The Joy List

In 1999 I was living in a beautiful sunlit one-bedroom rent-controlled apartment in Japantown, San Francisco. I had also been struggling to make ends meet for the past couple of years, and one morning thought “If I only had more money, I’d be having a lot more fun living here!” Immediately another voice in my head responded: “Is that really true? What are the things I love doing that give my life meaning and joy?”

Immediately I grabbed a piece of paper and a pen, and wrote down what I’ve since called my “Joy List”. Without censoring, I imagined all the experience that made me smile and brought a sense of joy to my life, writing down one after the other. By the end I had a list with over 30 items, ranging from “Doing cartwheels on the sidewalk” to “feeling a strong sudden rush of love for someone”.

I then asked myself “How much do each of these things cost?” I scanned the list, and quickly realized that everything on it was either free, or very affordable. The most expensive item was “Sharing a bottle of Chardonnay and spicy calamari with a good friend.”

In that moment I realized that what I’d told myself about needing more money to enjoy life more in San Francisco really wasn’t true.

I’d busted through a limiting belief I didn’t know I had, and in the process of questioning and disproving it, created 4 things for myself:

  1. Feeling of empowerment
  2. Feelings of freedom and aliveness
  3. Feeling of gratitude and abundance for those items on my list and my ability to fully enjoy them
  4. A list of tangible activities I could easily choose from anytime to re-connect with the Joy that I am and each of us is.

Since that day in 1999, I’ve added to my Joy List and encouraged all my clients to create their own. Just reading through the items on my list feels fun and enlivening.

What’s one story you’ve been telling yourself that’s detracted from your energy, aliveness and joy?  

What are you willing to do to change that story now?

The Joy List was a foundational piece in eventually creating “Divine Juicy Life”. In the years since that pivotal day in San Francisco, I’ve reflected more deeply on what has brought me joy and aliveness over my 50+ years, through continual personal and spiritual development, paying attention to what lights me up in the present moment, and tracing the patterns of joy I’ve re-discovered in journal pages I’ve kept since age 15.

Through this process, I’ve created my own recipe for living life as fully and joyfully and possible. I realized the ingredients consist of five flavors that for me, make up a Divine Juicy Life: Soul Practices, Transformative Grief, Sensory Experiences, Nourishing Relationships and Creative Expression & Play.

Invitation to Create Your Joy List

Join the “5 Weeks of Joy” E-course

Now, I invite you to create your own Joy List as a start to living your Divine Juicy Life. If you’d like support in creating your list, adding to it, and living the experiences on your list, I highly encourage you to join me for the “5 weeks of Joy” e-course I’m offering as the Divine Juicy Life kick-off.

In this 5-week E-course you will learn:   

  • What Joy is, and why it’s essential
  • Your vision for joy and reframing beliefs keeping you from Joy
  • How to Create space for joy, including releasing joy busters
  • A step-by-step process to create a Joy List that really excites you
  • Action steps to live in Joy and ramp up your Joy
  • Keys to expanding Joy by bringing Joy to all you do
  • How Joy is positively affecting all areas of your life

This e-course also includes a private, interactive Facebook group where you can share best practices with others and support each other in living a more joyful life, step by step. I will also be offering support on this FB group.