Sunday, October 23, 2016

Joy Journal~ Day 23

Good Sunday Morning!

I wanted to share some joy first thing before my day gets too crazy! Have you ever been minding your own business, surfing the internet and something wallops you? Like, knocks you down and makes you feel so grateful that another human being has a wonderful story to tell?

It's only 7:15 am but I have started laundry, fed the cats, made breakfasts, kissed one kiddo goodbye as he heads out for a day of gigs, had some meditation and prayer time and then turned to the internet. This article started it off... The Malibu Juice Magnate

Photo from the New York Times
This is Khalil Rafati. I am not sharing his entire story. You can read it yourself. I will say this, though, AMAZING! It's a story of work and drive and then, addiction and hopelessness and back to health, wellness and entrepreneurial-ship.

Reading this story brought me joy. Witnessing another human with struggles as he turns the corner and creates a welcoming space, as he becomes of service and learns that his experiences truly can be for the greater good. You can read about his story in the article linked above or get his book I Forgot to Die.

Besides, juice, health, wellness, all goes hand-in-hand as we honor our place in this world and give gratitude to our maker for our wonderful, amazing bodies.

Just a tidbit to share this morning! Have a great Sunday and do something healing for yourself today. A long walk, fresh air, a healthy meal, some fresh juice...


Saturday, October 22, 2016

Joy Journal~October 16-22

Hope you are ready for some joy over load! The past week has actually been pretty amazing around my house. We have had our ups and downs and everything in between but it never ceases to amaze me how Spirit continues to work in every single little crevice, every crack and make his presence known.

Sunday began with some grocery shopping time! We are still doing Whole30 and feeling the results every day! Our schedules of cravings, stomach issues and pants sizes are pretty much following the book! Nice to know we are normal in some ways, right!?! Anyway, I LOVE seeing all of the colors of fresh fruits and veggies....

Monday's joy came with breakfast. Early. Chopping. Creating. Good smells from the kitchen...

Tuesday was an entirely different ball game. I am working with someone who is in transition. Moving from depression and heart ache to health and wellness. I accompanied them on their first visit to a mental health screen and the doctor handed him this on the way out...

Yep. A scripture verse. My friend was not quite willing to open up to a higher power but I found great joy in the fact that a health care professional would go so far as to care about the spiritual journey as well as the physical one. This was the message...
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.
Wednesday's joy was fun and exciting and one of service. I returned to Cooking Matters (sponsored by the Lowcountry Foodbank) as a nutritional consultant and am currently working with a group of moms who are interested in learning new techniques to feed their kiddos. It brings me so much joy to discuss healthy foods and eating the rainbow and snack

I woke up early Thursday morning and the world seemed to be enveloped in a deep, thick fog. I could hear the tug boat horns on the water and everything was covered in a blanket of mist...Isn't it strange how we can feel the presence of Spirit in the most amazing ways? I spent the day surrounded in this peaceful, fog...

Creative Mornings Charleston was definitely the beginning of a joy filled Friday! It was a panel discussion on the Food & Beverage Industry in Charleston. If you haven't heard of Creative Mornings, definitely check it out! Especially if you are a young, 20-something hipster...I feel old enough to be Mom to most everyone involved but it is such a unique and fun-filled environment! The workshops don't always resonate with me but when they are of interest, I go.  

Joy also found us later in the day as we had lunch at the Crab Shack and spent some time on Folly Beach.  This book accompanied my afternoon of sand and sun.....more joy!

Today is another joy-filled morning already! Saturday. October 22nd. My house is asleep. The coffee is hot....even though it is missing the sugar to stay Whole30 compliant. I have spent some time journaling, reading and having an amazing breakfast. I am still seeking joy but I have discovered that every moment I spend pondering my joy is one less moment I spend pondering my struggles and my difficulties. That, I believe, is truly living in the moment. Seeking joy. Letting go of the struggles. Allowing. Joy.

I hope your week-end is filled with joy moments, hot coffee, sunny weather, beach strolls, good books, farmers markets and lots of deep, belly breathing fresh air!  

Happy Saturday~

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Joy Journal Days 12~15

If you have been keeping up with Charleston Treasures lately, you know that I have been using the month of October to document my moments of joy in the form of my JOY JOURNAL! Each day, I am in search of whatever brings lightness to my heart and joy to my soul. It has definitely been a seeker's journey so far.

Wednesday was my 12th day of seeking joy. This is the sunshine coming into my bedroom after my morning work out...

I sat in those striped shadows for a few moments and felt overwhelming peace. My 13th Joy Journal entry was super simple. My youngest son flew in from Boston for a long week-end. Nothing is better than the chicks coming home to roost....and eat and be loud and see their friends and turn the house upside down. Joy.

For years, I have tried dedicated myself to a daily walk. It is my way of re-centering and expressing gratitude for the body I have been given. Lately, that walk has consisted of nearly three miles. I time it and try to improve the time daily. Some days the path varies but I usually end up with at least part of the walk making my way through the gardens of Hampton Park. Friday morning, this flower caught my eye.

A bloom in the middle of trees, limbs, brush and hurricane debris. One single, beautiful red bloom. Joy. If in fact this single tree can blossom in the midst of what has been chaotic weather, surely I can continue to blossom amidst my own struggles and imperfections? Joy.

Lastly, I leave you with this. Today is National Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Day. This is a silent topic. So many women I know have experienced a miscarriage, tubal pregnancy or loss of a pregnancy and it goes undiscussed. Unshared. Hidden pain. 

I myself had two miscarriages in the mid-90's and, of course, the late-pregnancy loss at the beginning of this past September. Women and couples often don't share their grief. It goes unannounced, ungrieved and unaccepted. The process of working through this sort of pain is a long one. I say this from experience. I also share this beautiful painting with you...

The two souls that left my body years ago seemed lost to me until I began working Jennifer Michaels. She works as an energy healer and intuitive. She is also an incredible artist and painter and did the work above while connecting with the souls of those two babies. 

Yes, I know. Some of you out there don't put a lot of faith in these types of spiritual practices. Regardless of your thoughts and opinions, this painting has brought me considerable comfort and joy. It hangs in my bedroom and is a constant reminder that I am never alone and that these two souls had a very definite purpose of joining me even for a short while.

If you know someone who has lost a pregnancy, reach out. Speak to them and simply offer them the space to communicate. Don't comment, share your opinions or try to make it easier. Just listen. Send them a hand-written card and share their grief. That grief eventually becomes easier to handle. I personally had some people send written notes and those were highly comforting during this recent grieving process.

Today, I share the joy of my three losses and my beautiful soul painting by Jennifer. Joy is in every situation but sometimes, it definitely requires looking. Deep looking. This painting is my joy for today as I keep all of the women and couples who have experienced a loss of pregnancy. Pray for them and me! Prayers and healing light ALWAYS helps!

Blessings to all of you for a magnificent week-end! I will be spending it with my kids, hubby and some beautiful Charleston weather~


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Joy Journal Days 10 & 11

I am still in recovering mode but I believe that the air is clearing and my heart rate is finally settling. Hurricanes will do that to the best of us!

I am liking the idea of this Joy Journal, though. It grows on me daily as I continue to pay attention to when I feel joy!

This tile brought me joy yesterday...

I was finishing my shower and the sun came out. Shining right through the window, through the shower door and making this one piece of tile turn bright purple. It caught my eye and my brain began thinking- I want to be like that piece of tile changing colors with the sun. Adapting. Glowing. Standing out.

The sunlight made my heart feel so much joy. I felt covered in love and surrounded in peace. Isn't it strange how when we keep our eyes open for peace and joy, we discover it in unique places throughout the day?

Today, joy is coming through a 30 day experiment...

As some of you know, the last month has kind of been one of mourning. I have allowed myself to sleep, eat, cry and generallly, feel my feelings. Some days, I've been just a hot mess while others, I've felt pretty put together. We all deal with grief differently but I surely didn't want to push it down and ignore it as I have tended to do in the past!

It is definitely time to reboot and regain some focus. Food always plays a part in my daily structure so, I decided to reach out for something new.

Whole30 basically takes out dairy, grains, alcohol and processed foods. Dairy and processed foods aren't in my diet. Alcohol has most definitely returned after nine months of skipping it and grains are a constant. So, time for a reboot! Skipping alcohol and reworking my diet to skip the grains for 30 days. We will see how it goes...

Anyway, structure is good and it makes me feel centered, at peace and joyful!

Hope you are having an amazing Tuesday and seeking joy at every joy!


Monday, October 10, 2016

Joy Journal Days 7, 8 and 9

We survived Hurricane Matthew. Typing those words almost feels surreal. If you have ever lived through a hurricane, you'll know what I mean. The emotions that accompany such an act of nature are pretty incredible. We knew it was coming but even the preparations didn't stop it from feeling so overwhelming.

On Friday, my 7th Joy Journal day, we hunkered down and waited. We had food, water and extra supplies. Candles, flashlights and all of that stuff but we felt disconnected. We were still reeling from the impromptu flights back from Europe and we were mildly jet-lagged.

We decided to hop in the car and head out to see what was open for lunch. The weather wasn't supposed to really begin until around midnight. The mister had called around on the peninsula and one place was open. Gaulart & Maliclet, also known as Fast & French. You can read my past blog post on it here. I have loved this place since my first visit.

This was my joy moment on Friday, the day of the hurricane... We ordered Croque Monsieurs and icy cold beers and chatted with those around us. A single lady from three blocks away. A wedding party that had refused to cancel but couldn't actually marry until the hurricane left. A few odd stragglers like us hoping for what might be a last hot meal for a while. A french trio trying to make sense of the alerts and evacuations.

As I listened to the banter, the camaraderie, I realized that we were very much NOT alone in our anticipation. I felt surrounded almost protected by others who had been through this before. Joy. Acceptance and not so alone in the face of what would most definitely be a long evening ahead.

Late into the night, the rain began and the winds picked up. Pots of coffee later, we still had power, our house was standing upright, and dawn began to light the dark, angry skies. We didn't lose power but our cable and internet left us as did parts of our fence. Fear was only underlying until the trees started falling and then, I was overwhelmed and panicked. The worst came in those early morning hours of daylight as we prayed that our live oaks and pecan trees would remain standing. They did but lost several large branches none of which landed on our home or buildings. The force and sheer power of these moments will not be leaving my memory any time soon!

Joy did not come to me on Saturday until late afternoon as the heaviest of the winds finally subsided. We slid into shoes and began walking the streets with so many of our neighbors. We surveyed the damage while trying to avoid the flooded areas. We compared stories. We were among survivors and the stories were unending. Joy came again in the form of community. I felt the stories of those we met. I understood their anxiety, their disillusion as they shared their lack of electricity, falling tree stories, wind that knocked over garage doors, fencing and light sheds...Community. Safe community.

At this point, I became grateful to be one of the ones who had stayed. Grateful to have been able to witness such raw power and see the damage and feel the gratitude of those in our neighborhood for being led to the other side of this ordeal. It was an ordeal. It was definitely a night that will live on in my memory for quite some time.

Sunday's joy came early and quickly and easily. We all threw on sweats and headed out to begin clean up. We bagged leaves, sawed the bigger limbs, created piles of debris and bagged trash. Our fence will get repaired. The amazing joy moments came as we, again, walked the streets in our neighborhood basking in the sunshine and breathing in the clean air. The entire neighborhood felt cleansed, refreshed. People were out talking, comparing stories and beginning the process of putting things back together. There will always be joy in community for me. We survived along with so many great neighbors!

It is interesting that I was guided to offer October as Joy Journal month. What a strange beginning to one of my favorite months. Fall is a wonderful season. The weather changes, the sweaters come out, the pumpkin scented candles are lit. The trips to Europe are cut short. The city is inundated with water and high winds...

The fact remains that joy can fill every single day as long as we are on the lookout for it! I hope you are actively seeking your joy each and every day. It's there. Uncover it. Bask in it. Be grateful for each tiny slice of joy that comes your way.

More later and if you are traveling back to the area, be safe. Expect traffic. Trees are definitely still blocking roads, power lines are still down and Charleston is just beginning to regroup~

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Joy Journal Day 5 & 6

Yesterday's joy came easily but was a day long endeavor. We took a water taxi at 3:30 am to the Venice mainland, drug our luggage through the 15 walkway to board a plane to Amsterdam. From there, we flew to JFK in New York and finally, on to Charleston.


Blue skies and fluffy clouds greeted us we landed in our own city. Joy flooded me and Charleston welcomed us back. 

We cut our trip short to get home ahead of hurricane Matthew. Joy. Gratitude. Pilots. Flights. A very long day that ended in joy. 

Switzerland will just have to wait until our next trip to Europe. We were glad to be home and close to those we love most in the world. 

Today, we are catching up on sleep and preparing for the hurricane. We have done laundry, stocked water, food, toilet paper, fire wood, and tried to be present in the midst of this hurricane chaos.

This moment was the one that brought me joy today....


Watching these two fur babies nap while  folding laundry, I realized that they are completely secure in the knowledge that we will take good care of them. They have faith in us- the same faith that we are required to have in times of trouble. All will be well and we are watched over, taken care of, blessed.

That kind of trust brings joy. Currently, we are resting and waiting for whatever comes next with our crazy weather. I will try to have the faith of our kitties and, hopefully,  experience the joy that comes with it.

Blessings to anyone in the path of Hurricane Matthew. Stay safe~


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Joy Journal Day 4


My day began on a beautiful terrace overlooking the Grand Canal with sunshine, coffee and breakfast. We never stay anywhere that does not offer breakfast. I'm a pretty easy-going traveler but I don't sleep anywhere that doesn't serve breakfast!

Why? Because I wake up starving and in need of coffee and food within that first 90 minutes. I don't kid! My poor mister has been around those few times that we had to shower, dress and leave a hotel in search of breakfast. Trust me- this scenario never ends in a good way.

Joy came early! Two days in a row within that first hour, I was feeling joy pulsing through my veins. I got to sit in the sunshine with a beautiful plate of breakfast, hot coffee and gondoliers singing as they started their day. It was an amazing, joyful way to begin the day.  

My joy is simple to discover each day as I am currently (obviously) on vacation but the real test, I'm sure, will be as we return to our everyday reality. And, it looks like we will be traveling to the east coast at about the same time as Hurricane Matthew...That should make for interesting times to find joy!?!

Anyway, I leave you with this quote from Big Magic: CreativeLiving Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert. It's my favorite right now...


What jewels are buried within you? Do you know? Have you found them yet? This seems to be my journey right now and it is scary and exciting and definitely interesting. I guess I'll know when I know, right?

Anyway, today, while you are investigating those buried jewels, remember to seek out your JOY!

Blessings from Venice~
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