random thoughts: on connecting with joy

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Yesterday I had lunch with my friend Katherine Center (she of the new book The Lost Husband that I mentioned earlier this week, available for pre-order now).  It's embarrassing that it had been over a year since Katherine and I had seen each other (and we live in the same city, for heaven's sake), but she's one of those dear friends who you can go without seeing for a long time, and then when you finally do get together, it's like no time has passed.  I was thrilled to see her so happy, centred, and  content with her life.

Being a prolific author, Katherine is also one of those people you can count on for a beautiful turn of phrase, and she didn't disappoint at our lunch yesterday, either.  We were talking about our careers, and our hopes for what we'd like our working lives, and indeed, our personal lives to be.  And while we were talking, she said the following:

Pay attention to things that connect you with joy.

I love this so much.  I'm pretty good about my gratitude practice -- spending time each night thinking about what was great about my day -- but this particular statement seemed an exhortation to do something more.  It is encouragement to really study those things that bring you bliss:  be introspective about what these activities or objects or even people do for you, and determine how to include them more often in your life.  Life's too short, said Katherine, and it's important to be very clear on what bring you joy, and do more of that, and less of what doesn't.

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I'm in a place right now in my own life where I'm trying to craft what my future will look like, and struggling with how to add what I want for myself as far as my career goes, without sacrificing all the good that is currently in my life now, particularly with respect to my family and friends.  I'm so grateful to Katherine for giving me this guidepost to hang on to -- I'm going to print it out, and keep it as a tool for mindfulness.


I'm a big fan of inspiration and vision boards (as those of you who have taken my PathFinder course will attest) -- places where images can help inspire you to remain true to your heart.  I actually have my entire office decorated with vision boards that I've created over the years.

In the event that you do the same, I thought I would start creating some 5"x7" images with words that you can download for free, for inclusion on your own vision boards.  And given that Katherine gave me such wonderful inspiration at lunch yesterday, I thought this would be the best place to start.

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Click here to download a 5"x7" .pdf of the image above.  You can tape it in your journal, put it in a frame, or pin it on your corkboard for your own inspirational use.   And stay tuned for more as I run across words that inspire.