We’re on the road again this week; it’s just a quick weekend family trip to celebrate my uncle’s 85th birthday. We will gather here in Denver, with folks coming from California, Ohio, Texas and beyond.
I’m always thinking about you, and what I can share with you to help you experience more joy.
Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.
– Henri J.M. Nouwen
My family members were my first teachers; they taught me what it means to live in JOY. They also taught me:
1. We are not a victim of our circumstances.
2. There is always something to appreciate.
3. Every pity party has an expiration date.
4. Resilience is doing what is necessary, regardless of how one feels, even when things are not going well.
5. We are not survivors; we’re thrivers!
6. Our family creed: If you want a good life, help someone else.
First, a little history, my paternal grandparents had children late in life. They were the first generation out of state sanctioned slavery; however, they were sharecroppers. Sharecropping was a difficult life and one that people did not escape. My father was born a sharecropper as were all of his seven siblings. They left the farm and South Carolina when forced because the farm burned to the ground.
First lesson- When it’s time to change you can be pulled by a vision or pushed by pain. They didn’t want to move; they were forced.
Next stop- Ohio, and my grandfather got hit by a city bus and left blind, and never compensated. Aggravating his youngest daughter, she became a lawyer.
Then my grandmother died, at age 54, leaving behind four young adults and four very young children between 10 and 17 years of age. Then the eldest daughter died unexpectedly. My father and his siblings knew trauma, but eventually, they all decided to pick up and start again.
My dad, C.H., as an educational counselor, helped thousands of people all over the United States realize their professional and academic goals. He taught in universities, prisons, and hospitals everywhere. He mentored hundreds of youth as a minister.
K. H. is a business person and philanthropist through his companies he helps foster children, feeds the homeless and hungry, and helps aspiring entrepreneurs get started. He adopted and raised three of his nephews when their parents died.
H.E. became a well-respected death penalty defense attorney. She adopted and raised three young boys when their families were in crisis. She still helps people every day as a judge. Her approach to being a bench officer is unique, and the parties that appear before her love her as well as the attorneys that represent them.
So how do we measure a life?
We measure a life, not by what we own or how much money we have accumulated. In the end, we measure our lives by how many people we helped and how much good did we do. It is natural to want to leave a positive legacy. We all have a unique gift waiting to express. It is our only life assignment, to be our best self and to live our very best life. When we answer that call, we experience JOY and more creativity.
I have a new group class starting next month. If you want to learn if the class is right for you, click here for a quick consultation to see if you would be a good fit for our group.
All love and ever grateful,