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Mindfulness: Noticing Joy

This month we settle into a new holiday season with fresh opportunities to live more mindfully.


Photo Credit: Children in the Snow, c. 1950’s, by Unosuke Gamou


One of the biggest costs of being Mindless, instead of Mindful, is the loss of opportunity.  One of those opportunities could be the chance to notice Joy.

Joyful moments can look like ecstatic celebrations or just the daily mundane pleasures of life that feel deeply contented. They always seem to have a sense of buoyancy.

No matter what our circumstances Joy can be found and en-joyed, taken in and absorbed into us. These intimate moments can be fleeting and the temptation to grasp can be strong.  Instead, just notice what you’ve encountered. Hold the moment with an open hand, heart, awareness. Download the memory, integrate the present feelings. Then, let it through. Have confidence that these shimmering sensations can be en-joyed again. 

Look for them. Savor them. Offer them. Be grateful.

Excerpt from Night Visions: Searching the shadows of advent and Christmas by Jan L. Richardson

We are dancing in the streets of the city of my college years.  The downtown is lit up for the holidays and the music blares as our feet repeatedly hit the hard surface of the street.  Tomorrow we will long for hot baths to soak the soreness from our legs, but tonight we are dancing at the Festival of Lights. 

In the years to come I will learn how necessary it is to keep dancing, how celebration is not a luxury but a staple of life, how in the grimmest moments I will need to take myself down to the closest festival at hand.  I will go not to drown my sorrow or to mask my despair or to ignore the real suffering of the world or of my own self.  I will go to beat out the message with my feet that in the darkness we are dancing, and while we are weeping, we are dancing, and our legs are aching, but we are dancing.  And under the night sky we are dancing, lighting a match to the shadows, we are dancing, starting to sing when they have stopped the music, we are dancing sending shock waves with our feet to the other side of the world, we are dancing still.

May you be Well
May you be Joyful
May you be at Peace

To view last week’s Mindful Monday, click here.

Lisa Wellington

Lisa Wellington is a Certified Mindfulness Teacher who writes about integrative practices that downshift stress, increase insight, and jumpstart joy.

She is best known for her work with law enforcement professionals as well as those challenged by housing instability and addiction. Trained in the Fine Arts at Washington State University, she specializes in group training that engages participants’ inherent creativity.

If she is not under a stack of books about psychology and spirituality, she can be found at a Puget Sound beach or nearby trail, always searching for the absurd, which is her superpower. 

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