I found this “Joy” at Target, which seems appropriate, since the store tends to bring me joy. Hang with me for a minute while I give you the background on Joy…
At the retreat I attended in Duluth, we played hide & seek. This seemed silly at the time, but we paired up (just like when you were a kid)… one person hid while the other was the seeker. Jodie Harvala, our retreat leader said, “If you feel like you are supposed to hide in the middle of the room, that’s ok.” And that’s what one person did – stood in the room with her arms wide open. (I think she was the first one found.) I recall mumbling to myself, “why couldn’t mine have been that easy!” I looked around the big meeting room but didn’t see my partner. I checked the bathroom and sauna but she wasn’t there. I went down to the bunk bed area where we were camping out, but she wasn’t there either. Back upstairs I went, feeling like a failure. “I stink at this, I must have no intuition….” This time I said it out loud. Jodie heard me and said, “Did you try asking where she is? Is she sending you signs?” I walked directly back downstairs and found her right away! She was hiding behind the coats, in the small/kids section. (She’s probably 6-8″ taller than me). When it was my turn to hide, I hid in the hall closet with the vacuum in the dark. Even though she was pretty sure I was in there, she still jumped when she found me.
We all laughed and got back together as a group. Then Jodie said something that was amazing to me. “The person hiding represents your JOY. What was your reaction? Where did you find it?” Wow. While I was looking for my joy, I found someone else’s joy and it scared me. I didn’t trust my intuition and doubted I’d find it. There it was, with the kids coats. Hearing that made my eyes a little misty… my kids are my joy. One person’s joy was right in front of her, waiting to be found. What started out as an intuition exercise turned into so much more and yet none of us had the same experience.
I purchased this joy as a reminder to me of that weekend and the experience. This time of year, we see lots of JOY signs – the kind in the picture and the other signs of joy that aren’t physical, but felt. I hope you will be on the lookout for joy. It might be in the cupcakes you deliver to your neighbor, the stranger’s coffee you purchase, the friendly cashier or server, the songs of children or the purr of a cat. If we slow down & really listen, maybe we can find it more easily. Or maybe it wasn’t hiding at all – it was standing in the room, arms wide open, just waiting for you to open your eyes.
Peace be with you on your journey of enough this holiday season. I truly hope you find your Joy!