The Road Less Traveled

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
~ Excerpt from The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost
path into woods

Into The Woods…photo by Julie Wise

And I’m Back!

I haven’t posted here for a while, although that doesn’t mean I haven’t been out there finding joy 🙂

Last night, for example, a friend and I went to a Paint Nite, an event where a group of people spend a couple of hours painting, guided by an artist. We all work on the same picture although we have our own canvases. It was a lot of fun.

I used to paint with watercolours but I’ve never tried other media. We worked with acrylics which, to my delight, are far more forgiving and easy to work with than watercolours!

And here’s my “masterpiece”.

painting of a desert night sky

Desert Night ~ by Julie Wise

What matters to me most is that we had fun – no pressure and lots of laughter. Definitely a night to remember!

Embrace!

It’s Valentine’s Day. A day for sharing loving thoughts with those around you. Just wondering…how often do you treat yourself with loving kindness? When you look in the mirror, do you see beauty and joy? Or do you notice extra weight here, a few new wrinkles there, maybe some gray hairs peeking through?

I’ve been following Taryn Brumfitt on Instagram (@bodyimagemovement), an Australian who joyfully embraces all that she is. Through her documentary film “Embrace”, she encourages all of us to recognize that our bodies are “the vehicle to our dreams”.

Tonight, in honour of Valentine’s Day, she has organized a “Girls’ Night In” across North America. You can download her film on iTunes or Google Play or Amazon, watch it at 8pm EST with thousands of people across the continent, and join her for a Q & A session after on social media.

What are your plans for Valentine’s Day? Maybe it’s a good night to snuggle up with the one you love, or host a get-together with friends and check out “Embrace”! I know I will.

poster for Embrace documentary

A Valentine’s Day special just for you!

Sunny Days

After almost a month of days of endless gray, the sun peeked out through the clouds yesterday. I’d forgotten how bright and warm even winter days can be when the sun is shining.

I stood by the window, eyes closed, and soaked up the rays for the few minutes that it shone. Such joy!

And captured the brilliance on the sun-kissed blossoms of my bougainvillea.

bougainvillea blooms

Sun-kissed bougainvillea. Photo by J. Wise

Daily Joy

If you’re open to it, each day is full of surprises and moments of joy. Today, for example, on a bitterly cold winter’s morning, we suddenly noticed a flock of birds flitting back and forth among the trees.

Curious, we took out the binoculars to get a closer look.

Robins, a bird we normally identify with the return of spring, were happily flying about the snow-laden trees.

A surprise that brought a smile, as well as a shake of the head. Did they miss the memo about flying south for the winter?

robin on branch in winter

A robin on January 8, 2017!

Today I Choose Joy Over Fear

I’m not American. I don’t live in the United States. I didn’t vote in the election. In fact, right now I’m on the other side of the globe.

However, I did hear the collective gasp that reverberated around the world following the election results. And I continue to hear fearful comments today.

Now, more than ever, it’s important to focus on joy and possibility. Find it within yourself, your day, your world. Cherish and appreciate the moments of joy and beauty. Share your joy through images and words so that others may feel uplifted and inspired.

We are all connected. Let’s choose to make the connection a joy-filled one. And, yes, it does make a difference.

woman on a swing

A joyous moment under blue skies

Double-Dare You!

Sometimes a song or video captivates me and fills me with joy. If it’s music, it makes me want to get up and move, sing like no one’s listening (trust me, it’s better than no one listens…I have no musical ability!), and let loose.

In such moments, joy fills me to overflowing.

Here’s one of those videos, shared with me by a friend (ignore the political affiliation, watch the moves, and let the beat take over).

I double-dare you to watch it and not feel joy, exhilaration, and vibrant happiness 🙂

Go ahead…try and stop your toes from tapping!

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?

sailing

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

Joy is…

One my my many joys is driving my Mini. I smile every time I see it. It makes me feel happy inside. Plus it’s so much fun to drive (especially on roundabouts)!

Another joy is having matching black and white accessories 😉

Mirror covers and car by Mini Canada; capris and clutch by escherly design. Such joy!

me and my Mini

Mini me!