During June we’re looking at the vibrant themes of joy and celebration. At COR we’re known to “go deep.” We dive into where it hurts, what blocks us and bring our shadows to the light. Our Rites of Passage workshops always invite us to welcome growth and transformation in a life-changing way, to let go of something that’s not serving us in favor of something new. And that’s certainly important. But the end of transformation—the reason for the work—is so we can experience what we hold to be our natural state—joy. That’s the point, isn’t it?

What we may not always consider is that the beginning, not just the end, of transformation is also joy. As Eckhart Tolle says, “Acknowledging the good you have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.”

I would say a particularly vital way to “acknowledge” is to celebrate. We do well when we welcome joy, celebration and appreciation as regular qualities of our life, no matter wherever we find ourselves on the journey.

In a few short weeks Britta and I head to Germany to visit with her family. I have an agenda (as those in our current Leadership Development Training know)! I want to speak German fluently with my in-laws, especially my father-in-law.

Joy has been an intrinsic part of the process of learning German. It’s a joy that I have any capacity at all to learn a second language (even very slowly). There’s the joy of having small, broken conversations with Britta’s family on past trips, the joy of feeling more like a German speaker and less like a tourist, the joy of ordering beer and sausages in a German restaurant in German! These are just a few of the joys that have come with the adventure of learning German.

To be sure, as anyone who’s tried to learn a second language knows, there’s frustration involved. That’s part of the growth process. But I am growing, even if I need to be reminded of that from time to time.

Without the pause to note and celebrate, our life can feel like a never-ending “to do” list. Have you ever felt that way? Our “doing” mind will, by default, find fault. It will problem-solve, seek improvements, and criticize. That’s not a bad thing necessarily.

But, the thing that keeps me going is joy. And when I hit milestones, I celebrate.

As we look at joy and celebration this month I’d like to suggest two simple practices:

1. Celebrate something you had nothing to do with—a pure gift that is totally not of your doing. It could be a particular talent you were born with. A beautiful day, the food on your plate, a job that miraculously came your way, someone who was helpful or kind to you and who wanted nothing in return. If you received a gift from someone, a great way to celebrate these things is to acknowledge the person who provided the gift. Appreciate him or her.

2. Celebrate something that you created, are a part of, or made happen. Acknowledge this accomplishment or this success by sharing it with someone. Sharing our joys and appreciations is a great way to turn toward them and anchor them. Take time to do something you enjoy as a way to celebrate. Let yourself note what it feels like to celebrate!

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All the best,