Savoring the Uniqueness of What Sparks Joy

Recently I noticed I hadn’t been writing in my Gratitude Journal much. For years, I wrote faithfully every evening 5 or more things for which I felt grateful. I am appreciative by nature, and I wasn’t sure what to make of this.

I decided to let it be without trying to figure it out. Shortly after that, I got excited about writing a few things every evening that had sparked joy for me during the day.

For some reason the distinction of writing a Sparking Joy Journal rather than a Gratitude Journal tickled me. Throughout the day, I love being on the lookout for joy sparkers. I love being surprised.

This from a woman who never used the word joy or liked surprises a few months ago. Go figure. I feel like my life is a treasure hunt. Without any angst about the hunt. There are so many things – big and small – that spark joy for me each day.

A few from today:

  • Hearing the connections my client and her staff were making as they explored their StrengthsFinder strengths together as a team, as a family.
  • The feel of laying on the ground, noticing the Earth holding me.
  • Being interviewed about Strong from Within.
  • Jasmine, my cat, crawling up my chest and putting her paws together in prayer pose right on my heart.
  • The road graders coming to fix the rain damage on our road.

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And, these beautiful wild four o’clocks. Such joy.

Earlier in the summer, I had bought annuals for my big pots on the patio. Between the periodic hail and intense sun, many of the plants are long gone and the ones hanging on don’t look too good.

Today, I noticed the beauty of the four o’clock plants that just sprung up and require nothing of me. I learned they are the wild, high desert version of the four o’clocks I loved as a kid growing up in Denver. They are all around me here. And I just noticed them!

What about you? What have you noticed recently that sparks joy for you? How might you bring more awareness to noticing your joy sparkers?

(Excerpted from my forthcoming book, “Strong from Within: Simple perceptions and practices for returning to the joy of you“)

I would love your thoughts and responses. Post comments and insights below . . .

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Ann Strong, founder of Strong from Within and Thriving Coaches.

Author of Thriving Work.


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