lets me carry that with me. Waking up next to a warm puppy cuddly close is pretty good, too!

  7. Lois says:

    Joy is whatever makes the corners of my mouth turn up slightly into a remembering smile. You know, the smile that comes with that far away look in your eyes as you remember a moment that has been pushed back in the corner of your mind. Those treasured moments of forgotten memory that suddenly come alive in the Present are the most joyful to me. I mentally put that memory in a box, wrap it in joyful colored paper and attach a bright ribbonned bow. On rainy days, I can take that memory out of its box and inhale the essence of joy long since Past that awakens and flourishes in the Now, to be embraced and treasured in Tomorrow. Joy isn’t a fleeting moment. To me, Joy is an undercurrent of memory and moments that turns up the corners of my mouth and flickers the light in my eyes.

    • Kathy says:

      Lois, thank you so much for this lovely response! I LOVE equating memory with Joy. Thinking of it this way really makes joy live!

  8. Chris Beaupre says:

    Sharing music with my amazing husband, hearing Ellie read to me, listening to her sing, watching the sunrise during a morning walk, starting a new book.

  9. Queen Victoria says:

    My joy = my nieces and nephews (by blood or friendship). I’m OVERjoyed my 17-year-old nephew is making is first solo trip to NJ on Thursday to visit me.

    • Kathy says:

      Thank you so much for stopping by. One of my great joys is friends like you. Now if only we could combine this with my other favorite… getting together OFTEN with dear friends!

  10. Catherine says:

    I experience joy each day as I homeschool a 14 year old boy with autism as he grins while learning new things.

  11. What a powerful post – and one that resonates with me! I will try and demand more joy with everything. We all deserve it – so we should not be shy about wanting it, right? 🙂 Thanks for the incentive! 🙂

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