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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A week of Joy to share

JOY - A source or cause of keen pleasure or delight; something exceptionally festive or satisfying.

Photo Credit BingBing

Wow am I glad to get back "to it" as they say. I took my little one week hiatus, not with the intention of staying away from the blog entirely. I planned  on performing blog related things that don't really fit into the normal scheme of things on my blog and I guess that is exactly what happened! I really had no idea that a giveaway would take so much time and this primarily is due to the fact that I couldn't have anticipated such a great response. As I sit down to write my post this morning I realize that almost 150 NEW people are following my blog! Wow! And thank you all (as my daughter says) "very so much!

For the newcomers, and as a review for my old friends, here is a quick review of how the EVERYDAY BLISS GAME is played.  

My game is founded on two specific things.  First is my fascination with Benjamin Franklin. When I was in my early twenties I happened upon his Autobiography and was introduced to his thirteen virtues (Scroll down to bottom of the page to see Ben's complete list.) Ben came up with a list of virtues, which if lived would make him a better person. He did this while in his twenties and tried to lead his life following these virtues. Ben's follow through was remarkable. He put together a scorecard in a small book, which he carried at all times, and he would evaluate his performance on a daily basis. He did this for his entire life, and while one can debate his success with mastery, I am convinced it was huge contributing factor to his accomplishments and life well lived. 

When I first decided to do my experiment I considered using Ben Franklin's thirteen virtues. After all, they were tried and true. Then I thought that coming up with my own virtues would make it a bit more personal but thinking about picking THE virtues that I wanted to live by started to become very daunting. What if I picked the "wrong" ones? What if my choices made me shallow, mean or otherwise less joyous then I really want to be? It suddenly started to seem all lofty and not at all fun. That is when it occurred to me to pick something I wanted more of in my life.

Which brings me to my second influence, you become what you think about, an old Earl Nightingale adage I first heard about in my twenties when reading his book The Strangest Secret. This concept moved me to pick distinctions that would have me "think about" what it is I want. So on to the next dilemma. What is it that I want? As my friends and family know, I am a pretty happy gal. I have a wonderful husband who signed up agreeing to "Woo and Wow" me forever and I get to be the full time mother of the funniest smartest little girl on the planet. What more could I really want?

My inquiry led me to BLISS. I can remember some really perfect moments of bliss but could it, would it be possible to cultivate it as a regular occurrence? Something experienced EVERYDAY? Bliss is defined as supreme happiness; utter joy or contentment and somehow occurs for me as a special event. Everyday is defined as an everyday occurrence and somehow the two things could be a bit incongruent. Would cultivating bliss somehow make it ordinary or less blissful? I decided it was worth the risk. I mean what could it hurt if I end up raising the bar on what bliss for me is and if I only end up experiencing more fun and joy on a daily basis? Heck this is a game worth playing!

And there you have it. The Everyday Bliss Game was born. Today I am half way through the year long game and I am totally tickled that so many have decided to come along for the ride! 

This game is VERY user friendly. I mean it is about BLISS so I want everyone to have fun while participating or even just following along! As part of my study into each of my virtues, each week, usually on Mondays, I come up with what I'm calling "Bliss Initiatives." These are concrete things you can do in your own life to foster a particular bliss virtue, this week it is JOY.  Some of these things will be simple; perhaps something like Smile at three strangers today and others will be more time consuming; make a list of the things that bring you joy today or more complicated: hand make a greeting card and deliver it in person.  My thought is for you to participate as much or as little as you want. Some weeks it may be possible to take everything on and other weeks you may only want to follow along as I try things out.

I am not able to do everything I come up with either.  We all have busy lives and this project is intended to inspire not overwhelm!  Some weeks I have a dozen lofty ideas but am unable to even complete one. Remember I am going on the belief that we become what we think about so even the inquiry has an effect. This is the very thing I am excited to blog about.

So, bottom line, you can participate by
  • following along
  • playing along with the "Bliss Initiatives" I come up with
  • creating your own game and initiatives
And you are invited to play along as much or little as you want!

I start each week telling you what I plan to do,  end each week telling you what I actually did, and share my observations "from the field" in between.  I will explore each virtue in a number of different ways.  This week I wll be exploring and encouraging JOY this way:

  • Study - Poking around the internet, considering the Practice of Joy as a spiritual endeavor,  and reading the book "The Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin -- no recommendation yet I will let you know once I have finished reading it! 
  • Do something you love - Don't just say hi on Facebook, actually pick up the phone and call an old friend, share an ice cream with your child, get a massage, paint your nails... what ever it is that brings you joy. Be conscious and choose joy!
  • Carry a pocket charm - I find that I forget about this game as I navigate through my daily life.  I will carry this small totem around with me,  and as I happen upon it,  I will be reminded that I am focusing on JOY.  I found this small pewter stone with the word joy engraved on it but any small pocket sized item can work for you as long as you associate it with this project. 
  • Field work - I've done this before and am repeating it because it works! Each day I will be doing at least one thing from Daphna Caperonis' terrific list of 50 ways to find Joy.  Click here, even if you have no plans to do anything from her list.  Just considering it is a joyous experience! 

  • Get in the mood for Joy - Watch this very short (less then 5 minutes!)  Finding Joy Movie which is a nice, meditative way to begin any JOY filled day.  If time during the week permits,  watch one of these feature Films on Joy.
Next Post: Something Joyous

My 13 bliss virtues: joy, order, creativity, passion, whimsy, serenity, inquiry, community, romance, gratitude, moxie, humility, surprise


  1. I seen 'The Happiness Project' mentioned several times recently so I'll be well interested to read your opinion.
    Although I agree with you that joy can be cultivated but it is also a gift I think.

  2. joy is a GREAT thing! I have not seen The Happiness Project...Hmmm....I'm intrigued. I am, however, WICKED crazy excited that you have so many awesome new followers!!!

  3. Hi Kathy! congrats on your followers. I'm super excited that this is starting this week and not next. I rushed home from work to read this and plan on checking out the links later on.
    I smiled at lots of strangers today! (It's my favorite part of my job!)

  4. What a great explanation of Everyday Bliss! I am relatively new to your blog, so this was a wonderful reintroduction to the rules of the Game! :) Theresa


Thank you "very so much" (the construct I stole from my 3 year old!) for your comments! I reply to every comment. I will ALWAYS reply over here on the blog so if you haven't heard from directly please do check back here. If you become a Disqus member you will be automatically updated via email as well!

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Ben Franklin's 13 Virtues

  • 1. TEMPERANCE - Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
  • 2. SILENCE - Speak not what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
  • 3. ORDER - Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
  • 4. RESOLUTION - Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
  • 5. FRUGALITY - Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e. waste nothing.
  • 6. INDUSTRY - Lose no time; be always employ'd in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
  • 7. SINCERITY - Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and if you speak, speak accordingly.
  • 8. JUSTICE - Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
  • 9. MODERATION - Avoid extreams; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
  • 10. CLEANLINESS - Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths or habitation.
  • 11. TRANQUILITY - Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
  • 12. CHASTITY - Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or to the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation.
  • 13. HUMILITY - Imitate Jesus and Socrates.


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