Several years ago, I created a framework called the "Joy Harvest" model. It was born from a desire to celebrate the end of the growing season in the fall and the beginning of the end of the year.
The premise is... to cultivate joy, we must recognize a cycle of completion and create space for celebration.
Essentially taking a breather from all the doing, creating, pleasing, judging, etc.
I borrowed from the phrase- "you reap what you sow" and created an intentional reaping process to harvest the joy.
Here is the simple framework:
R- Rest and Restore:
E- Explore & Energize
A- Appreciate & Align
P- Play with Purpose
What does all of that mean to you?
For me, it means being intentional about my daily routines, not getting caught up in external hype, saying no if something doesn't sound fun and saying yes if it does. It means deciding on purpose what rituals matter to me and asking for what I want/need (without...
The other day, I was in the pasture with my horses and decided I would catch our gelding, Wizard, to spend some time with him.
He is a willing partner, always curious about what we might do together. He doesn't hesitate to let me halter him, unless of course something spooks him.
I always take it easy, its not an abrupt or demanding process. I invite him to participate and he lowers his head and I halter him up. We breathe together and stand for a minute.
As we begin to walk, our mare (Barbie Slew), starts to get ahead of us and blocks our path. I pivot and try to move around her and she pivots too. It becomes a game of how far I can get around her before she blocks me again. I can feel the frustration boiling up.
I'm definitely focusing on the "obstacle" and how to move around it. I'm thinking about why she is blocking me. Is it because she doesn't want me to take him? Does she wish I was taking her? WHAT is...
My new favorite morning ritual, after coffee, is to bundle up, grab the ball thrower and head out with the dogs to walk the perimeter of the farm.
In this walk, I'm not allowed to look at what needs to be done...
The only goal is to observe what is changing, what is consistent, and what is "new" to me.
This more present observation has served as a meditation and connecting force to provide a more secure sense of place.
Sense of place is defined as the meanings of and attachment to a place held by an individual or a community (Semken 2005) from Global Sustainability 2021.
It is through this meaning and attachment that we become committed to its health, vibrancy and stewardship.
So whether its your kitchen, backyard, or neighborhood block or even your website...might you consider cultivating a deeper sense of place with it (maybe just for a day)?
Over the past several months, our Joy Harvest- Fall Leadership Council discussed how to incorporate personal sustainability strategies into business (and the business of life).
As we held our closing retreat this past week, we talked about honing in on "purpose" and how layered that word can be as not everyone feels a strong sense of purpose every day as they navigate the complexities of business development, leading families, and navigating a changing environment.
Oxford defines the action of purpose as " to have as one's intention or objective", which is a simple lens in which to define purpose in big or small ways as we enter a new year.
If having purpose simply means creating intentions, doesn't that free us up to shift on purpose whenever we want to or need to depending on current circumstances or circumstances we are hopeful to co-create?
All that being said, perhaps a life of purpose is one simply built on intentional action on behalf of what matters...
“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” – Lao Tzu
The capacity to hold love for something or someone, that deep sense of affection and care or wellbeing for another and then the capacity to let others hold that for us is far from a simple endeavor.
As I have been reflecting on this past year and the moments in which love has emerged or has been lost, I'm cultivating a deeper curiosity of how to become a better steward of love in all aspects of my life.
The word stewardship implies an active intention to care for and take care of, so, what does stewardship of "love" look like? I imagine it might look like keeping the fire lit for what feels most important and cultivating a deeper connections versus maintaining transactional relationships with ourselves, with others, with our work and with our environment.
As we immerse ourselves in this season of giving, receiving, and engaging in...
This Tuesday (12/21) will be the Winter Solstice- our darkest day of the year.
It is my favorite time of the year to bring closure to the past and set intention for what we want to create and experience in the year to come. As a practice, I like to incorporate the following "mini-retreat" recipe:
1. Prepare to honor the darkness and welcome the light. Life is full of dark, scary, painful times. We must take time to properly honor and grieve what has been lost and cannot be recovered. We must also acknowledge that darkness can be a time for rest and when we are rested, we are more prepared to welcome the light of new experiences, opportunities and possibility. How can you carve out some time to honor the darkness and welcome in the light?
2. Acknowledge the role of winter in the natural change cycle. How some beings must shut down and hibernate to save energy while some plants and...
You have the right to love....
I think that is a message that is getting buried right now and yet it is the power of love that is going to help navigate whatever challenges we are facing.
So, a simple reminder again- you have the right to love....
Exercise that right...love it up and be open to receiving it from others who are exercising too :)
We studied Systems Theory as part of sustainability curriculum in graduate school. One of the foundational concepts is that the "whole is greater than the sum of its parts."
Take the human body for example - we are made up of several complex systems (nervous, respiratory, circulatory, musculoskeletal, digestive, etc) and together they create one heck of a unique human (the whole). It's not just these parts that make the human... it's how they work together, in connection. If one of those parts is not functioning well, it impacts the whole system.
Sometimes when we are feeling burnt out in business or life in general, it can be helpful to examine the connectedness of our "systems" and energize and deepen the connections that might not be functioning as well as you want them to be. Such...