joy: a poem

I went to the spa today.

And as I was relaxing in the steamy swirling bath, the b.u.b.b.l.e.s.,
like glaciers, parted and gathered in the corners of the tub, building their glittery molecule caverns.

I reached out. I played with them & watched their opal shades shift in the filtered sun. Iridescent bubbles in the palm of heart.

Is this joy?

What when the bubbles dissipate?

To answer this question, I looked above.

To ask this question, I looked above.

And there, creeping across the dirty skylight, dancing between the binaries of tree branch shadow and sun kissed light, was the inchworm.
He bent. Then stretched. And true to his legacy, inched forward.

Contraction. Expansion.

Inhale. Exhale.

Moving forward one cramp at a time. Progress via minuscule pinches.
Is only that one moment of infinite freedom joy? When the body is elongated & fulfilled? When the stretched soul sings like strings of a cello?

Then what of the other half of his life?



The moment of joy is the bend, the ache and breath and reach and bridge between, the ascending arch towards the heavens.

When he is neither here nor there. When he is both here and there.

That is joy.

The and.


photo essay: joy from this weekend

When you look for joy, you will find joy. When you find joy, you will look for joy.

This morning I practiced yoga with over 3000 other yogis in the beautiful Denver Sunken Garden Park at Yoga Rocks the Park. And under the warm embrace of the sun, atop the prickly green of the earth, I could not help but thinking:

I am blessed.

Here are some pictures of today’s joys…

A glorious day for outdoor yoga!

A glorious day for outdoor yoga!

Colleagues and friends.

Colleagues and friends.

We love Fabletics!

We love Fabletics!

Rooted in friendship.

Rooted in friendship.

Rooted in friendship.

Rooted in friendship.

The collective breaths of over 3000.

The collective breaths of over 3000.

Upside down.

Upside down.

Upside down.

Upside down.

Sunshine selfie.

Sunshine selfie.



The joy continues at home. As I sit on my beautiful back porch, looking at the lush green woods, I see my husband and my best friend napping…


The epitome of peace.

Though I was inside yesterday, I also experienced joy. My bestest friend in the whole wide world is moving here, into our place, in less than one week. The lives that we have lived from a distance will now be woven together in the most common of daily activities. It was joy to prepare a space for her…



My weekend joy began with horse therapy as I spent some time riding Bruno. Just he and I, alone, working and breathing and sweating in the quiet of an indoor arena, while rain anointed the barn roof. Heavenly joy…

An earlier picture of Bruno and I.

An earlier picture of Bruno and I.

And all these are what occurred within the last 72 hours. It’s not even counting the joy of Thursday night happy hour with my husband, good-bye hugs for seniors at our luncheon, and our amazing trip to Portland.

I am blessed.

When you look for joy, you will find joy. When you find joy, you will look for joy.


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.


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