What brings you JOY?

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I retired at the age of 62 as an Alcohol and Drug Therapist. I loved helping alcoholics and drug addicts find themselves and sobriety. It was a very rewarding career of 20 years and I was grateful for the opportunity to help save lives. Unfortunately, they all didn’t make it and some died from the disease.

My book, “Simply a Woman of Faith” was published when I retired and I became a Spiritual Life Coach. I led women’s retreats, was a speaker on a cruise ship, led a women’s retreat in Bermuda, had a weekly radio show, and was an inspirational speaker.

When I followed my heart and moved to Maui 10 ½ years ago, at the age of 65, my plan was to continue doing what I was doing. There were churches on every corner and I figured I would easily get on the speaking circuit. Little did I know, God had other plans that I didn’t know about.

I was only on Maui a week when I heard the small, still voice of God say, “I don’t want you to do ANYTHING. I want you to learn how to BE.” I was very surprised because I thought I knew how to BE. After all, I was a therapist and taught others how to BE.

By the grace of God, I listened to the voice within and didn’t do anything but relax and enjoy my life. I took long walks and enjoyed the birds and beauty all around me. I was blessed to share a two-bedroom condo with a couple that overlooked the ocean and I only paid $300 a month for 6 months.

At first, it was hard for me to relax without feeling guilty. I have several signs around the house that say RELAX. The little voice inside said, “You should be doing something to have value and worth. Your lazy and not contributing to society if you do nothing.”

What has been revealed to me over these past 10 ½ years was that I was a DOER. I felt more comfortable DOING than BEING. My value came from doing, producing, fixing, and achieving. I was a BUSYAHOLIC/RUSHAHOLIC. Relaxing and BEING felt like I was wasting time. Heaven forbid, I should waste time doing nothing. I am grateful I have learned how to BE, relax and GO WITH THE FLOW and do nothing.

Even though you may not be at the age of retirement and still have to work, you can still carve out time to BE and RELAX and ENJOY and not feel guilty when you are doing NOTHING.

Learning how to BE and living in the present moment has brought me to a place of indescribable JOY. I have never been happier and more alive than I am today. Henry Nouwen writes, “Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.”

 Here are some things that bring me joy and not in any particular order.

·        Daily walks and looking into someone’s eyes, smiling and greeting them with “Good morning.”

·        Snuggling on the couch with our dog Kobe next to me.

·        Sharing my faith with a stranger and writing a weekly blog to inspire others.

·        Spending sacred time with my children and grandchildren.

·        Spending time with Larry laughing and playing together.

·        Sitting on our lanai and watching the sunset or sunrise.

·        Reading a book at night in bed before going to sleep.

·        Tending to my garden and watching the flowers grow.

·        Walking the beach and swimming in the ocean.

·        Sending inspirational pictures and sayings to friends.

·        Learning how to make delicious, nutritious meals.

·        Going out to breakfast or lunch with a friend.

·        Surrounding myself with beauty and color. I LOVE color and only wear colors that I love, especially purple.

·        Meditating, prayer and listening to the voice of God within.

·        Dancing

What brings you JOY? Whatever it is, do it more often. It is a choice to be joyful. Today I Choose JOY. How about you?  

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Simply A Woman of Faith

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Pat Hastings

Author, Inspirational Speaker, Spiritual Coach, Retreat Leader & Radio Talk Show Host

Simply A Woman of Faith
621 Laniolu Place Kihei, HI 96753