The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within our reach, is joy. TAKE JOY! ~Fra Giovanni
WELCOME to the Take Joy Society. We are a group of ladies who first met because of our love of Tasha Tudor's art and lifestyle. We are broadening our focus to include other artists/writers/people of interest who embody Tasha's philosophy to Take Joy in all the good that life has to offer. Here you will find a record of our get-togethers and resources to help you see that the gloom of the world is but a shadow so that you, too, can Take Joy!
Sarah Ban Breathnach writes in Simple Abundance. . . .
"Has the other path worked? Have any of the world's gifts given you authentic happiness?......Here's what I think happens," she writes. "Just before we come to earth to begin this life, we are given a photograph of our futures--the Divine Plan--to get us excited about the great adventure ahead. As the photo pops out of the celestial camera, we're in such a hurry to get on with it, we grab the negative instead of the photograph. . . .
Now we've got the pattern of a fabulous life, but the perspective is reversed. What's white looks black. What's black appears white. We've got the big picture, but it's backward. So we cry when we should be laughing, are envious when we should feel inspired, experience deprivation instead of abundance, do it the hard way instead of the easy way, pull back instead of reaching out. And worst of all, we close our hearts so we won't get hurt, when opening them is the only way we'll ever know joy."
"How many times have we waited for Spirit to move for us, when in fact, Spirit is waiting to work with us? Today, take the negative of your Divine Plan and let Love develop it so that you can begin living the life for which you were created."
"The popular belief is that inspiration "strikes" us like a lightning bolt from the sky. Actually, it's the other way around. In reality we strike inspiration much the way miners strike gold. By ceaselessly working, reworking and reworking the old territory, sooner or later we'll run into a little nugget of something wonderful, something better."
"And herein lies the difference between the average dreamer and the person who goes after their dreams. The successful person is willing to put up with the hard work because inside of it he finds a joy like nothing else on earth. But the average dreamer does not know this joy yet. The average dreamer finds his joy in tangible rewards and gets stopped when he realizes all that hard work may ultimately be for nothing."
"Finally, you can understand all those curious twists and turns you took and see the larger, greater picture that they form. And this is when all your doubts about your goal begin to blow away like so much dust in the wind. This is also the point when you come close to sensing the divine in your work"
"It is the sheer poetry of creating something from nothing and working on it until it is truly and absolutely right that ultimately keeps you coming back. This is the magic that can only be born of hard work, and this, ultimately, is realizing your dream."
Try This: Suzanne suggests you use an oversized calendar to keep track of the days you actively work on your project. Note the emotional climate of each day's work. It will be a visual journal that you are making progress.
In Sarah Ban Breathnach's book, Simple Abundance, she writes that while wandering through an abandoned cemetery she discovered a wonderful definition of authentic success inscribed on the headstone of a woman who died in 1820: "The only pain she ever caused was when she left us."
It's probably too late for any of us to live up to that inscription for our grave stones, so I thought I'd list some of the other examples Sarah gives for authentic success. She begins with time.
Having time to. . . .
pursue personal pursuits that bring you pleasure
make loving gestures for your family that you long to do
care for your home, tend your garden
nurture your soul
In your work you feel. . . . .
focused and serene
you're doing the best you possibly can and that is enough
With your gifts you've. . . . .
accepted your limitations and made peace with your past
discovered your passion and are calling forth your gifts so you can share them with the world
Authentic success is. . . . .
not about accumulating but letting go because all you have is all you truly need
feeling good about who you are, appreciating where you've been, celebrating your achievements, and honoring the distance you've already come
reaching the point where being is as important as doing [afterall, we're human beings, not human doings]
realizing that no matter how much time it takes for a dream to come true in the physical world, no day is ever wasted
elevating labor to a craft and craft to an art by bestowing Love on every task you undertake
is being grateful for the many blessings bestowed on you and yours that you can share your portion with others
From time to time I will post a single music video that I feel expresses the Take Joy philosophy. Then I will link back to it in the above MUSIC tab so you can find it again easily. This song is called "To Believe" and is sung by a child, Jackie Evancho, written by her uncle, Matthew Evancho. . . .
The First Day of each month is devoted to all things Tasha Tudor. Each month's illustration is from The New England Butt'ry Shelf Almanac that she illustrated for Mary Mason Campbell. The Almanac contains stories, poems, information on fauna and flora, and recipes. Here is a recipe for Cranberry-Apple Crisp. . . .
Tasha's book, A Time to Keep, celebrates the year through seasonal activities each month. "September is fair month," she says, and illustrates four pages of her Dolls' Fair. . . .
Click on photos to enlarge
The Take Peace group on Facebook recently toured Corgi Cottage and held their own Dolls' Fair afterwards. You can read about it on Linnie Nolan's Web Journal The Butt'ry and Book'ry.
Tasha also wrote about fairs in her books, The County Fair and Corgiville Fair. Tasha loved farming and animals and would attend the nearby Danbury, CT Fair when she was a teenager. Her homemade oatmeal bread won 1st prize one year. . . .
The fact that Tasha held each season in reverence and ordered her life around them is one of the reasons I love Tasha Tudor. Each month of each season was celebrated in some way even when there was not an official holiday.
Maria Berg, an artist in Germany, found me on the Web through my postings on Morning Musings about Tasha and sent me her watercolor of Tasha with her reason for loving Tasha Tudor which she was happy to share. I've posted a link to her Web Journal in the sidebar because it embodies the Take Joy philosophy. If you sign-up for her e-mails at her site, you will receive her encouraging posts about living a joyful life. Thank you, Maria! . . . .
If you have a story to tell or a drawing you've done of Tasha and her world and would like to share it here, e-mail it to me and I will include it in next month's post. You can find my e-mail on my Profile page.