Power of Joy

Awakening Joy Cover

I’ve been reading this awesome book called “Awakening Joy: 10 Steps That Will Put You On The Road to Real Happiness” and this seemed like a good day to write about the main idea that this books talks about, which has to do with taking the time to notice one’s own gratitude. I know how easy it is on Valentine’s Day to think about what we don’t have, what we have lost, to have a nice big pity party for ourselves. I know. I’ve been there.

I have always loved Valentine’s Day. It was a day that my parents loved, giving us small treats, like a package of sesame crackers or a bag full of pistachios. It was a simple day when they always told us how much they loved us. I have tried over the years to keep up the tradition with my kids. Cupcakes, sweet tarts, a special dinner out. This year, we are going to see Michael and his fiance in an improv show.

The book talks about spending time each day to either write in a journal or send an email to a friend (a joy buddy) detailing the things that you have appreciated throughout the day. In taking the time to notice, you actually begin to re-wire your brain for happiness. It’s so simple and easy. It’s only 11 am, but here are my many for the day:

  • Turning on Carter’s light at 6:45am to see Millie curled up in his arms
  • The look of rapture on Millie’s face when I fed her her daily slices of banana.
  • Sending my family Valentine ecards from this awesome site
  • Talking to my mom on the phone about the book above
  • Finding out that Michael and his girlfriend Lindsay got engaged this weekend
  • Having Deirdre and Rose come by looking like drowned rats from walking in the rain so we could organize our fun Valentine kid evening.

Carter and Millie
Carter and Millie

I have to say, just writing out that list put a smile on my face. So if you are sitting at home feeling left out this Valentine’s, try to find something you are grateful for, or do something that you know will make you happy. Buy a flower, a potent lily perhaps, one that will make your house smell like spring. Be sure to take the time to really enjoy the perfume.

What are you grateful for this Valentine’s Day?

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  1. Rebecca Young February 14, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    That book sounds like a good read, I’ll have to look into it. After my husband died I vowed to buy myself fresh flowers each week but that didn’t last long. The thought was there though.

    1. Abigail - Site Author February 16, 2011 at 7:24 pm

      I know. Best intentions, right? Maybe just imagining the flowers is enough? 🙂

  2. Lala February 14, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    Whoa! Michael and Lindsay are engaged? That’s the best news!!!!!! How happy they must be.
    Enjoy your Valentine’s Day. Mine’s going to be mel-low. Maybe just a bottle of wine and a movie at home. I did buy some cheerful yellow daffodils to brighten our home. 🙂

    1. Abigail - Site Author February 16, 2011 at 7:23 pm

      Oops. Sorry to let that cat out of the bag! Hope you had a nice V-day.

  3. Rebecca February 15, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    Thank you sooooo much Abby for the reminder. I am grateful for coffee in the morning, soft rain that washes my car, school break coming up, and a son excited about poetry!

    Last night, I was thankful for Young Adults Group that met in our Healing Center even though the rain was coming down sideways and traffic was unbelievable.

    1. Abigail - Site Author February 16, 2011 at 7:25 pm

      Love your list. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Michael February 16, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    Thanks for coming to the show (kids in tow), thanks for the joyous congratulations, and thanks for your amazing, rock-solid, life/love-affirming friendship.

    Abby, thank you.

    1. Abigail - Site Author February 16, 2011 at 7:26 pm

      it was a great show. Fun to see Lindsay in action. She was hilarious! And thanks for your friendship as well. It’s been a blessing.

  5. Cathy February 24, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    I really feel Valentine’s Day is all about celebrating love in ALL it’s forms, not just romantic love! I try not to think about the fact that I’m no longer part of a couple on Valentine’s Day, I just want to be grateful for the love that IS in my life. Sounds like you feel the same way, hope it was a good one!

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