Joy for All Seasons

i-fdpspr8-xlHey Friends-

Welcome to October! I LOVE this month. With cooler temps, pumpkins everywhere and cute little kids in costumes, October is a light, joyous prelude to the happy chaos of the holidays, which seem to start earlier and earlier every year. That’s why our blog theme for this month is Joy for All Seasons.

As many of you also know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. This is a cause near and dear to my heart as I know you all know my mom recently completed treatment at MD Anderson Cancer Center. I am so excited that my Southern Charm Bar features a BCA ribbon charm in which a 15% of every charm and chain sold go to a unique branch of MD Anderson, the Integrative Medicine Center.

i-xprjrpj-xlThe Integrative Medicine Center  is so cool and I’m thrilled to partner with them this month. If you are not familiar with it, the Integrative Medicine Center offers non-conventional therapies and classes to reduce patient stress and anxiety to improve physical, mental and emotional well-being including cooking classes, yoga, music therapy, medication, massage and more. They do some amazing work, so be sure to check them out on the web at mdanderson.org.

This month on the blog you will learn more about the programs offered at the MD Anderson Integrative Medicine Center. Our fashion feature spotlights leggings like Lysee, which is sold in-store. And we’ll be addressing joy and how to find it every day.

Think “joy” and maybe you hear “Joy to the World” in your head. But stop. Quiet that beautiful carol, and gently put it away until December. Unfortunately the meaningful season associated with that song can be a busy time filled with social events, shopping, high expectations and over-the-top stress.

That’s why I encourage you to pause and find joy in the fall season right now. There’s much to be excited about – sweater weather, hay bales, festivals, plenty of football and the fun culmination of Halloween. So let’s slow the crazy holiday train and enjoy fall while we can.

Now finding joy might sound like a daunting, formidable task. That’s not the joy I’m talking about. I am talking about simple moments of beauty and connection that resonate in your heart. It could simply be noting the beauty in a piece of art, the taste of a fantastic cappuccino at a new neighborhood coffee shop, observing leaves changing with the season or impromptu moments like this…

The other night, after a long day, I plopped down on the sofa with my 16-year-old son, Harrison, thinking this would be a great time to quiz him about school, grades, tests, college, etc. But after absorbing his indifferent responses and observing his body language, I quickly realized he had no interest in engaging in this discussion with me. I caught myself in that moment and told myself, “E, chill out. Just be here now.”

I glanced up and to no surprise, Monday Night Football was on and I noticed the Vikings were playing the Giants. Well, my husband grew up in Minnesota and his family are die hard Vikings fans. I started to ask Harrison about the game and what he thought and we ended up having the best conversation bonding over the game and his fantasy football leagues. After a while I realized my entire family had made their way to the family room and we were all laughing, watching the game, cheering for our adopted hometown team and experiencing joy.

I guess this is what I mean by joy — to just stop trying so damn hard and enjoy the moment and the people around us. Maybe it’s as simple as opening our eyes and being observant to our environment and those in our presence.

So that’s joy for me. What’s joy for you? If you like, share your joy in the comments below. I’d love to hear your stories!

XOXO, Elaine

P.S. If you enjoyed this post, I’d be thrilled if you’d share it. And don’t forget to follow and subscribe to Join the Collective!

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