Define Joy, If You Can

What does joy mean to you?

Is it a feeling? How do you know when you’re experiencing it?

For me, joy is often a quiet inner knowing; a feeling that bubbles up from deep within and expands until it bursts out all around me. The whole world seems brighter and lighter in that moment and I feel like I’m being carried on the wind.

Sometimes I experience joy in certain places, or with specific people. Other times, it comes upon me unexpectedly. I find it’s elusive, hard to define, yet unmistakable when it arrives.

What brings you joy?


Flying across the water, wind in the sails … that’s joy!

Play Time

Shhhh! Don’t tell anyone. I’ve been playing around with markers again. 🙂

Yes, I know I “should” be working. But all work and no play makes for a dull life, doesn’t it?

Here’s the latest result of my joy-filled, playful pastime.

black and white abstract art

Joy in Motion ~ escherly design

What do you see?


When you look at the photo, what do you see?

A page that is empty?

Or a page that is FULL … of endless possibilities?

blank page and marker pen

One hand, one pen, one imagination = endless possibilities!

Just For Today

Our lives can be so busy and demanding. It’s easy to get distracted by worry, or stuck in what “could have, would have, should have” been.

It helps me to remember each morning that it’s a brand new day.

A fresh start.

A clean page.

The world awaits in all its sparkling glory, and so I begin anew.

ocean and sky

Today is always a new day. ~ Photo by Julie Wise

Still Learnin’

Last week, as we were out enjoying a lovely sail, the wind began to shift and pick up. We took one sail down and the wind got stronger, so we decided it was time to head back to the marina.

As my partner reached down and over to pull the cord to start the motor, a rogue wind caught the main sail and sent the boat onto its edge. I was at the helm and the tiller flew out of my hand. I had the sudden image of my partner going headfirst into the water with me not far behind.

In my panic, I said some unprintable things very loudly, while he calmly reached over and let out the main sail. The boat righted itself with ease.

Under normal circumstances, I know to do that. But in the midst of momentary chaos, apparently my mind takes a leave of absence.

Guess I’m still learning! Aren’t we all?

And isn’t that the joy of living? So much still to learn 🙂

Sailing, sailing...

Sailing, sailing…


Letting Go

There are times when I try too hard to make things happen. That’s when I get a gentle reminder like this card.

From the Miracles Now card deck by Gabrielle Bernstein

From the Miracles Now card deck by Gabrielle Bernstein

Sometimes the most productive action you can take is to let go and see what’s possible.

Thursday’s Adventure

I read in a book recently a new definition for A.D.D. – Adventure Deficit Disorder. I can really identify with that!

So I decided to give myself an adventure today. I did something I’ve never done before.

I packed up my laptop and went to a coffee shop by myself for a few hours (adventures don’t have to be exotic, just different from the norm). While I was there, I read through a draft of a book I’d started to write a few years ago. It’s about my 3-month travels through Ireland, wandering, exploring, letting my heart and feet lead me onward. It’s based on notes I took during that time.

guidebook and journal

My Ireland Adventure – journal and guidebook

I sipped hot chocolate as I immersed myself in another time and place, while snow swirled outside the window. Pure bliss.

It was an adventure within an adventure!

Where will your next adventure take you?

Wednesday’s Gift

I love unexpected gifts, don’t you?

There’s such joy and pleasure in the moment of receiving (and giving), and in the anticipation of what delights a gift may hold.

This morning, I gave myself the gift of a good book and nothing to do but curl up and immerse myself in the world of imagination.

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

Moments to treasure.

What gift have you given yourself lately?