So next month I’m going to center on Joy. It’s the Sept. word of the month. I started months ago searching for this one, because I believe joy can be so illusive. People can say they have it but u until it’s full & encompassing your entire being I don’t really believe you have it, completely.
I’ve had a few joyful moments this month, and last month and so now I believe I can write about it with some experience.
Here are a few of my beliefs about true joy:
1. True joy involve gratefulness as a practice.
I don’t believe you can be truly appreciative of joy until you learn how to practice gratefulness. An appreciation of the big and the small is the requirements for joy, then giving thanks for its source .
2. Joy involves elation.
You must participates with something that makes you feel the elation over the course of a few hours or days or as part of an experience. True joyfulness stays within, and it lasts and it makes those things you enjoy desire to maintain and ebb and flow. A way to capture and continue in that pattern is what you desire to take in the future . True joyfulness involves meaning – making and reflection.
3. Joy is an experience . It has to register as something that makes you fulfilled, and involves the senses: touch , taste, smell, hearing and sight. It might be that all of these are expressed and or experienced at once, or they come in waves. Yet they are present.
And as the days go along in September, I’ll share the joy.
Stay tuned and engaged this September. I’m thinking i’m going to learn a lot.🌺
“Take your everyday ordinary life – your sleeping, eating, going to work and walking around life and place it as an offering before God.”
So, I was here today… Making a surrender inventory. I read about in a book i was reading and here are all the categories, below.
Completing my own surrender inventory was pretty tough. I had to be pretty truthful with myself. I am learning the more transparency we allow in our lives, helps us to grow and change and be OPEN to change. The less transparency we allow, the more we are stagnant.
To “Surrender” means: one who’s will and affections are yielded to the power,control or possession of another’s influence – on demand. Whoa. (Vulnerable moment.) I really didn’t like the ‘demand’ part, but then I thought about it, and reasoned that maybe, just maybe doing something because there is a demand for it, makes it all the more valuable to surrender to. (For instance, without supply – demand doesn’t exist, right?) Hmmm…
One cannot give freely what is not REQUIRED. Selah.
So here were the categories and I will choose to write ‘with transparency’ on my blog: * Social /Relational *Mental *Physical *Emotional * Family and Faith
Spiritual Growth *Personality & Character Faults *Vocation/Avocation * Entrepreneurial * Life Purpose/Calling *Self Image / Maturity.
So here are mine: I. Social /Relational: Surrendering to a challenge to be with respectable & acceptable partners. (Vulnerability, Lack of Authenticity, Passive Aggressiveness)
I have spoken about vulnerability on several occasions and I can say this: the fact of surrender gets magnified ten times and looks all the more scary, when we are afraid of being vulnerable, yet the rewards are AWESOME. Your life is enriched, its more full and alive, and you experience much more sincerity and can offer it as well.
Brené Brown says :
II. My Mental Life : (Abilities , Control/Manipulation, Failures, Hope, Dreams, Longings & Struggles.) Surrendering to a mature perspective takes a WILLINGNESS from deep within. I cannot surrender to anything outside of my own perspective unless I am at first willing. And that takes maturity in my perspective. Where do you gain mature respective ? I read , talk to my sisters, & choose to be vulnerable with the mentors in my life.
III. Physical : (My Body,My Energy Level Safety, Pain, Image-bearing, Perfection, Busyness). MY energy level has been a MAJOR challenge for me, especially when I leave from work, and have an entire evening to continue with. If I am exhausted, sometimes I have to just stop and allow myself to be.
IV. Family (, Mothering, Intimacy, Spouse, Stepfamily, Miscarriage, Empty Nest.) Surrendering to my family & spouse looks like: Yielding. I have found that yielding to anyone, helps them know you are not their enemy, so why waste the energy, anyway? Yielding takes practice & discipline but it makes you the better person, always.
V. Emotional:( Release All feelings Regret, Self hate, Shame, Fear, in order to live Authentically. .) Surrendering to fear really shows where your strength is. I have had to do this several times, but what was really on the other side was: COURAGE.
VI. Spiritual Growth and Faith : (Via your Spiritual Journal, Forgiveness, Spiritual Disciplines & Spirit-Perspective /Practice – Spiritual Disciplines are VERY HARD to do. Yet so rewarding and bring so much RESOLVE when we relent. Spending a good amount of time with your spiritual discipline here- allows your soul to shine.
VII. Service – Involve Yourself !
Give. In whatever way makes sense. You extending a part of yourself allows you to become a better person. Michelle Obama sacrifices her profession to follow her husband’s dream. What she did not sacrifice was her family. She gave up her dream to become the Nation’s most honored woman.
VIII. Your Personality & Character Strengths : Bitterness, Resentments & Your Peace : (had to get that one in!) Bitterness – (used to have it, used to have it!) And boy did it eat me up! I was so bitter, I spewed out venom! Naw, I really was mean though, at one point in my life. But it stole my peace so much, I decided it took MUCH MORE ENERGY to hold onto it, than it did to LET IT GO.
IX. Vocation/Avocation: ( Have you surrendered this part of your life to Being in Purpose?)
What does purpose look like in this season for you
My 1 word is working me. Every year in January, Mentor My Sister Participants choose 1 word to carry throughout the year. Amazing .. the power of words . Taking you can express an intention, use a word to offer you direction, and things just take flight. Before 2020 ended, I was able to find a word I really needed in my soul for the soul’s sake.🦋
I just really, really needed a word that could help me through the year – feel “together”. I’d relocated and needed to have a place to rest.
Rest can be illusive, so that’s why my ‘great ask’ was to be settled… then “Placed.” Settled was something I needed more as I’d been uprooted from everything I need as community, awesome church home, great friends, work I really loved doing, (yet not perfect and ideal…) and just an overall sense of contentment. Yet I’m realizing that contentment is not often enough.
There’s also joy.
You can be happy; yet not have fulfilling work. You can be content without feeling as if you’re fulfilled. When you’re settled, you have this inner joy that lasts. It just helps to be in a place that feels like good shoes. Like those you never want to let go.
(Have you ever had those kind of shoes?) Yes….
Am I speaking of peace, or something else?
Not sure yet. I’m not quite there . The closest I’ve come has been ‘inner joy.’
I chose to interview a few of my sisters who were ivotal for me during my Red Sea Situations.( That’s the name of my book, by the way)…
Michele is a wife and mother of six, near Cleveland, Ohio.
I met Michele at Howard University, it appear in the hallway in my final year, but I don’t recall that. (She does, however.)
Somehow , several years later God saw fit to allow our paths to cross again at a conference she attended in New York. At the women’s conference and we just clicked.I knew with the wisdom pouring out of this woman’s mouth, I needed to stay in touch.
Michele has been a spiritual mentor and a stabilizing force for me, and often a prayer partner. And for that, I honor her and I just wanted to display some of her thoughts about spiritual care and how she keeps her life sane.
Here are a few questions I asked her recently in a questionnaire:
Do you seek out moments of inspiration during the week? What does that look like for you?
Yes. I have moments of inspiration. Those moments come from anything from a song to a video lesson to music scripture , prayer, etcetera. It can also come from a message or email of a daily word. Generally, it looks like something along those lines. Of course during prayer, I receive flashes of inspiration as well.
How often during the week do you notice your inner experience—listen to your thoughts, judgments, beliefs, attitudes, and feelings ?
I notice my inner experience on a daily basis throughout the day. As I write, make decisions etcetera, I notice that the clarity, guidance and direction from God, and tune into my ability to hear from the Holy Spirit as I go throughout the day. I decrease stress with prayer, yoga, Taekwondo, meditation and visualization, singing , praise and worship music, and also listening to inspirational messages. I try very hard not to allow anything to get in the way of those as mental peace and clarity are very important to me. Time constraints and family demands can vie for my attention and get in the way. However, I have tried very hard to make God and my time with him first priority. I also try to establish activities that are calming for me and utilize that time to do do those activities with family members whenever possible.
How often do you spend time with others whose company you enjoy ?
Daily, as a part of prayer and often while driving. Generally, God is my help but He often seems confirmation through friends.
Thanks Michele for sharing your message of peace and mental clarity. We often take that for granted.