Last week, I did a talk at the Arlington Heights Library. It was a reasonably full room, yet I could not tell how I was received. (This was a group of readers who speak in whispers, so there wasn’t a lot of laughter.)
This morning I was thinking about that talk, and all of the talks I have done since my first book, Stay Tuned, was released in 2007.
Am I just talking for the sake of talking or is something I’m saying resonating somewhere, somehow??
And then, this morning I received an email from one of the women in attendance in Arlington Heights.
Before my retirement I began to collect joy; in retirement I began to study joy. Since the study began I’ve been led to incredible books and talks and Thursday night you did not disappoint. “when there is genuine joy inside you” Those were your exact words when commenting on someone doing what they are meant to do. It reminded me of my favorite quote: “…the place God chose for you is the intersection where your greatest joy and the world’s greatest need meet.” (from God Never Blinks by Regina Brett)
I brought your two books home from my library and knew after reading page one that I’d read them before; but they are an easy read so I spent this weekend rereading them. I love your style; you are open and honest and humorous. The first time I read them I was so absorbed in the details of your spiritual journey I missed your comments on joy. I especially like the way you gave thanks in advance for a job that would bring you joy. I think you’ve found the “intersection.” You help aspiring journalists like the young lady in the audience Thursday night, and you give others like me something to think about. When you spoke at the library several years ago, you mentioned attending a support group where people with after life experiences meet. A man, who was on a Special Forces team, spoke of the horrible pain he felt in the afterlife because of the pain he inflicted in this life. He said he hugs people as often as he can now because that’s what he wants to feel next time around. I repeat this story as often as I can. Even if the people I am talking with don’t believe in life/death/life, they like the part about hugging.
Thank you for a very enjoyable and informative evening at the Arlington Heights Library. I wish you continued success. The world has need of you and your talents. For encouragement, here’s my most recent joy study note: “Keep your eye on the joy…” (from I’m Spiritual Dammit by Jenniffer Weigel)
I’ve never had someone quote me before in an email. I don’t even remember writing “Keep your eye on the joy…” I think I need to re-read some of my own shit. Maybe it will stick.
The man she referred to who hugs everyone now because of what he experienced in the afterlife is Dannion Brinkley. I often tell the story how he was in the military and killed people, and felt the pain he inflicted on others when he had his near-death experience. Now, he hugs strangers so when he goes back to the afterlife, he can feel joy instead of pain.
When you are doing what brings you joy, it comes out in all you do. I love telling stories, so whether that’s in a column, a book or a library crowd, I will keep at it for the joy of doing what I love.
My third book is coming out digitally this week. ‘This Isn’t the Life I Ordered” will be available on Amazon later this week. When I have the link, I will share.
So today, find joy where you can and remember that what you do matters, even if you don’t know it. Every choice creates a ripple in the pond. Choose wisely.