Posted by: drjamm | January 11, 2010

Joy #1 birthday flowers

If your thought is a rose, you are a rose garden…  — Rumi

Its two days before my birthday and a dear friend has given me a beautiful bouquet of flowers called “sweetness roses.” Since the  roses perfectly match the red tones in my living room,  I took a rose out of the vase and laid it on the rug for this photo op. On the way back from meeting my friend for tea and roses (Oh Joy!), my truck broke down and I had to drive straight to the mechanic ( Oh no!). Once parked,  I had to grab all my stuff — including my birthday bouquet — and walk into the dealership’ main office. “Wow, what beautiful flowers!” they all shouted. (Oh Joy!). “Yes, its my birthday.” I blushed at the happy attention. The service rep told me they could fix my truck first thing in the morning (Oh Joy!) but it would cost me $500 (Oh no!). The courtesy van driver took  20 minutes to meet me and then he told me that, due to two traffic accidents, almost all routes were closed (Oh no!). But luckily my house could easily be reached via the only open back road (Oh Joy!). Finally, even after all the ups and downs in my day, I arrived home feeling spiritually bouyant and wrapt in the glow of my early birthday flowers.

I think I have learned the secret to making it through a stressful day — carry a bouquet of beautiful flowers! Those gorgeous blossoms fairly shouted at me to constantly stop and smell the roses — a practice strongly advised by Unitarian Universalist minister, Amanda Aikman in her new book, Full-spectrum Joyfulness. I am not sure I know how to achieve the full-on, unabashed, Joy-making advised by Rev. Amanda, but everyday it is becoming clearer to me that practicing, courting, cultivating, teasing, dancing, wrestling, and just-plain-noticing Joy a-bounding through my life is my spiritual duty — and frankly the whole point of living a fulfilling life. If it takes carrying a love-infused bouquet of roses around with me as I walk through my day (with its natural challenges like my truck breaking down), to keep me oriented toward Joy, then perhaps I should consider flower-toting as one of my Joy-full practices for this new year.

If your thought is a rose,
you are a rose garden;
if it is a thorn,
you are fuel for the bath stove.

– Rumi

In the meantime, I have my Full-spectrum Joyfulness book beside my bed so I can surprise myself with yet more ways that I can invite Joy into my life (thank you Rev. Amanda for this little book of BIG Joy pick-me-ups). I’ll keep you all posted on my Joy developments.

May you notice all the roses, blessings, and Joys in amoungst the challenges in your days.

*******       bright heart singing                          credits and links             *******

Photo credits: Photos by jamm at

Book credit: Full-Spectrum Joyfulness by Amanda Aikman; songs by Kathleen Tracy

Poem credit: Poem excerpt from: Rumi, Mathnawi (Mesnevi), II, 278

bright heart singing, copyright 2010 – jamm. Creative commons attribution, non-commercial sharing only (translation: feel free to quote me in context or use this entry but please always credit me for my work, thanks.)


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