How I Maintain Joy When the World is Suffering

People have been asking me a lot recently how I maintain so much joy in the midst of so much suffering in our world. It’s a wonderful question and one I love exploring and being curious about within myself! There is oh so much I could say about this, but here’s a snippet! I want to be aware enough of the pain in the world that I can be a part of the solution (SOULution!) and live compassionately and in alignment with my values and with the world I have the power to help create. I want to be aware enough that I can be ever-conscious of my responsibility to be an incredible steward of the gifts I’m given (including the gift of life itself!) – to find ways to use my own blessings to continually and actively contribute, share, and give. I want to be aware enough that I can use whatever is happening *outside* of me as a mirror to look within myself to see what part of *me* I can grow. I want to be aware enough that it motivates and inspires, not paralyzes, me to use my life to serve the greater good. I want to be aware enough that it makes me MORE grateful, MORE loving, MORE able to serve. And then I *also* want to focus on and CELEBRATE and delight in all of the beauty and goodness that is everywhere I turn! Because I find that, the more I focus on what is…

Don’t Wait For Anyone Else – Be Courageous With your Love and Kindness

​A smile too cute to possibly keep to myself​!​ The world is sooo much more beautiful when we don’t wait for someone else to smile at us before we smile at them, when we don’t wait for someone else to show kindness, generosity, grace, and love to us before we show those things to them. Let’s freely share our hearts (and smiles!) — it’s what (re)connects us to who we really are, individually and together! Wonderboy definitely endorses and models this way of living! 😉 Thank you so much to all of you who do the same and LEAD with love in your everyday interactions! ​ “A warm smile is the universal language of kindness.” William Arthur Ward Warmest smiles from Wonderboy (and me!) to YOU! 🙂 #rescuedogs #contagiouskindness #leadwithlove #smiles #thelovepack #joychoice #joypotential

Seeds We Plant in Others Blossom on Their Timeline, Not Ours

​When we dropped our son, Mayan, off in August for his freshman year of college in Tempe, AZ at Arizona State University, we had fun writing up a bunch of lovenotes and scattering them throughout his dorm room for him to find >> http://joypotential.com/joyblog/leaveatrailoflove/ This summer, he was only home for a (delightful!) two weeks before taking off for an incredible summer in Mexico and Peru. The day before he left, when Bret and I were out on a run, what did we come home to find? These precious lovenotes from Mayan! Lovenotes on our cabinets, in our fridge and freezer, on mirrors, on our water heater, in our closets, on ceiling fans and doors, hanging above our bed, and so many other places, including one near the dog bowls on the floor for the pups to see 😉 I have learned so much on my journey of being the luckiest stepmama of this remarkable human being, alongside his two truly extraordinary parents. Now that I have the total honor and joy of bearing witness to his 19-year-old self, I’m appreciating, as much as ever, that sometimes the seeds we plant in those we adore take years to really grow roots within them — but they matter so very much and can end up making all the difference. To all you wonderful parents who feel stretched in so many ways and give and do so much without often seeing instant results from your amazing efforts, this is just a little…

Abundance is A Mindset

Don’t forget to eat your “weeds!” 🙂 Did you know that dandelion greens are full of calcium, iron, antioxidants, minerals, and so much more and are wonderful for detoxifying and cleansing the liver and body! Springtime is the best time for them, but be sure to only pick them from areas that have not been sprayed with any pesticides or fertilizers. Dear Life, May I be aware enough every single day to see all of the abundant gifts you offer all around us, all the time! Endless Love and Gratitude, Christine  Enjoy the nutritious feast right in front of you! Dandelion smoothie coming right up over here! 🙂

Being ALIVE is the Special Occasion

I have this wonderful roll-on glitter, and I used to just pull it out for special occasions. One day I just left it on the window sill and didn’t put it away — for no particular reason. Now, I see it everyday when I’m getting ready for the day. And, suddenly, it’s brought the question into my awareness, day after day: “is today a special occasion?” And to that question, my heart instantly replies with a YES! Today is yet another special occasion!!!! So, the glitter gets rolled on just about every day anymore! 🙂 And everyday really is a special occasion, BEING ALIVE IS THE SPECIAL OCCASION –and it is filled with opportunities to show up and make moments sparkle with love, kindness, and joy!

When you feel misunderstood, unappreciated, and all alone, remember this…

No matter what you are feeling or going through right now, know that there are other humans on the planet, if you were to tell them and if they had the courage to respond, who would look at you and say… “Ohmygollygoshgeegoodness! (or some variation of that 😉 ) I know EXACTLY how you feel. I know just what you mean. Me too.” It’s the best feeling when we find these people and we get to have these conversations. But, just know, even when you haven’t had them about whatever it is you are thinking, feeling, and experiencing, you aren’t alone. Even when it looks like nobody around you gets it, there are people who would totally get it. And it would be the best feeling for THEM too. One of the great blessings of getting to do the work I do is that I have the tremendous privilege and honor of people sharing their most exquisitely vulnerable, authentic selves with me. And after doing this work long enough, I feel like I can say the above with such conviction. Even when you LONG to feel seen, really seen, and aren’t. Even when you hunger for someone to GET IT, and it feels like nobody quite does. Rest assured, on some greater, cosmic, interconnected level, in this very moment, you are seen. You are heard. You are connected to all those others (probably thousands of them right this very second) who could nearly complete your sentences they get it so…

Who are you giving the authority over your own happiness?

I hold my pencil funny. For years, and with the best of intentions, my precious dad kept urging and instructing me to hold it the “right” way. I think I even got stickers as a reward when I did. 😉 As a little girl, I would look at him puzzled… “But WHY?” I simply didn’t get it. This worked for ME. I could still write endless pages of the creative stories I so loved to write and do everything else I possibly could — whether I held my pencil in the way he was certain was best or in the way that felt good and natural to me. And I certainly wasn’t doing anyone any harm. (Well, unintentionally, maybe my dad!) It just didn’t make sense. And I’m SO glad it didn’t. Sorry, Dad, I know you tried 😀 As adults, it’s a whole lot bigger than how he hold our pencil. It’s the careers, friends, and partners we choose, the clothes we wear, the ways we decorate our homes, and the cars we drive. It’s how we raise our own kids. It’s what we eat. It’s the places we spend our time. It’s the way we express ourselves. Or don’t. Who are you letting be the authority of your joy? Whose path are YOU on? The one somebody else decided was “right” for you? Or the one you know is right for you, because your whole being lights up with YES, because the proof is in the joy it…

When Doubt Gets in the Way

What gets in the way of you going towards whatever you feel called in your heart to pursue? Doubt? > > Doubt that it’s worth it. > > Doubt that you are enough. > > Doubt that it’s possible. > > Doubt that you have what it takes. > > Doubt that the Universe will support you. > > Doubt that it’s too small or too big. > > Doubt what others will think. > > Doubt your intuition. > > Doubt the unknown. I get it. “Imperfect action” and “make mistakes even faster” have been two of my beloved companion mantras on my own journey to keep me dreaming, moving, creating, loving, serving! With a heart cheering you on fully, here is a little loving reminder that DOUBT is what destroys more dreams than failure ever will. Plus, when “failure” and “mistakes” happen, they end up having more wonderfully invaluable insights to teach us about what simply does and doesn’t work than doubt ever will. <3 May YOU believe in YOU — because I sure believe in the callings of your innermost being, those dreams planted uniquely inside of your heart, those invitations of your wiser and braver self, the inner voice of love that reminds you of who you really are and what matters most, and the beckoning within us all to contribute to something greater than us — as much as anything in the world! XOXO www.JoyPotential.com

Mirror Neurons and What They Mean for Joy

It’s been a deliciously full couple of months, with travelling, teaching, spending lots of time with my treasured clients, retreating with friends and family, and much, much more (including, of course, the election, which I responded to on my personal FB page here: bit.ly/electionlove One of the events I was so fortunate to recently attend is a workshop with Dr. Marco Iacoboni, one of the foremost researchers of mirror neurons. I have been mesmerized by mirror neurons and all the potential implications of them and loved getting to meet him! Dr. Iacoboni’s research shows how the energy we put out in social interactions (with our loved ones, our colleagues, the person at the grocery checkout, our mail carrier, strangers on the street, and beyond), more often than not, is truly reflected back inside of them. Then, not only does it impact them, it ripples from them back to us! We all affect each other SO much. And the more love, care, appreciation, and kindness we put out, the more upward spirals of love, appreciation, kindness, care, teamwork, hope, possibility, and joy show up around and inside of us! And the same rippling impact is true for things like hatred, anger, and fear. Our emotions and energy are contagious. This in *no* way means suppressing or denying our healthy, valid, and completely natural feelings of sadness, fear, anger or anything else. But it’s about focusing on and expressing those feelings only as long as and in ways that serve us, free us,…

Wherever There is Joy, There is Gratitude

I am so deeply grateful for gratitude.  Is there anything more powerful when it comes to having the ability to shift us, in an instant, out of criticism, blame, fear, boredom, lack, and disconnection — in our lives, our relationships, our workplaces, our communities — and back into our hearts, into connection, into abundance, and into love? Gratitude is what allows me to scan the day at its end to fully receive all of the blessings of so many moments I would have otherwise missed. It’s what allows me to fall in love with my husband, my family, my friends, and with life, over and over again. Combined with love, it’s what opens my heart and connects it to yours. It’s what allows me to see and value the gifts inside of everyone. It’s what allows me to live with wonder and serve with reverence. It’s what literally multiplies blessings. It’s where the magic is. Wherever there is joy, there is gratitude. Gratitude is not about being in denial. It’s not an either/or. In fact, it’s about *not* being in denial of all there is to appreciate. Because of our fear-based survival instincts, we humans are hard-wired to scan our environment and one another for threats. And we are hard-wired to scan ourselves for weaknesses. While this might work for our survival, it stops there, and it limits our individual and collective potential. Through gratitude, we can literally rewire our brains — towards love and connection, kindness and service, togetherness…