In these last days of summer, our house is full of family, people and things are everywhere. Plates of food with warm stone fruit next to plates of food with fried rice. People yelling each other’s names from across the tiny house. I am grateful and full of connection.
Mind you, I am also an introvert, and I took a few days out alone, away from all my family before this next batch of sweetness arrived. I needed time to connect first to myself, to say “oh hello there Annie.” I needed time to be outside. My body and being need time near the water in stillness to recalibrate my inner compass. I am grateful for a supportive partner who did the household preparations for a month of family time so that I could have alone time. I am grateful for the moments we can be outside in the woods or near a river.
Now, in this house full of people from 80 to 4 years old, I am feeling joy. I am feeling the joy of good food, of laughter, of stories shared with our son. I am delighting in the feeling of creating a life with this wild family.
And when I was alone with my thoughts, books, and a shoreline, I felt joy. I felt the joy that comes when you notice the sound of water moving at the same time as a bird call.
It is not all sunshine and ease, we’ve had major changes in life plans in the last month that caused stress. We are navigating the fires and the virus with apprehension and sadness. We are listening to the news from around the world and our own town – people navigating devastation and loss of life, lands, homes, and rights. We are fielding phone calls from friends and family about illnesses.
This is to say – the connection is essential. Amid all the changes, and our own and other’s fights for a safer and more just world – we need to remember our connections to each other, to ourselves, to the natural world, to our experiences, our breaths, our stories, and the bigger picture.
And the connections lead to joy. And we all need joy. Joy is a reminder of delight and “aliveness” in the middle of the mess and the heartaches.
This week think about using connection as a source of joy.
What do you need to connect to right now to make a little room for joy?
Who do you need to connect to now?
Want to dive deeper into what joy can be and how to access it? Here is a quick video for you to go further into this practice and how to apply it even in a work setting.
Guess what? I asked a few amazing communities I am a part of what they do to build joy. The answers form an inspiring list you can use to build joy & connection into your life anytime – especially when you need it most.
Looking for genuine connections in your professional life?
Clear Harbor is a community of fellow leaders who practice equity and make room for joy!
Get on the waitlist before the doors open in September.