Love, doodles, and a happiness jar

Happy 2015, everyone!

I have 5 Happy-New-Year updates, so I’m writing a quick post before I return to my regular schedule on January 16th.

First, in case you didn’t hear the news, we donated $3,000 to Lisa Adam’s Sloan-Kettering metastatic breast cancer research fund. What we were able to accomplish in a couple of months awed and humbled me. I made the donation on December 31st, and it was the best way to end a year ever. Thank you so much to everyone who purchased art for the cause. Your generosity is making a real, positive difference in the world.

Second, a couple of years ago I wrote and doodled the “52 Weeks: 52 Ways to Love Your (wild) Self” e-guide. I came up with the idea after my Year of Fearless Love, a year that taught me two really important things. First, all love stems from self-love. Second, we live in a culture that celebrates a certain kind of martyrdom. We appreciate sacrifice and celebrate those who, day after day, put themselves last. I think this is especially true for women, upon whom we have heaped so many nurture-the-world expectations.

So, in 2012, after I wrote the Love Essays about my year of loving fearlessly, I wrote (and doodled) my e-guide. I wrote straight from my heart, and I was certain that anyone who used the guide would be changed by the end of the year. The only thing I didn’t do was go through the guide myself, week by week, for 52 weeks. This year, I’m going to. Starting this week, I’m going to go through the whole guide as I intended people to go through it. Each week this year, I’ll do the assigned activity (everything from mapping my heart, to making pleasure a practice, to calling bull shit on “should,” and creating my own personal manifesto).

I’ve started an email list for everyone who wants to do it with me, and the response has been awesome. I’m super excited. If you’d like to join us, the e-guide is only $15 , and for the month of January you can use the coupon code LOVEYOURWILDSELF to save an additional 10% on the guide and anything else in the shop. Buying the guide automatically gets you on the mail list.

Third, in June, 2013, I participated in Jill Salahub’s Self-compassion Saturday interview series. Every Saturday for six months, Jill published interviews in which she asked her “tribe of wise and compassionate women” four questions:

  • What does self-compassion mean?
  • How did you learn self-compassion?
  • How do you practice self-compassion, what does that experience look like for you?
  • What do you still need to learn, to know, to understand? What do you still struggle with?

The answers she received were amazing in their breadth and honesty. It was truly an honor to be included. Jill has collected all the interviews into an e-book that you can download for free from her website. I hope you’ll check it out.

Fourth, after a couple of years struggling to establish a meditation practice, I think I may have finally stumbled upon something that works for me: Meditation Doodles. I have a free app on my phone that plays meditation music and allows me to set a timer. I set the time for 30 minutes every morning, and I doodle. Here’s the first one I did, which took me 5 sessions to finish.

Meditation Doodle 1

I’m sharing because I like to think I’m not the only person who struggles with the holding-still part of meditation. I’m finding doodling to be much, much easier. When my mind gets too busy, I just pull it back to the music and my pen moving methodically across the page. In case you want to follow along, I’ve been posting my doodles-in-progress on Instagram, and I started a Pinterest board for the finished ones.

And finally, I LOVE Elizabeth Gilbert’s Happiness Jar idea. I’m doing it. I thought you might want to do it too. Here’s what she wrote about it on Facebook:

What is a Happiness Jar? The simplest thing in the world. You get yourself a jar (or a box, or a vessel of any kind) and every day, at the end of the day, you grab a slip of paper and write down on it the happiest moment of the day.

Even on lousy days, you do this. Because even on lousy days, there is one best moment (or at least, one least-worst moment.)

You stick that little piece of paper in the jar.

Over the years, you have a record of your happiness…

Over the years, my Happiness Jar has taught me much. What continually amazes me is what ends up on the slip of paper every day. Not awesome events, not huge achievements — usually just a small and tiny thing, a moment of awareness…that moment when you step outside and between the house and the car you get hit on the top of the head with a beam of sunlight, and suddenly feel awash with gratitude simply for being alive, and you think, “Yes. This is it.”

It’s usually something that small — and something that grand.

Don’t you love that? I can’t wait to pull all my little slips of paper out this New Year’s Eve and be reminded of the things – small and grand – that lit me up this year.


p.s. The first 52-52 email went out first thing this morning. If you didn’t get it and should have, contact me and we’ll fix you right up.

1 Comment

  1. […] from the E-book of assignments 52-52-Love-Your-Wild-Self e-guide by Judy Clement Wall. Linking to Judy’s website from Estrella’s I see that she is interested in developing (wild) creativity, making art and […]