Friday, December 15, 2023

The 15th thing I learned again -- allow joy to come into your life

Late summer flowers
watercolour and marker on 
watercolour paper
5.5 x 8.5 inches
Barbara Muir © 2017

Louise Hay once asked what word we would want to use
to define a year? In 2017  I chose the
word "joy." 2023 has
been a hard year for me 
and my family. Illnesses, job losses,
and other hardships combined with the world news made
it a challenge. The kindness of 
friends and family has been
so vital. The word I'd
use to describe the year? 
There isn't one word -- but "resilience" comes to mind.  And
noticing joy is a huge factor in resilience. 

As I said in 2017, "Joy (or happiness if you like) is most 
potent in the heart of hard times.  When you lift your eyes up 
out of sorrow and look around, it's there waiting 
for you.  I think perhaps it's the force of nature
saying -- "Look! Look at me! I'm always here 
to make you happy."  

These are very harsh times in so many ways. The news
is brutal.  Anxiety is rocketing, and instead of
crawling back under the covers and giving up
on trying to change the world, effect peace, make
a difference -- joy beckons us to keep going, call 
a friend, and make our voices heard, donate, volunteer,
protest, and join a vast joyous choir across this beautiful planet. 
What do you do to express your joy?  Do you paint, 
write letters to friends (or politicians), spend time 
with family, go for a walk?  I'd love to hear your ideas.
Tonight I went on a beautiful walk with the love of
my life, Steven.  The lights and decorations in our
neighbourhood are a message to all of us.  Our 
neighbours care, and want to show us some joy,
to make us happy in this cold month. 

Have figuring-out-the-joy day. 

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Portrait Artist

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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I paint and draw on commission and for shows. To commission a portrait, or purchase one of my paintings please contact me at:
A major highlight in my career? Drawing Oprah Winfrey live via Skype for her show "Where in the Skype are you? Galleries: Studio Vogue Gallery, Toronto, Canada. The Amsterdam Whitney Gallery, New York City. Gallery at the Porch Door, Kingston, Canada. Your positive comments on this blog mean the world to me. I'd love to hear from you!