Joy in Motion

Penobscot Bay MaineI read a fantastic interview this week with two of my favorite writers: Brene Brown and Elizabeth Gilbert.

I re-read Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love and Brown’s The Gifts Of Imperfection at least once a year.  If you haven’t read these books, please do.  They are totally life changing.  I have gifted them to all the important women in my life.

One response from Elizabeth Gilbert that really struck me was her answer to Brene’s question, ” Describe a snapshot of a joyful moment in your life.”  Here’s what she said:

There are so many, but they always tend to be moments passed in motion. Walking, running, swimming, bicycling. Traveling — in flight, by boat, in a car across the open plains, in a train speeding toward a new and unexplored city. Moving to a new house. Moving to a new town. Moving to a new country. Moving to a new truth. Embarking on a new project. Trying on a new dream. Shedding stuff I don’t need. Traveling light. Carrying nothing with me but a change of underwear, a good book, my excitement, and my dear companion.

I think she’s spot on with this notion that moments of joy can be found when we’re moving – either physically, mentally or even spiritually. When I’m traveling, exploring and discovering new things – places or ideas – that’s when I’m most happy.

As I look back on 2013, a few of the moments of joy I remember are:

  • the wind on my face when riding on a boat across Penobscot Bay in mid-coast Maine;
  • Hiking up the red rocks of Malibu Creek;
  • Visiting a beautiful old mill building that’s houses artist studios;
  • An afternoon spent browsing in a local antique store;
  • Jumping on a plane for a last-minute, unplanned visit to my family.

Malibu Canyon Creek California

Common wisdom says that we need to slow down in order to find joyful moments – a “stop and smell the roses” approach. I totally agree that it’s important to take time to be quiet and reflect on your experiences – in a journal, scrapbook, sketchbook or just plain be still.

But I feel most alive, joyful and in touch with myself when I’m in motion – experiencing new places, food, people and ideas.  It reminds of the quote by Danny Kaye:

To travel is to take a journey into yourself.

How about you?

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