Where Joy has led me

Joy 01 (2017 0903)

This poolside doodle was the perfect start to my Sunday morning, prompted by this weekend’s discussions during the Church Simplified* retreat that I attended, and accompanied by the soothing sensations of pool water caressing my legs and the sun’s warm rays massaging my back. Last night, we tackled questions of dreams, desires, and purpose, but the bottomline that our pastor, Bebo Bharwani, wanted to ask was this:

What do you want?

In answering the question, I asked myself not just what I ‘wanted’ (which actually means what is missing or not yet there in my life), and neither just what brought me ‘happiness’ or ‘contentment’ (which, to me, are still too abstract), but what made my heart skip, my cells dance, and my soul laugh out loud with JOY.

To someone like me who is extremely expressive and in touch with all her senses, joy is concrete and palpable. It is something I can see and recognize, something I can touch and experience, something real that I can feel and whose memories I can deeply etch in my brain.

Joy (2017 0903)

As I was filling in the spaces, I realized that my sources of joy were simple, really:

  • Family and community
  • Love in all its forms and expressions (but, of course, there are types of love that we seek more than others ;))
  • Art and expression
  • Creativity and discovery
  • Mission and purpose
  • Time and space (including travel, leisure, and rest)
  • Wellness and physicality (meaning, taking care of my body and experiencing what it can do and where it can take me)

More important, I realized that my sources of joy were already present and abundant in my life. Joy already lives in this life of mine–it is no longer something removed from me that I need to aspire to and reach out for.


What a powerful, liberating, and empowering epiphany to have–especially concerning the quality of one’s own life!

* * *

Lately, too, I’ve made certain decisions that I know will allow me to weave more joy into a larger part of my everyday life and work.

Kick Fire Kitchen at A Space
Me with my co-founder, David O’Hagan, after one of Kick Fire Kitchen’s workshops at A Space in Manila. Watch for more of us all around town–and around the globe, too!

Some of you may already know that I am now happily transitioning to making Kick Fire Kitchen–my erstwhile “passion project”–into a full-time venture that incorporates my love for teaching, public speaking, mentoring, writing, and (yay!) traveling with creativity, innovation, engagement, and purpose-driven growth for individuals and teams. It was a transition that took almost six months to plan and another four months to execute, but it’s finally here! A wonderful and joyous journey is just about to begin for me. (Insert extremely goofy and toothy grin here 😀 😀 😀 )

And while I still have a lot of questions (I always do–what’s new? Haha ;)) and some of my faith goals are still out there, I also know that I am extremely fortunate to actually have the opportunity to do all this. Life isn’t always easy–and there are still millions of people in the world who are struggling to survive in so many ways–so when things align nicely in our lives, we can’t take it for granted. We need to make the most of whatever opportunities are given to us, and use those to truly design our best lives ever and make an impact in the world around us.

So, let me ask you: What brings YOU joy, and how can you weave more of it into the daily fabric of your life–beginning this week? 😉

*Church Simplified (also called “CS”) is the Christian faith community that I’ve been a part of for almost a year now, and which I consider my ‘home church.’ To learn more about CS, please visit ChurchSimplified.com.

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