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Little Bursts of Joy

“It would be so nice if you could stop by this week.”, said the older lady.

“I can come by on Wednesday morning if that works for you”, said the younger woman.

“That would be great. My sister is coming over on Tuesday and if you came over Wednesday that would work out. I love to get Little Bursts of Joy during the week”

I heard this exchange as I was walking out of a supermarket. The phrase “Little Bursts of Joy” jumped out and lodged itself in my mind. I thought- “Where can I find my own Little Bursts of Joy?” I looked at the hill behind the supermarket parking lot and there was a cabin with a wisp of wood smoke curling out of the chimney. I thought about how warm it must be to sit beside the wood stove in the cabin with a cup of coffee. A Little Burst of Joy right there.

I realized that I could start looking for LBOJs (I have now shortened Little Bursts of Joy in my daily lexicon) everywhere during the day. It is a simple gratitude practice that makes me feel good. The more I seek them out, the more of them I find, the happier I become throughout the day.

Gratitude has been described as a “natural antidepressant” and the “mother” of all human feelings. When we express gratitude our brain releases dopamine and serotonin, natural chemicals that can help raise our mood level. The more gratitude we practice, the more we can strengthen the path that these chemicals run along and increase our moods.

Here are some LBOJs from my week:

· 3 robins in a line digging for worms in the ground

· Listening to the song “Wagon Wheel’ and passing a restaurant called the Wagon Wheel. Coincidence? I think not-LBOJ at work!

· A bald eagle cruising along a river looking for dinner

· Folding laundry with my daughter while singing Taylor Swift songs together

· Hitting the ground hard after slipping on a patch of ice…and realizing nothing is broken or hurt

· Finding a (FREE) parking spot in Downtown Albany a block from the event I was attending

· Noticing two small Eastern White Pine Trees on a path where I had never noticed them before

· The white flakes of an early spring snow falling on my dog’s black coat

· The first buds on a maple tree-a sure sign of spring!

· The smile on my son’s face when we unexpectedly meet in the school parking lot

Where can you find Little Bursts of Joy today?

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