18 Feb 2018 Who are we now?

Hello to you.  It’s 11:45 am on this cool, gray Sunday.  I just wanted to share a positive word.  I feel like I am discovering a way to be useful in this world, and it’s not an easy process but a process just the same – seeking and finding the positive things in people, places and things.   I used to be really good at this – when I was a child of course.  Well thankfully, inside, I still feel my inner child very much alive!  The part of me that our Sam taught me to hold on to – there are no strangers in this world, just family you haven’t met yet.  Not just friends, FAMILY.  Why do I say that?  With my understanding of God as energy.   If everything is energy and everything is God then that makes us all – every single form of life know and unknown – family!

Anyhew.   In my meditation this morning, the message that came forth was about how the past can hang and or trip us up to getting to where we want to go.  I have shared this before here but I will share it again:  “It’s not who we were in the past, it’s who we are now.”  The God of my understanding doesn’t care about the past because Time is our device.  The God of my understanding doesn’t care about what mistakes we’ve made in the past only if we don’t learn from them and intentionally keep repeating them.  If we don’t even try to make amends to those we’ve wronged to include ourselves.

As I sat outside doing this drawing and meditation a thought occurred to me for places we could start making amends – prisons of all kinds, nursing homes, mental health facilities, rehabilitation centers and our churches.  All the places for humans, animals and plants that could be considered cages.  Unconditional love and forgiveness has not been taught or learned by many.  What if we were to work together starting in a place we all share….the heart?  Just a thought…an idea with a positive intention and or motive.


DSC_0549 18 Feb 2018 Jackie Wygant morning meditation Alvarado TX


13 Feb 2018 Seek First to Understand

20 April 2017 – I don’t know why but I put these things together. The Prayer of St. Francis is one of my very favorites.

Hello just a quick post.  I wanted to share some thoughts that came to me today.  I had been feeling anxious and my brain was running pretty fast and I’m tired from not sleeping so well the past couple of nights.  So I grabbed my chalks, even though it is cold out (if you dress appropriately the cold isn’t so bad), and these thoughts came to me….specifically the words of one of my favorite prayers.  The part about seeking to understand versus always being understood specifically.  Most of my life I’ve tried to do the understanding part but it’s not always easy.  Sometimes you want others to “get you” to understand why you are the way you are and you can’t tell them the whole story of why because they have their own problems too.   It’s hard to focus on other people’s “stuff” when while they are talking, you are thinking about your own self the whole time….”what’s in this for me?  why should I care?”  It’s hard to be selfless and empathetic and or caring and also take care of, even “protect” yourself from others stuff.  This is where compromise, respect, treating others like you would want to be treated and healthy boundaries and all that good stuff comes into play.

Anyhew – hope something here resonates.  One person can’t fix a mess as big as the one we’ve got here on Earth.  I know I didn’t make all this mess but I did have my part in all of it.  We each have a part in the mess and have to find our way of working towards a loving, peaceful, non-violent solution to it.  It didn’t happen overnight!  The phrase that keeps coming to me, “Trust the Process.”  For me that means having faith in myself and the God of my understanding that there is a plan in all of this.

26 Oct 2017 A Simple Prayer St Francis that belong to Kyles Grandma Pat Hultgren

13 Feb 2018 – what a birthday gift to be able to do this every day. What is Time for?  To make money or make a meaningful life?  What is money without a meaningful life?  We’ve created quite the paradox!


9 Feb 2018 Love and Abandonment (Morning meditation)

9 Feb 2018 /1019 am

I was outside preparing to do some “chalking” when a revelation about connection between “wisdom,” Why of Life and Death and Tree of Life came. It was instigated by my finding seeds that blew down from cotton tree to my hoodie. My good friend the cotton tree helping me again. What came brought forth a lot of tears. If I (we as a species) had remained ignorant, didn’t need to find out why (curiosity) I (we) wouldn’t know or care about living and dying. Sentience and consciousness, “awareness” would never have happened and may be we would have been happier — “Ignorance is Bliss” philosophy.

17 May 2017 – Cottonwood seed ships

Love changed everything because with love comes “attachment.” Something I learned more about through Buddhism’s the 4 Noble Truths and the 8 Fold Path. When you lose something or someone you love more than “existence” you will tear heaven and earth apart to find it, reclaim it. What I was willing to do at Mesa Springs when I didn’t know where Kyle was. What happened to me for 3 years after we lost our Sammy.

Source Internet: Seed of Life. I loved that this is made in stained glass with chakra colors.

Abandonment creates some of the largest energy vortexes, human black holes. It can be “perceived” or intentional abandonment but the abandoned feel it all the same. Why?!Where did you go?! When are you coming back?! Will you come back?!

(My mother, my Grandparents….all those I’ve loved and lost for whatever reason. I had to grieve and heal — fill the holes their “abandonment of me” left behind.

All of us have lost people, places and things through our shared journey. Are we so attached to these that we are willing to destroy ourselves and a planet to retrieve them? This is just what I see for myself. I hope there is something in this morning meditation that resonates with you….is helpful. I would ask you, what positive, loving aspect of existence can you put in the “holes” some sort of abandonment has made in your mind, body and most importantly your soul?

What do I do? All through my blogs here is what I’ve learned to do for myself with unseen guidance and loving nudges from the tangible elements that surround me. The arts, meaningful work, chores, spirituality, helping others and educating myself about people, places and things I don’t understand before making judgements about them. It is in the latter I have come to realize I can judge no one nor is there anyone on this earth who can either. We are all imperfect and it is in that imperfection we are amazing creations capable of greatness beyond our wildest dreams. We are here for each other. No one person can fix this shared mess our world has become. We must learn to build bridges instead of more walls.

17-feb-2011-my-puppy-sammy-and-his-tennis-ball (Sammy crossed the rainbow bridge 27 April 2011)

My Mom Jeanne and my Grandpa Harold (Hal) Becker on her wedding day, 21 Nov 1965.

8 Feb 2018 Dr. Wilhelm Reich books The Cancer biopathy and Function of the Orgasm Alvarado TX

8 Feb 2018 Jackie Wygant Blue Book for Alcoholics Anonymous Alvarado TX meditation about addiction like sugar etc

8 Feb 2018 Two books from Grandma Becker and Aunt Ruth to help me heal inside when I was younger I read from How to Be your own best friend out loud Alvarado TX

5 Feb 2018 Drawings and Energy Vampirism

5 Feb 2018 – it’s been a very cold and gray day but I did get out and do this drawing today. “Peace with a heart”

5 Feb 2018 – Drawing I did this afternoon. Started with the figure and just evolved. This is kind of a representation of what it’s like for Empaths, Highly Sensitive People, Caretakers…”shiny people” in a world of people starving for light inside of themselves.  People who do not know how to generate their own light are attracted to those who can….it can be very draining….Energy vampirism. 


this information resonated with me from my own experience and behaviors I’ve struggled with myself.  I feel like since everything is energy, to include my concept of God, we are all vampires in a way.   If you think about it, when we eat a meal, we are basically consuming energy.  I have had the experience on more than one occasion of nearly being drained to exhaustion, sweating – nearly passing out.  I have been on the other side of it also before I learned about what exactly was going on with regards to the exchange of energy between people, places and things.  I had to learn mindfulness about energy – the rate of exchange in the interactions I have and knowing when the exchange is imbalanced and doing what I need to do to protect myself from harm.   I am still learning.  When you are a person who cares about others, too much, you can make yourself very vulnerable to this experience of energy vampirism.  I don’t know why, but thought it might be interesting to share.  I hope this information is helpful/informative to those who may not have been aware.

Energy Vampires

by Dr. Bruce Goldberg


Some people, by their very presence, seem to drain the energy of those unprotected people around them. They will often associate with a victim who exhibits the classic signs of this drain.

General debility, lack of motivation and energy, an emaciated physique, a pallid complexion, and an overall sense of weakness are typically noted. These victims also tended to be highly suggestible people. The dominant partner (energy vampire) always resists a successful treatment, or protection, applied to their victim.

Most of these energy vampires are well-meaning, normal people. They are an unhappy lot, and do their damage by a telepathic draining of their victim’s energy resources. Mere separation of two people results in immediate positive changes in the victim. In my Los Angeles office I train all such victims in the art of spiritual protection techniques to eliminate any recurrences of this syndrome. Try the psychic protection negativity experience on the hypnotic exercise link for your own protection.

I prefer to use the term “psychic parasitism” for cases where this energy drain is involuntary and subconscious. If this effect is the result of a premeditated psychic attack, I refer to the perpetrator as an energy vampire.

You will observe this process at work in any public gathering,. The more people present, the easier it will be to observe. This could be a family gathering, a lecture, or an encounter at your local movie theater. When I conduct seminars and workshops, it is more than obvious. I discuss this concept and immediately see certain heads bobbing up and down. Even more interesting is the response of their partner. These individuals give more me some of the nastiest looks I have ever seen. Fear not, I am fully protected and am not susceptible to their parasitism/vampirism.

Psychic Defense Strategies Against Energy Vampires

The psychological dynamics represented by people who inadvertently portray a psychic attacker (energy vampire) fall into five major categories. This personality type is an accumulation of that individual’s experiences in their current life, as well as in prior lifetimes.

Fear is the common denominator in these individuals, and you must learn to protect yourself from their negative influences. The five personality types are called ethereal, insecure, paranoid, passive-aggressive, and robotic.

The Paranoid Type

Betrayal is the main issue with a paranoid type. Their karmic theme in past lives has possibly been that of warrior-like behavior, self-sacrifice, and victory in their battles. As a results of their experiences, they learned that there were enemies in the world who betrayed and possibly killed them in several incarnations.

Paranoid types are soldiers still trying to win a war that no longer exists against an enemy that has long since perished. They do not trust anyone.  Everyone is their enemy and life is their battleground. Fear is everywhere and an ingrained part of their personality makeup.

Their energy fields tend to be more highly charged on the upper half of their body. They are especially fearful and distrustful of members of the opposite sex. Aggression is the most common response to the world from a paranoid type. This aggression takes the form of physical behavior and energy projections to anyone in their path.

Paranoid types constantly pick fights. They are seductive, but are incapable of long-term relationships. This person expects all others to betray them, and will assist in setting up others for this betrayal. A paranoid may initiate a betrayal as a preemptory strike.

To lose for a paranoid is to admit that they are bad. This is intolerable, so these people must win at any cost. They are hard workers, obsessive-compulsive, and are usually quite healthy physically. There is never enough time for them to accomplish their various goals.

Paranoid types insist you agree with their often-distorted view of the world. In reality, they want you to argue with them. This way they can win the argument and prove to themselves that they are good and you are bad.

Never argue with this person. Refrain from making eye contact with them. Lower and soften your voice when you speak to them, and change the topic to something pleasant.

The Ethereal Type* (this can be me sometimes)

Existential terror is the predominant issue of an ethereal type. Most often these troubled souls have been tortured to death in previous lives for their metaphysical beliefs or practices. Their only escape was to leave the body, so out-of-body experiences are the norm with them today.

These individuals do not want much contact with others. They were afraid to incarnate in their present body, and show this fear by being unwilling to commit their consciousness completely into their physical body.

Leaving their physical body often throughout the day is the most common method that ethereal types use to deal with problems. They have weak boundaries and spend as much time as possible on the spiritual realms. Since all time is simultaneous on other planes, these people find it difficult to relate to linear time.

The result of these inclinations is both withdrawal and aggression. They become aggressive and angry when forced to function on the earth plane. Their psychic attack on you is rarely premeditated, but nonetheless you must protect yourself from these individuals.

The Insecure Type

The main issue with insecure types is nurturance. These souls have been through many incarnations during which there simply was not enough food or love to go around. They usually were abandoned at some time in their present life, and fear it will happen again.

The insecure type feels that everyone around them is draining their energy; their response is to suck the energy from others to compensate. They may engage you in long, boring conversations and speak very softly. Their voice is so soft and low that you have to strain to hear them. These are compulsive people who are classically overweight and susceptible to addictions of all kinds.

These souls continually create life experience proving that they are not worthy of attention, and their energy needs and nurturing requirements will never be satisfied. To solve this deficiency, they must persist in draining the energy from others, creating a vicious cycle.

An insecure type always comes across as helpless. They insist you do things for them, and expect you to take care of their every need. Give-and-take circumstances are unknown to them. All they can do is take.

Never stand directly in front of this person. Do not make eye contact with him or her, if possible. Encourage them with words, but do not offer to do things for them. Remember these individuals live in constant fear of rejection and abandonment. Do not let your pity for them be a basis for you being their next victim.

The Passive-Aggressive Type

Invasion and being controlled is the chief concern of the passive-aggressive type. During several past incarnations, they experienced being controlled and trapped in situations, and prevented from being able to express themselves in ways they wanted to. They may have been slaves, prisoners, or been victimized by religion or governments.

These souls absolutely desire freedom, but their fear prevents them from claiming it. They are angry and resentful for not feeling free, and lack a solution to this problem. Their response to the world is withdrawal, but with a subconscious wish to obtain permission from other people to come back into the world.

Passive-aggressive types lack autonomy. They constantly strive to involve other people in their lives. This individual makes demands and resists input at the same time. They live in the now, and never plan or think about the future. Self-expression is unknown to them. It is common to observe others interfering with their development, completing their sentences, and taking them for granted.

This type of individual creates an internal world of unclear, undifferentiated fantasies and ideas, with fear at the core of this world. They imprison themselves and project loneliness, desperation, and resentment toward everyone they contact. It is impossible for them to express anger.

Whey you engage this type in a conversation, they will request your advice. Unfortunately, all of your suggestions are wrong and you are of no help to them. These people ask but reject whatever is offered to them. Their classic response to your advice is, “yes,but..”

The Robot Type

The main issue of robotic types is authenticity. They are denying their true self. During previous lifetimes, they had to keep up the appearance of being perfect in order to survive. They were most likely in charge of running things, as they probably are now.

Their outer world is perfect, the inner world is denied, and there is no core essence. They constantly fear that something is missing and life is progressing without them.

To deal with this reality, robot types try to become even more perfect. They have high-paying jobs, a good reputation, a perfect spouse and family, and look in perfect health.

The more inauthentic they act, the more meaningless the world appears. Others envy their lifestyle. People come to them with their problems. The robot types never attain satisfaction from life, and come across as a blank. They function as if on automatic pilot and are often removed from your conversation.

Robot types never complain about the world. They are perfect and everything is beautiful. Appropriateness and being “politically correct” are more important that being real.

These five types of psychic parasites need to be recognized and treated accordingly, or a psychic attack upon you is inevitable.

I highly recommend my Spiritual Growth experience CD album and my book Protected By the Light to fully benefit from this topic.




1 Feb 2018 Life and Art

Hello there.  It’s 7:50 am on this Thursday morning as I write to you.  I hope you are well.  I had a frustrating time last night trying to get good pictures of the rare moon lol.  This drawing about sums it up:

31 Jan 2018 – drawing I did yesterday afternoon. Well later in the evening, when I was fighting with my Nikon to get pictures of the lovely moon, the figure in this drawing makes me think of how frustrated I was lol. People kept driving by each time I was trying to concentrate and it wasn’t their fault, just frustrating living behind a busy road!

Anyhew, we then tried to watch Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Men Tell No Tales and that didn’t help my mood either.  Kyle will probably be finishing it by himself.  He’s more of a fan of the Pirates theme then I am.  I showed Kyle the drawing I had done earlier.  Many of the themes in it were like what we were watching in the movie that ironically had the Blood Moon as part of the story, “the compass in the eye”:

31 Jan 2018 – My drawing yesterday, Convergence, which seems to have a lot of elements from the Pirates of the Caribbean movie Dead Men Tell No Tales Kyle, at random, decided we were going to watch last night. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pirates_of_the_Caribbean:_Dead_Men_Tell_No_Tales

The dream I had before waking was interesting.  There was something about a pretty girl in a library who could sing.  I wanted to get to know her and get closer, but another guy was in the way blocking me.  He even put his feet in my face saying in an irritated voice, “Do you mind?!”   Then there was the part with other kids in the library and my telling them everything is energy, everything is alive, “Just look at the core of the earth!  All living things have souls!”

This dream calls to mind the stories from the show Glee.  There were many relationship rivalries to include what was going on with Corey Monteith and Mark Salling and their characters in the show.  How difficult it must be for actors and actresses to just turn on and turn off  their emotions.   What if something real evolves but it is not reciprocated or too many would be harmed to go any further?  This problem resonates with me and my own experience playing FFXI.  I was married when I met Kyle online and initially we were just role playing and then it evolved.  A lot of damage was done to make our relationship happen.  We both have paid for our choice but do I regret it?  No.  That’s my honest answer.  The only thing I regret, is hurting my ex-husband.

I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life and have had to pay for them in one way or another – my conscience, my heart and the God of my understanding won’t allow for anything else.  When you do something wrong, you have to own it and do the best you can to make amends to those you have harmed in doing that wrong.  You don’t pile new wrongs on top and bury things.  Burying your poor choices just makes it worse.

31 Jan 2018 – Only picture that turned out from last night and ironically the background is bluer than the actual moon lol.

28 Jan 2018 Creating Unity Begins With Inspiration

It looks like it’s going to be a lovely day today so I need to get about enjoying it.  I hope this finds you loved and loving – unconditionally.

22 Jan 2018 Real Life Examples of Disruption and Emergence

Hello to you.  I’m back after being unplugged by forces beyond my control.  On Saturday, around 2:10 pm we heard an explosion in our backyard and then another one.  While this was happening Kyle and I both lost our internet connection.

Do you remember me sharing in this post: https://saymber.com/2018/01/20/20-jan-2018-kan-pai-dream/ about the dream I had about choices which included the hazards of distracted driving?  Well apparently God wanted to give me a specific example to emphasize the point!  The person who had the wreck in our backyard was a 16 year old girl.  Thankfully she wasn’t seriously injured and nor was anyone else – just someones that can be repaired…a car and the Internet box  that got completely crunched!

So this was a major disruption to our lives – especially Kyle’s.  He does a lot of online gaming and was actually in the middle of it when the accident happened.  He was already kind of fussy because he was having to go in for jury duty today.  He was nervous about it – it’s not in his comfort zone.  So when he couldn’t be distracted by his online friends and gaming like he wanted to, he was a bit disgruntled at first.

Sometimes disruptions of the status quo of our lives, whatever their form, can be good.  We can learn things about ourselves and others.  In this case there were many good things that happened.  Prepare yourself, this will shock you lol, we actually started using our kitchen table for meals again!  ZOMG right?!  Ever since the recliner couch came into this house that has trays attached, we’ve been eating in front of the t.v. for all our meals.  Kyle wasn’t as distracted by gaming so he helped me out more with caring for the dogs – giving them baths and trimming nails.  We took them on more frequent walks together which is good for all of us.  He’s been better about sticking to the daily exercise habit we are trying to establish together.  There has been more cleaning in the house.  Today, after I get off of here there will be paint going on canvas!  I told Duwon, the nice man from AT&T who came out to repair our line today, that it’s pretty amazing all the stuff you get done when your not distracted by the Internet.  On the same note, I told him I feel it is a utility.  We may not run our livelihoods off of it, but many small business owners or people who work from home do.  They just have to have it working!  I think it’s kind of crappy they keep trying to say the Internet is not a utility.

Anyhew…..almost warm enough to take stuff out for painting.  I want do it outside and enjoy the beautiful day.  I am dreaming of someday having a solarium/sun room where I can have all my craft stuff and be inside and outside at the same time without having to drag all my stuff back and forth lol.  May be some day.

What’s funny is this morning/last night I had a very detailed dream, like I was living it about car shopping after an accident!  Whoever I was, or with had taken a turn too sharply and rolled/flipped their car.  It was a large old style red car (kind of looks like the one at this link  only a bit larger if your curious https://classic-car-auctions.info/european/2016-artcurial-le-mans-classic-sale-1961-ferrari-250-gt-swb-berlinetta/)  I just remember the top being dented and deciding I wanted a new car.  We looked at a used car lot.  I remember there being a really cute little purplish car.  There was a pick-up truck that had a cab that looked like it was being held together by duct tape.  It was a very vivid experience.  I even remember looking to see how late they were going to be open because there were a lot of people being serviced while we were there.  The times and services were different.  Sales were til like 8:30 pm.  We ended up in new cars but they didn’t have any models on the floor except one that you pushed a button and it put itself together from like the size of a box.  There was someone in the dream who didn’t want to file a claim with their insurance company.  I remember someone driving after that and I was trying to sleep in the backseat.  I flipped a flap on the window for privacy.  It was night time.

Note:  I am having to delete pictures to make room for new ones so if you see something is missing from older blogs, you know why.  The only remedy is to pay for a Premium subscription.  Kyle and I live on a fixed income, which includes my Air force Pension that may not be coming if the Government shut-down continues.  Kyle is not currently employed so are trying not to spend money on anything that would put us over the narrow margins we live by.   I don’t make any money doing this blog nor do I expect to. We will work with what we have. 

21 Jan 2018 – Kyle and I really like this one. Like a sundial? I am having to delete pictures to make room for new ones so if you see something is missing from older blogs, you know why.

12 Jan 2018 Time Travelers (chalk drawing) and How to Overcome Stress by Seeing Other People’s Joy (http://www.dailygood.org)

11 Jan 2018 – it’s been very cold and windy here the past couple of days so I haven’t been out chalk drawing as much. The sun is out but it’s not supposed to break 40 degrees today!

Hello to you.  It’s 9:01 am as I write to you.  The sun is shining out back but I know it’s still very cold LOL!  We are watching the in-laws dogs Henry and Suzie….last night was as the dogs say…RUFF!  We were up at midnight cleaning up poop and watching You tube Nuke’s Top 5 Lists lool!  There is always an adjustment period when combining packs!

My prayers go out to all those in California and all other parts of the world today.   Whether you are trying to survive the elements of Mother Nature or those of Humankind’s making, I hope you have what you need to get through it.  I hope you know you aren’t alone in this world even if often it may seem like it.  I decided to visit one of my favorite websites for positive stories and found this one.  I hope something in it will resonate in your heart today.

Learn to make the mediator between what you think and what you do be your heart.  If you feel your heart sink below center at the prospect of a thought or an action, chances are whatever it is isn’t the right thing for you!

“If it ain’t light, it ain’t right!” – Carol Lee


If you carry joy in your heart, you can heal every moment. –Carlos Santana


How to Overcome Stress by Seeing Other People’s Joy

–by Kelly McGonigal , syndicated from Greater Good, Nov 21, 2017

 If you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, don’t cut yourself off from other people, says Kelly McGonigal. Instead, double down on your capacity for connection.

One evening when I walked into a classroom to teach my Science of Stress course, I found a newspaper waiting for me on the lectern. A student had brought in an article called “Stress: It’s Contagious.” The report claimed that stress is “as contagious as any airborne pathogen” and compared its toxicity to secondhand smoke.

As an example, the news story described a study showing that participants had an empathic physiological stress response when they observed another person struggling. One of the researchers commented, “It was surprising how easily the stress was transmitted.”

As someone who studies both stress and empathy, I get asked about this research a lot. Does it mean that empathy is a liability, increasing your risk of exhaustion, depression, or burnout? If you are highly empathic, are you doomed to become a reservoir for other people’s pain and suffering?

One solution is to create stronger emotional barriers—to put on a psychological Hazmat suit to protect against the stress and suffering you don’t want to catch. I’ve seen this approach adopted by many people in the helping professions, including health care, social work, and teaching.

If you are feeling similarly overwhelmed by how affected you are by the emotions of others, I’d like to offer another possibility for preserving your well-being: Double down on your capacity for empathy. Instead of trying to become immune to other people’s stress, increase your susceptibility to catch other people’s joy.

The benefits of positive empathy

While modern psychological science has largely focused on empathy for negative states, a new field of research dubbed “positive empathy” shows that it is also possible to catch happiness.

You might have seen studies showing that seeing other people in pain can activate the pain system in your own brain. It turns out your brain will also resonate with positive emotions. For example, when you witness other’s good fortune, it can activate the brain’s reward system. Moreover, this kind of contagious happiness can be an important source of well-being. The tendency to experience positive empathy is linked to greater life satisfaction, peace of mind, and happiness. It is also associated with greater trust, support, and satisfaction in close relationships.

Those around you may benefit from your empathic joy, as well. One study examined the experience of empathic joy in teachers in fourteen different U.S. states. The teachers who had more frequent experiences of positive empathy toward their students felt more connected to them. This positive attitude led to more positive interactions with students, as observed by classroom evaluators, and higher academic achievement by their students.

Importantly, positive empathy doesn’t just make you feel good; it can also inspire you to do good. The tendency to feel empathic joy is associated with a stronger desire to help others thrive, and a greater willingness to take action to do so. Positive empathy also enhances the warm glow you feel from helping others—making compassion much more sustainable.

Search for small moments of joy

Joy is a big-sounding word, and so we tend to look for classic expressions of “big” joy—huge smiles, exclamations of delight, hugs and cheers. The kind of joy associated with winning the lottery and marriage proposals.

Yet other forms of joy exist all around us. As you begin to look for joy, you will notice more and more of them. There is the joy of pleasures, simple or sublime, such as enjoying a delicious meal, listening to music, or savoring how it feels to hold a baby in your arms. There is the joy of purpose, and how it feels to contribute, work hard, learn, and grow. There is the joy of being connected to something bigger than yourself, be it nature, family, or faith. There is the joy of wonder—being curious, experiencing new things, and feeling awe or surprise.

There is the joy of being acknowledged and appreciated by others—sensing what you have to offer, and knowing that you matter. There is the joy of being your best self—how good it feels to use your strengths in service of something you care about, or to express your most deeply held values. There is the joy of having your needs met—being helped, listened to, or held in a comforting embrace. There is the joy of laughter, and especially shared laughter, and especially shared laughter when everything seems to be falling apart.

These are just a few of the possible joys you can witness. When you keep your eyes open for them, you learn a lot about how much possibility there is for joy for ordinary moments, and even difficult circumstances.

Ultimately, this is how I think of empathic joy: as a resource that allows you to stay engaged with life not just when things go well, but also when they are difficult. It’s not just a practice of celebrating and amplifying the good; it also allows us to sustain hope when we face the reality of suffering unrelieved and needs yet unmet.

How to catch joy

What if right now, your empathy radar seems tuned in only to stress, unable to resonate with other people’s happiness? Maybe you even feel the opposite of contagious joy: envy at other people’s success, isolated by others’ happiness, reminded by their good fortune of what you long for, or lack.

If so, you aren’t alone. Philosophers and psychologists have observed that, for many people, empathy for negative emotions is more instinctive than for positive states.

Fortunately, you don’t have to rely only on instincts; empathic joy can be cultivated. In Buddhist psychology, empathic joy is considered one of the four brahmavihāras (sublime attitudes), alongside equanimity, loving kindness, and compassion. Like other mindsets, empathic joy can be deliberately trained as a way to deepen your wisdom and well-being. With practice, you can strengthen your capacity to notice, resonate with, and celebrate the happiness of others.

Here are five of my favorite everyday practices for catching joy. As you strengthen your intention to notice joy, you will surely discover your own favorite ways to witness and share in the happiness of others.

1. Watch a child or animal play. Delight in their joy, energy, and wonder. Let yourself smile or laugh as their playfulness awakens a similar spirit in you.

2. Watch an athletic, artistic, or other kind of competition without taking sides. Appreciate the effort, skill, or artistry of all competitors—and celebrate the joy of whoever wins. Feel glad for their success, and watch how they celebrate it with others. See if you can extend your empathic joy to how they share the moment with friends, family, coaches, or teammates.

3. Help someone else celebrate their happiness. If someone shares good news, ask them to tell you more, and listen whole-heartedly. If you become aware of an accomplishment or milestone in a person’s life, write them a congratulatory email or Facebook post. Go beyond “pro forma” congratulations and really feel the joy of helping someone savor something positive.

4. Witness the good in others. Set the goal to notice when others display character strengths like kindness, honesty, courage, or perseverance. Take joy in seeing the good. Feel heart-glad about what you observe. Let yourself feel inspired by their actions to do good yourself.

5. Let someone else do something nice for you. This might not seem like a practice of empathic joy, but it becomes one when you begin to pay attention to how happy it makes the other person. Sometimes our own discomfort with receiving kindness, or fear of being a burden to others, gets in the way of seeing that joy.

As Pema Chodron writes in The Places that Scare You:

“Rejoicing in ordinary things is not sentimental or trite. It actually takes guts. Each time we drop our complaints and allow everyday good fortune to inspire us, we enter the warrior’s world. We can do this even at the most difficult moments. Everything we see, hear, taste, and smell has the power to strengthen and uplift us.”

From this point of view, it becomes possible to open your heart to what can feel, at first, like a vulnerability. To let your natural capacity for empathy connect you to both the pain and joy of others, and to trust that this capacity is a blessing, not a liability.

This article is syndicated from Greater Good, the online magazine of the Greater Good Science Center (GGSC). Based at UC Berkeley, the GGSC studies the psychology, sociology, and neuroscience of well-being, and teaches skills that foster a thriving, resilient, and compassionate society. Author Kelly McGonigal, PhD, is a health psychologist and lecturer at Stanford University, and a leading expert in the new field of “science-help.” She is the author of The Willpower Instinct and The Upside of Stress.

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.
Lao Tzu

The universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it
Marcus Aurelius

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.
Albert Einstein

10 Jan 2018 Chalk drawings, Memory Wire and Urban Sprawl

9 Jan 2018- First outdoor chalk drawing yesterday. This almost has an anime feel to it. I was thinking of a spiritual journey to the sun.

9 Jan 2018 – My first Memory Wire bracelet. I decided to try it instead of stretchy cord and I really like it. As I made it I was thinking about the journey of existence. There is Blood, Worlds colliding, Creation, Chakras, Rainbows…all sorts of stuff going on.  The bracelet is very comfortable to wear.  Many years ago my Mom gave me a Memory Wire bead bracelet she had a friend make for me.  Wearing it all makes me feel like Wonder Woman and her Lasso of Truth lol.  Now I have one for each wrist!

9 Jan 2018 – last drawing of the day. Very spiritual feeling to it. More than just a cross.

Hello to you.  It’s Wednesday morning, 7:59 am as I begin to write to you.  I’m sharing some of my creations from yesterday.  Since I’ve nearly maxed out my picture space here again and haven’t decided whether or not I want to buy a professional account, it’s always a nail-biter to see if all I want to share with you will even load up!  Today was a success!

Last night was interesting.  Around 5:59 pm we heard two loud booms that scared us and the dogs.  It sounded like bombs going off.  There was discussion on Next Door (neighborhood internet page) but no definitive answers.  It’s kind of like when we had the 4.0 earthquake a couple of years ago now.  You can’t prepare yourself for those types of sounds and feelings!  Hopefully it wasn’t anything bad.

Our little town is growing much faster than I think anyone thought it would.  Things that used to be o.k. aren’t o.k. anymore in the noise department with more people living in the city proper.  The gap between the folks living on the outer edge of our town and those of us living within it city limits is closing.  A phenomenon I’ve explored here before about this is called Urban Sprawl.  What happens is people will move away from large cities to get away from the chaos and then they tell two friends and they tell two friends and before you know it, they are right in the same situation they left!  When people from large cities move to small ones, they want all the amenities they had but also want peace and quiet….no traffic.  It doesn’t work that way.  Where you go, there you are….I give you Urban Sprawl!


Urban sprawl refers to the expansion of poorly planned, low-density, auto-dependent development, which spreads out over large amounts of land, putting long distances between homes, stores, and work and creating a high segregation between residential and commercial uses with harmful impacts on the people living in these areas and the ecosystems and wildlife that have been displaced. Although some would argue that urban sprawl has its benefits, such as creating local economic growth, urban sprawl has many negative consequences for residents and the environment, such as higher water and air pollution, increased traffic fatalities and jams, loss of agricultural capacity, increased car dependency, higher taxes, increased runoff into rivers and lakes, harmful effects on human health, including higher rates of obesity, high blood pressure, hypertension and chronic diseases, increased flooding, decrease in social capital and loss of natural habitats, wildlife and open space. In its path, urban sprawl consumes immeasurable acres of forests, farmland, woodlands and wetlands and in its wake, leaves vacant storefronts, boarded up houses, closed businesses, abandoned and usually contaminated industrial sites, and traffic congestion, which can stretch miles from urban centers and is creating a hidden debt of unfunded infrastructure and services, urban decay, social dysfunction, and environmental degradation.

America’s Biggest Problem   –  well worth spending 14 minutes to watch this!

Published on Jul 20, 2015

Watch the new video, Agoraphobic Nation: Sprawl and Culture: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DH60a…
Most of the problems that we face today in the United States, whether they are cultural, economic, social or environmental are rooted in poor urban design and planning. Due to America’s unique experience of economic growth during the 20th century, this has become the most underrated issue in the United States that most people don’t know about. People react to their immediate environment and don’t see the big picture unless they can step outside and view themselves. It’s important to recognize a problem in order to have the capacity to change it.
Some points at the end were inspired by a lecture by Andres Duany: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMvwHDFVpCE

2 Jan 2018 Super Moon and Sum of the parts (Drawing)

1 Jan 2018 – When I drew this yesterday I didn’t consciously know about the coming Super Moon. When I added the white dots for stars I guess I should of got a clue lol. This figure is very Marilyn Monroey to me and I also was thinking of the Woman in White but had more pink chalk than white.

1 Jan 2018 – view of the Wolf or Super Moon from our back yard. I am experimenting with Nikon my in-laws gave me. Need more practice. I used to use cameras with light filters! We are so spoiled now aren’t we?!

1 Jan 2018 – I loved that I was on my computer and turned to see the moon watching over my shoulder through the window! So beautiful!

1 Jan 2018 – Drawing I did yesterday afternoon. The thoughts of “sum of the parts” came to mind. How with the light and shadow parts of ourselves we are one body trying to navigate this complex existence.

These folks had some great pictures people around the world took of the Wolf or Super Moon if you are curious.

My favorite was this one:

Source Earthsky article: moon-full-supermoon-1-1-2018-Prague-Czech-Republic-Raymond-Johnston-e1514850292329

Raymond Johnston caught the January 1, 2018 supermoon from Prague, Czech Republic.


See it! New Year’s supermoon

By Deborah Byrd in Human World | Today’s Image | January 2, 2018

What a great way to start 2018! Photos here from the EarthSky community of 2018’s closest and brightest supermoon. Thanks to all who submitted, and happy new year to all!

My prayers go out to those in this world that have a new year already filled with struggle, strife, sorrow and tragedies.  It seems inescapable except for one place of our choosing – within.  I revisited a mantra this morning, thanks to noticing someone visited a blog I wrote a couple of years ago (thank you mystery person!).   I need to make it a resolution for this year.

Yesterday I was outside and the sky was clear for the first day in a couple of weeks and sure enough, the “sprayers” came and just pooped all over the clear sky!  Oh I was angry!  I allowed myself to be angry about something I’m pretty much powerless to do anything about.  I had some ideas in my fit of anger of course, but any of those would involve me spending the rest of my existence behind bars!  I think focusing on this line of thinking in the mantra from this old blog is a much better idea.  Getting angry at people, who Kyle suspects don’t even know are doing this – they are just flying their planes because they can, is like drinking someone else’s poison expecting to cure yourself!!

This picture is an example of what the “sprayers” do:

25 Nov 2017 – all the crap in the sky yesterday morning. Sometimes I wonder if they aren’t doing a sky sweeping to clean it because there hasn’t been any rain coming from this activity.


“It doesn’t matter what THEY are doing, what matters is what I am doing. What matters is how I react, think and feel and do in my day to day life.   I will pray for the greatest good that can be for my fellow beings that seem to have thrown away their hearts for money, wealth and power and hope the Source, “God” of all my understanding is more forgiving than I can ever hope to be.”