I recently participated in something called the Holiday Joy UP. It was essentially a 10-day online retreat for women interested in tapping in to the joy and magic of the holiday season.
Led by the lovely Hannah Marcotti (whose writing I cannot get enough of), the Joy UP delivered a letter each day which explored a particular aspect of joy, along with a video from Hannah and the day’s assignment.
So for instance, one day we focused on Blessings, and the assignment was to be a blessing fairy–spreading little gifts or acts of kindness everywhere we went. (I’m still trying to practice being a blessing fairy in the high-strung parking lots around town.)
So many years I’ve longed to feel the holiday magic I felt as a kid.
I’d go to the mall just to try to get “in the mood.” This only made me feel worse.
I’d indulge in holiday treats. This only made me feel groggy.
I’d overspend on gifts, panicked that there wasn’t enough under the tree. This made my stomach hurt.
Having children of my own has helped bring back the excitement of the holidays.
We have our holiday channel on Pandora, our Advent activity calendar, our Elf on the Shelf.
But much of that is superficial “busyness”
Making cookies, opening early presents (holiday books or jammies), watching more TV than normal in the name of holiday fun, being more lax about sugary treats.
So while I started the Holiday joy UP thinking I was already full-on in the spirit of Chirstmas, having an opportunity to create a quiet space each day just to think about Joy from different angles actually left me a bit blue at first. As it turns out, pursuing joy can be hard work!
The best part of the Joy UP was having an hour of focused quiet time each day (I did it during our mandatory 1-hour naptime/quiet time where everyone goes to their own room even if they no longer nap). Each day, I was able to open my Joy UP “letter”, watch Hannah’s video, and think/write about the day’s assignment.
The Holiday Joy UP helped me think about my intention for the holiday season. And it left me with a deeper connection to joy, along with the clarity that there’s a lot more to be explored.
Joy is Unfolding
Joy is Spirit
Joy is Blessings
Joy is Love
Joy is Desire
Joy is Faith
Joy is Magic
Joy is Celebration
Joy is Peace
Joy is our Gratitude
Thanks to Hannahfor this wonderful journey.
If you are interested in doing something similar, here’s where Hannah posts upcoming programs. I’m looking forward to her 2012 Making Space Cleanse.
(By the way, this is not a sponsored post.)