My heart has been so heavy since the passing of my Mom. I’m sure it doesn’t look like that at work. At work, I can be productive. I can be busy. I can hide my soul. I can…be distracted. But at home, in the stillness, I am haunted by ghosts of tears and fears and mirrors.

One of the ways I have been trying to collect myself through this time of falling to pieces has been medical avenues. I am going to therapy to work through my mental chains which often imprison. I am taking anti-anxiety medication to fight the demons of panic. I am checking to see if the cancer in my family is genetic to be proactive instead of reactive.

During one of these many appointments, my doctor looked at me and asked me what I’m doing to relieve stress in my life. I listed the usual: staying active, eating better, being attuned to my spiritual side. Then she looked at me and said:

Yeah, but what brings you joy?

What brings you joy.

Then she gave me this insightful lecture, that sometimes it’s not about doing what’s right, even when it’s, well, right…because then it becomes one more duty. Sometimes it’s about just doing what brings you joy.

Do what makes my heart smile. Do what makes your heart smile. Do what makes our hearts smile.

This morning, a day after what would have been his birthday, I snuggled into my Daddy’s chair next to our twinkling Christmas tree. I prayed. I spoke aloud to God and the dog and the cat and the awakening dawn about what I desire most in life. I read The Sacred Romance. I texted my best friend, as I was reminded of her. I prayed for a close friend, also battling anxiety. I thought of how many times I had seen my Mom snuggled in this very chair. In this moment of simplicity, the joy in my heart glittered as much as the lights next to me, a dance reflected in the ornaments.

Other than that, what makes my heart smile? What brings me joy?

Best friends. Dave. Horses. TV when it’s best. Turning it off when it’s not. Dancing. Hiking. Being outside. Swings. Having a glass of wine. The side ache that comes from a waterfall bout of laughter. The suprising and/or invited moments of feeling God tangibly. Good music. How strong I feel doing Yoga. Checking out with a good magazine. Writing. Praying for people. Fostering discussions within my classroom where I can authentically learn from my students. Seeing and being in nature. Singing, especially harmony with the few friends that put up with my terrible voice. Traveling and then planning the next adventure. Questioning. Watching Spooner unabashedly run around like an idiot. A long nap. Colorful eye makeup. Teaching my favorite books.

Do what makes my heart smile. Do what makes your heart smile. Do what makes our hearts smile. Let us together invite joy into our lives.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. edpeters06
    Dec 15, 2013 @ 05:57:53

    Mary, what a beautiful post. You bring so much joy to others… through your writing, your conversations, and your classroom. You are truly an inspiration.



  2. Tammy
    Dec 25, 2013 @ 17:56:35

    This brought my heart joy.



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