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Cultivating Joy
November 19, 2021
Conversation is the way we discover how to transform our world, together.
-Margaret Wheatley
In an inspiring article that forms the basis for a brand new Exchange Reflections, “Cultivating Joy,” New York Times best-selling author and clinical psychologist, Mary Pipher, makes the point that joy doesn’t just come to us; we need to cultivate it for ourselves:

“Happiness is not the result of circumstance, but rather it is a matter of choices and skills. No matter our situations, we always have freedom in how we respond. Attitude trumps circumstance. And, if we look for joy, we are likely to find it.

It is never too late to become a happy person. We can set our mind to it and work to acquire the necessary skills. They are gratitude, slowing down, being awake to the wonder all around us, being outside and enjoying the primal activities we humans have enjoyed since the beginning of time. These skills can become healthy habits, just like brushing our teeth or exercising.
Gratitude is not a virtue, but rather a survival skill. I have noticed that many of the most grateful people I know live in difficult circumstances. They learn this skill and use it constantly, in order to have joy in their hard lives. Sometimes privileged people are inclined to take too many things for granted. When small things go wrong, they feel miserable. Gratitude comes not in spite of our problems, but rather because of them.”

This Reflections provides a wealth of practical ideas for cultivating joy in our daily lives, no matter what we are facing. It goes beyond the typical “self-care” advice to offer deep thinking about our role in choosing joy. It’s designed to be discussed by a group or pondered individually.

P.S. Fun fact: Mary Pipher is the mother of Exchange magazine’s Editor-in-Chief Sara Gilliam.




Exchange Reflections

Use coupon code REFLECT
for 50% off ANY Exchange Reflections

Exchange Reflections are designed to help a team of people meet in-person or live online to think deeply together about a topic using an article from Exchange magazine as a guide. Included are discussion questions to help guide reflections, as well as a Making Commitments idea sheet to help prompt ideas into action. For your convenience, Exchange Reflections are available in PDF format and you can download immediately on your desktop.

Offer valid through November 25, 2021 at 11:59 pm Pacific Time.
May not be combined with any other offer.
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