19
Mar
2020
0

Cultivate Joy

We are in a strange, uncertain moment in history. While fear and anxiety are understandable right now, I encourage you to rise to this occasion.

Be joyful always, pray without ceasing.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-17

How can we “be joyful always” in such a state of disarray? Look for it in the little things, cultivate joy actively. I have always believed there are miracles in the everyday and mundane – never has that been more true. My children, who are often staring at their phones, have put them down for hours to work on a puzzle together. It is such a joy to hear them talking and laughing together. As I purchased some extra food in preparation for school being closed, I also picked up a plant – a small joy, but one that reminds me of growth, life and beauty.

Joy also comes from some routine, some normalcy. Join me in establishing a morning ritual – one that grounds you in peace and hope. Consider beginning each day with:

Prayer | Meditation

Scripture | Devotional

Gratitude | Journaling

Movement | Intention

 

Prayer | Meditation

Center yourself in prayer or meditation each morning, BEFORE you check your phone or turn on the news. Savor quiet if it is available to you (I wake up early for this reason) and allow yourself to quiet your mind. There is so much noise and information out there right now, turn inward for a few minutes to begin each day in peace.

Scripture | Devotional

Rely on the wisdom of others to uplift and guide you. Open your Bible or a favorite text, perhaps dig up an old devotional and allow it to speak to you during this uncertain time. Seek out words of wisdom and strength, allow these to guide you and move you beyond fear.

Gratitude | Journaling

I write to process emotions, but I always begin each day by writing five things I’m grateful for. A magic thing happens when you shift to gratitude – it allows you to focus on abundance, not lack, it gives you a different perspective – one we desperately need right now. Journal/ write if you are comfortable with it (even if you’re not, I encourage you to try) there are answers and realizations that become clear through writing. It might surprise you.

Movement | Intention

Move, get the blood flowing. Perhaps you dance around the family room or practice yoga in your bedroom. Anything, even ten minutes, will allow you to move and be intentional in caring for yourself. Our bodies are carrying the stress of this too, by moving you release some of that stress and put nervous energy to work for the good. Currently, yoga is my go-to morning movement. It allows me to breath and stretch, quiet my mind and recognize the blessing of a healthy body (which I am more grateful for than ever).

Whatever works for you, I encourage you to do it each morning. We are all impacted by this pandemic in one way or another and is likely going to continue for some time. Keeping some sense of routine and focusing on positive actions can make a huge difference in how you approach the day. Cultivate joy, pray often and know that we are in this together.

 

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