Dear UUCC Community,
In a stressful, uncertain time, it can be hard to make space for joy – never mind try to center it. It can feel superfluous, selfish, maybe indulgent to try to do so. We may feel pushed to varying degrees to forgo joy and focus on the tasks of the day, to get it all done somehow. To focus on what remains to be accomplished, to create tomorrow’s to-do list, today. We may not have the time we need to properly slow down, to loosen our jaws and relax our shoulders, to get our recommended eight hours of sleep. We may wonder – how does joy fit into all this? Does it at all? Is it important right now?
It’s always important, of course – perhaps more important in a time like this. And I’ve found that in allowing myself to make space for beauty and joy, to notice it when it’s around me, because it is always around me – I am able to enter and work from a more expansive place of gratitude. I am able to connect more meaningfully with that which I’m grateful for, and to love that which I already love, a little bit more.
Creating room for joy can help balance out and soothe our very real experiences of hardship. In order to stay connected to my sense of joy and beauty, for years I’ve made it a spiritual practice to make joy lists. A list of things that bring me joy. In doing so, I’m able to connect with and strengthen my own resilience and sense of gratitude. This practice provides me relief from stress, and offers my body and mind space to recenter and recover a little.
I created a joy this week that I’d like to share with you, and invite you to share some of your own joys list items in the comment section below.
My joy list:
- A BRIGHT blue sky
- When the avocado is ripe
- 5-year-old imagination (you should see what my kids can do with Magnatiles)
- My sister’s unstoppable dry humor
- Bonfires with a critical mass of friends
- Long-standing inside jokes with loved ones
- The beach during the off-season
- My mother’s head rubs
- Street art (oh, murals…there can never be enough of them)
- A mean lookin sunset
- Janelle Monáe
- Coming across the right poem for my mood
- The smell of lilacs in spring
- A good, deep (preferably out-of-nowhere) belly laugh
- Living room dance parties with my kids
- Looking through old photos
- How much easier it is to buy size 12 shoes than it was growing up
- Low humidity weather
- Remembering the comforting smell of my grandmother’s house
- Homemade pickles (lots of vinegar and jalapeño)
- Smoothies of many varieties (but always with banana)
- The healing effect of making collages (you can see part of one of mine as the featured photo for this post)
- The bright green of springtime
Looking for some joy? Join us this Sunday, April 5 at 10 am as we create space for collective celebration of our UUCC community’s beauty and diversity with a virtual flower communion. Please bring flowers from your garden, walks, or crafted with your own hands.
AND, I would love to hear about what brings you joy. Please share some things that might appear on your own joy list in the comment section below.
Sara Davidson (yes, I’m new to UUCC – view my bio!)
Director of Communications & Member Integration