Joy Is All Around

Have you ever been surprised by joy? Picture yourself loading up a canoe with folding chairs and a picnic, and paddling off to a small island.

You arrive, unload the canoe, and set up your chairs. Lo and behold…attached to one of the folding chairs is the chrysalis of a Monarch butterfly!

Just look at the perfection, and the detail, the tiny decorations of gold on the soft green. Only in nature can you find such beauty and magic. And be moved to tears of joy at the wonder of it all.

the chrysalis of a Monarch butterfly

The perfect design of a Monarch’s chrysalis ~ photo by Julie Wise

The Meaning of Life

I used to think that I needed to do a lot of soul searching, look for the deeper meaning in my life, find the “reason” I was on this earth.

While I still believe that self-reflection and slowing down to see things from a new perspective is important, I’ve come to recognize that life’s messages surround us every day. We don’t have to look very far at all.

Recently we were checking into a hotel in a small town. A splash of vibrant colour caught my eye and I glanced over to see this card sitting in a holder on the reception desk. I picked it up, intrigued by the message. On the back, it reads “Keep or pass along to a friend as a reminder to always choose love.”

Although I have kept the card, I’m now passing along the message to you…always choose love. For me that, if anything, is the true meaning of life.

card

Always choose love.

 

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!

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

Giving Thanks

This weekend in Canada, we celebrated Thanksgiving.

There are so many things to be thankful for…family, friends, good health, the beauty that surrounds us, walks in nature, a country at peace.

And this weekend’s weather: picture perfect!

trees changing colour

A Canadian Thanksgiving postcard moment!

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…

 

Photo Frenzy

Over the weekend, I had the joy and pleasure of being near Lake Ontario. I did a lot of walking, and took photos galore. I’ll share some of my more memorable ones in the weeks to come. For now, here are two that speak to me of spring and new beginnings.

green grass

How green was my valley! Photo by Julie Wise

leaves cropped

Life anew. Photo by Julie Wise