Inspired by a fellow creative at the first Bedlam Farm Creativity Conference, I started making junk journals. These are a compilation of left over pieces of paper and boxes, cuttings from magazines, calendars, and catalogs, unused photographs, art prints, my own artwork, and random pictures and illustrations.
While making these journals, I allow synchronicity and spontaneity to take over. I quickly chose phrases and pictures to glue onto individual pages. Some were humorous, and some were philosophical. And yet, some were downright warped in perspective. After making two for myself I got the idea to make some for friends as Christmas gifts. It was a JOY to make each journal, with love, for the friend who would receive it, keeping in mind the things that meant a lot to each friend and reflections of who each one was as an individual. And that’s when I came up with the idea of calling them JOY JOURNALS. I invited each friend to note things that brought them joy throughout the days and weeks, hoping that we could have a JOY FEST at the end of 2016.
Here we are in mid February, and I am now on page twelve of my own joy journal. I keep it on my kitchen table where it serves as a daily reminder to look for the joy in my day. It is not a true journal or diary in the sense that I write long entries – some are phrases of just four to six words. It’s enough to capture the joy I see or feel and validate that I recognized it.
Joy is not always about being happy or having fun. It has a way of sneaking in between the cracks. Joy is more often internal than external and sometimes takes some serious probing to feel.
It’s too easy to get bogged down by negativity, allowing it to play over and over in our minds, like a broken record. It’s my thinking that if we permit ourselves to “listen” to the repetition of negativity that we empower it and allow it to permeate our very essence of being.
We take responsibility for choosing joy in our lives and affirming its power. By encouraging joy to become our natural mind set, it manifests in a myriad of ways in our lives.
Most of my friends find it amusing that I just started to drink coffee at the age of 67. Although I do make it at home, nothing beats a good cup of hot black coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts – no sugar, no cream, no nuttin’. Anyway, I think it is a little like eating a meal prepared by someone else; it always tastes better than when you make it yourself.
Recently, when I was staying at a friend’s home, she asked me what I wanted to drink for breakfast, and I replied, “CAW-fee.” (caw as in awe) My aunt who was a “New Yawker” always pronounced it this way, and I loved the way it sounded.
My friend, not immediately realizing that I was being funny, corrected me and said it was pronounced “COUGH-fee – like in cough, cough” I giggled, and said I actually preferred “CORE-fee.” She looked at me askance and realized that I was enjoying the word play.
I then proceeded to tell her that even though she pronounced it COUGH-fee, the sophisticates were known for saying, “KAH-fee.” (kah as in hat) By this time, she’d already measured out the Gevalia and plugged in the pot.
As the rich aroma filled the kitchen, I relinquished the word play and admitted that I really said “KOFF-ee.” (Koff as in coffin) – not that I was trying to bury the topic.
I just wanted my cup of JOE.
Every morning, without fail, my two pups arrive to help me get dressed. There’s no routine to this, mind you.
I used to think that it was the sound of the drawers being opened to retrieve my underwear and socks . . . so I tried opening those drawers v e r r r y quietly. Didn’t work. The girls still arrived to help me get dressed.
Then I tried putting my underwear out the night before . . . that failed too. I still had two black noses helping me put on my socks and slacks.
I tried sitting on my chair instead of the bed (thinking they heard the springs creak?) — no matter — chair or bed. The girls still arrived to assist.
It’s actually gotten to be funny.
I suppose it’s rooted in thinking that when Deb goes to put her clothes on that one of them will be “going to work.” (They’re both therapy dogs.)
But it has really made me think about intuition and that extra sensory perception that animals have retained. It doesn’t seem to matter when I get dressed or how I mix up the signals; my two wonderful pups, Hannah and Heidi, are devoted maids and love to help me get dressed.