Since The Woman’s Book of Joy was first published in 2016 the pace of change and resulting upheaval in the world has increased exponentially. It’s hard not to feel de-stabilized by everything that’s happening, and anxiety and fear can overwhelm us. For women it has been particularly challenging, and trying to deal with all the issues that face us has left many thinking there has to be a better way of living.
Life is always unpredictable - it’s impossible to prevent the unexpected and control what’s happening however hard we try. What we think and feel, however, and how we react to events, is always within our control. We don’t need to get caught up in the chaos. Instead of allowing our minds to run riot, or wearing ourselves out with frenetic activity (often a ploy to avoid painful emotions), or collapsing in a heap because we feel unable to cope - there is another way.
We can choose to take care of ourselves, in the fullest sense, by nurturing ourselves. Too often as women we tend to put others’ needs before our own and have little time for self-care. We don’t always get the help we want and need from family and friends and so often feel alone. When we choose to make time each day for ourselves, turning inwards for as little as 10 minutes, focusing on our breath, we begin to feel more at ease, less stressed.
At the heart of our being we connect with what’s real and discover who we truly are. We find we can believe in ourselves and our dreams, we feel strong and powerful, because we’re connected to the pulse of life that flows through all things. We can let go of unrealistic expectations and surrender to the moment. Then we experience the real joy that is not dependent on external circumstances. We can trust life’s process and believe in a future of abundance and bliss.
Things may well fall apart around us and in our lives, but out of chaos something new is always being born. When we are open and flexible in the face of change, we can more readily appreciate life’s daily miracles and feel grateful for them. If we can learn to view life as a dance, and trust the life-force within us to show us the way forward, then joy is always the result.
I hope this new edition will inspire women everywhere to get in touch with this wellspring of joy, reclaim our power, heal the hurts and overcome the doubts, so that we can live lives that absolutely overflow with joy!