HOW IT ALL STARTED. . .
On April 3, 2015, I hit publish on my first Daily Practice of Joy blog. It began like this. . .
My Name IS VICTORIA PRICE, AND I AM A WORKAHOLIC.
BUT I USED TO BE THIS JOYFUL LITTLE GIRL.
Where did she go?
I go around the world talking about my dad — a man, I’ve come to realize, who knew how to give and get joy, who lived it and shared it with everyone he met.
I go around the world telling people what I need to know.
My dad practiced joy every day, but the more I’ve talked about my dad’s joy — its importance in his life and its necessity in my own, the more abstract it has seemed.
I thought to myself — I try to practice conscious eating, I get my 10,000 steps a day, I am even trying to get a good night’s sleep. My morning spiritual practice has sustained me for years. But all of it has started to feel dutiful.
Sometimes, I find myself wondering — why?
This weekly blog is my answer to the why. You see, I believe I will find my answer by making a commitment to what I have come to call my Daily Practice of Joy.
Practice is the actual application or use of an idea, belief, or method as opposed to theories about such application or use.
But what is joy?
This is the definition I like best: “Joy is the pure and simple delight in being alive."
A few of my closest friends have asked me — oh so helpfully — “You’re going to write about practicing joy? Shouldn’t you wait to see if it works?"
I love what Parker Palmer says about writing: , "In this society, people who write passable books — and even books that aren’t — tend to get pegged as experts on their subjects. . .I’ve never written a book on something I’ve mastered. . .I write about things that feel to me like bottomless mysteries — and I start writing from a place of beginner’s mind. For me, writing . . .begins with making a deep dive into something that baffles me — into my not-knowing — and dwelling in the dark long enough that 'the eye begins to see' what’s down there. . .Novices are often advised to 'write about what you know’. I wouldn’t call that bad advice, but I think it needs tweaking. Write about what you want to know because it intrigues and baffles you."
So, that’s why I’m writing this blog every week — to help me untangle the mess of my life that is strangling my joy. To show up every day with the intention of practicing joy — and being accountable to you to share my progress.
For those of you who recognize yourself in my words, I hope this blog may help you, too, to remember your joy — to remember that child in you, who could laugh with abandon and revel in silliness, who knew that puddles are for splashing in and that flowers always always make us smile. . . But as Henri Nouwen so wisely wrote, "Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy, and keep choosing it every day."
Let’s keep remembering and reminding one another to choose joy — and practice it every day, until that laughing child in each of us is no longer a distant memory!
THE NEXT CHAPTER
On April 3, 2017, I published my first Daily Practice of Joy blog. Now begins a new adventure. I hope you will join me.
I posted my last blog on my original Daily Practice of Joy website in December 2016. For the past four months, I have been concentrating on writing my book and thinking about my next chapter -- in life and words. My book, The Way of Being Lost: A Road Map to Your Truest Self, will be published by Ixia Press in February 2018. So, as I pondered where to go next with this Daily Practice of Joy, I decided to follow my own advice and get a little bit lost by wandering down the pathways of my heart, mind, and soul. It has been an amazing journey.
Today, suddenly, I find myself ready to commence the next chapter of my Daily Practice of Joy. How it unfolds is how it unfolds. Isn't that wonderful! But I hope however the road rolls out before me, I will reflecting all the ways I am learning to embrace the evolution of my truest self.
I am the child of two Renaissance Souls -- two people whose omnivorous appetites for life and whose varied interests and passions led them into many flowering fields. My father always told me, "If you limit your interests, you limit your life." He also said, "If you are always curious, you will never be bored."
Although my heart believed every word he said, my head wanted to "fit in". So, for many years, I have tried to put myself into a nice little package that everyone could understand. Problem was, every time I did, the odd parts kept sticking out. At the end of the day, I just never fit. That's when I realized that the only way to really be me was -- to be me. To follow what brings me joy, truly and always. To practice it -- with as much daily dedication as an athlete or a musician. Doing that has changed my life by teaching me how to tell the truth -- first to myself, and then to the world. The Truth that really does set us all free.
By the end of last year, I felt as though I had fallen into a bit of a rut with my blog writing. The pieces were long and a tad laborious at times. I felt like they held less and less joy. Taking this time away from blogging has shown me some of the reasons why. Practice requires diligence, but diligence does not have to feel like duty. Note to self: When creating a daily practice of joy, it's probably a good sign if you actually FEEL joy!
I have reinvigorated my practice -- and that is what I am sharing here. This is kind of a lifestyle inspiration blog. By sharing what I love most with you, I hope to inspire you, too, to tune into your own truest self -- even if it means getting lost to who we've all been told we should be.
So, every day, I will post a practice. A photograph or song, a quote or book. Whatever brings me joy, I will share. In the hopes that it will bring you, too, joy.
I will also blog once a week to share some of the highlights of that week's adventures, explorations, and uncoverings. But mostly, I will joyfully embrace my own unconventionality writ large -- because joy, as I have come to learn, craves sharing. That means sharing whatever comes, however it comes. A rollie coaster ride of joy!
For you, my fellow joy journeyers, I hope that this new incarnation of my Daily Practice of Joy will inspire you to listen, lean, laugh, learn, and love more deeply in your own life, your own practice, and your own relationships -- find more joy in everything you do.
Thank you for joining me on this journey.
In JOY! Victoria
April 13, 2017