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I am writing this on the last morning of a beautiful women’s retreat in Central Texas. I am surrounded by gnarly old oaks lavishly stretching their branches in every direction. The sun is rising in the distance, a thin pink line on the horizon separating the green earth from the bathwater sky.

On the first night of the retreat we were invited to get into a big circle for introductions. Usually I don’t particularly love these icebreaker exercises. The questions were quite different at this spiritual deep-dive. We were asked to say our name and declare why we came to this world and what we’d like to come back as in the next lifetime.

It was encouraging to hear how many people came here with the purpose of healing and protecting the earth and its inhabitants. Some came here to be peacekeepers or guardians of the vulnerable. There were a few warriors among us who are here to lead us into the new world. Needless to say I felt pretty safe and warm amongst all these powerful, nurturing, loving women.

Then a short, dark-haired woman declared that her purpose here is to be joyful, to laugh and smile and enjoy life and those who surround her.

“Yaaaassss!” responded the sassy voice that occupies my mind. What a beautiful, absolutely essential purpose. I can get so caught up in the doing that I sometimes forget the significance of being. Surely at the core of our beingness is joy and light and love. What a crucial role she has come here to play.

Today I want to put out a reminder, as I was so graciously given, that being joyful is a big part of why we’re all here. It is not soft or fluff or silly. It is a gift to all who encounter you. It is water for the thirsty soul.

Joyfulness can change everything, for joy is an emotional manifestation of Love, and what could be more important than that?

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