We have to choose joy and keep choosing it.” – Henri Nouwen
This is the quote that pointed me to the name of my podcast, and it’s one I think about every day. What’s even sweeter, looking back, is that the man who said this profound thing about joy was a priest and professor at Yale Divinity School, which is where I went for my Master’s degree. I had not been aware of who he was, or of this quote until after I graduated. It was a real treat to discover that there is a Nouwen Chapel located in Yale Divinity School, nestled in the depth of the library, among the stacks of books. So it was a sweet and special journey to go back and see the chapel; and stand in the midst of a place where I could feel the closeness and synergy of spirit.
It was touching to get to speak with another graduate that had studied with Henri Nouwen, and she spoke of his joyful spirit, and his eating lunch with students in the dining hall. It was lovely to start to hear more about this person, that he was as mindful and joyful as it seemed he must be from his lovely quote.
Isn’t it funny how the things become so important and inspiring are often within arm’s reach for years, and we only truly see them or hear them when we are ready?
It reminds me of a quote from Matthew Wood (who was on the show in Season 1) about how the universe is just slowly turning up the cross-fade on things for us, and we hear them when we are ready.⠀
These tiny things may linger in spaces near you, just a moment away from the place where you sat and studied, just below where you sit and worship, truly within arm’s reach. And these small inspirations stay there, resting, waiting, lovingly, until you are ready.
For 2018, it’s my hope that we all are able to tap into those things that put us in a place that we are able to choose joy, even when it feels like the hardest thing to do, and even when it seems like an improbable choice. It truly takes understanding who you are, what you want, and what is at the very center of your soul.
As you enter the threshold of this new year, it’s my wish for you that you bump into those lovely things you are meant to find, that you are ready to dance with them, and that they uplift you in ways you never imagined.
Joy + You, Unleashed
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