My friend Sarah reminds me that joy is a radical act. Sarah is turning 80 this July. She is spry. Sharp. Has eyes that shine. Or glow. Makes a mean cup of coffee. Loves a dram of scotch in the evening. It’s her awareness that creates this alert vibe. She’s no stranger to the challenges of the world, nor her world. I love her to bits. A good chunk of our friendship and colleagueship over the years has been through being board members together with The Circle Way.
Joy as a radical act. That means joy as a choice. That means participating to create joy. Or to lift up the joy that already is, even when it resides in the same neighborhood as much pain and suffering. Joy becomes not something bestowed, but rather, created. Even claimed. Joy becomes an attentive disposition. It doesn’t deny difficulty. It just doesn’t forget that joy also lives both present and in incubation. It can be the small things. The coffee. The scotch. The playing Quidler together. The sun shining through the trees. Joy has such impact.
Now, I’m a facilitator. So much of my work with groups is to build and awaken more wisdom together. Joy is a pretty good path to get there. With my friend and colleague Quanita Roberson, we will often invite groups to a “Joy Ride.” It’s simple. We ask them to list 6-7 things they feel joy about. It can be anything. Kids. Concerts. Fresh bread. Zucchini in the garden. Then we might ask them to add 2-3 more to their list. Then we ask them to pick one and share more of the detail of it. It’s deliriously good.
Once joy is activated, with honesty, so much more becomes possible. Once joy is present, even the hard work takes on a different tone.
So, I love my friend Sarah for her orientation and playful determination. Behind that is her overarching love and wisdom. I love my friend Quanita for her smarts and playfulness to bring joy to groups in very serious things. That too is wise.
Joy, let’s never forget, is a radical act for times such as these.
Make your list. Six – seven things. Have fun with it. Add 2-3 more. No more than ten minutes for the making. Dwell in it. Share with a friend.
I’m gonna go make a list myself today.