DAY 31: Joy In Life

I am filled with gratitude as I write this last post in the “31- Days of Joy and Laughter Project” and concurrently complete a 6-day self directed personal retreat to end the year. As all of these posts came from trusting the unfolding in each day – not planned agenda – today’s post reflects that magical synchronicity that constantly fills my life to over flowing.

My email inbox showed the perfect video from Green Renaissance – two film makers in South Africa whom I have been following for some time now and support their conscious film making by a small donation each month through Patreon. When I saw the title, “Joy In Life” my laughter filled the space around me.

The 90-year-young joyful, transparent man – Sarel – highlighted in this video, fully believes that life itself is a wonderful gift. That we should say “I love you” and “I appreciate you” more during our life moments. Bringing forth the joy in life instead of the sorrow had him backpacking up to base camp at Mount Everest at age 82! “Use it or lose it” he states emphatically.

I will leave you to listen to and watch this delightful elder in the video below, but before I do I want to close with some awareness I have gained from this 31-day project. There were some days that I did not trust there would be anything to write about.

It was just those days that dropped me into greater trust. To pay even closer attention to opportunities for sharing laughter, joy and play. And guess what? Something always emerged though it may not have been my “best” writing. Simply connecting, and sharing joy and humor with you the reader were the daily gifts and the blessings.

I also noticed that I became more attuned to that energy in each and every day. Less attention on the negative news of the day or the most recent social media posts and a great deal more attention on life moments themselves to connect with others, be curious and explore the natural world.

The last 6 days of inhabiting a concurrent self directed personal retreat space added to quieting the mind and opening my heart. Laughing more and worrying less. Realizing how precious the moments of our embodied lives and what power we have to shift consciousness and enhance well being by simply sharing joy and laughter.

So I go out sharing with you two intended acts of kindness and one spontaneous sharing of laughter that happened today. Gifting Dark Chocolate Pomegranate Bark (See Sweet Surrender – Day 9) to the butcher who always welcomed me with smiles and friendly banter when I first moved here 9 months ago, which of course was accompanied with a hug. Another container of “Bark” to the local woman owned wine and cheese place two blocks walking distance from my house in appreciation for their presence in my life and in our community. Oh, and for the great wine and cheese selections too!

Maggie B’s, Waverville, N. Carolina

Then improv spontaneous comedy – we could have been an act! A produce person at my local natural food store was unpacking the vegetables and settling them in their respective places. I happened to glance down at the most amazingly LARGE daikon radishes I have ever seen. I exclaimed to him how large they were and he of course said he could cut one down for me. I then said it could be used as a weapon. He laughed and I rifted away saying “woman dies by produce man hitting her over head with daikon radish at Whole Foods in Asheville, N. Carolina. Produce man still at large….”. We both started laughing while the daikon radish stayed very silent. 🙂 He was lucky I didn’t start singing to the vegetables as I once did when living in California!

Extra LARGE Daikon Radish

As I slowly come back to “regular life” I realize that is exactly what I have been engaged with. Extraordinary life moments one after another, some challenging and filled with emotion, and others tempting me to dance my way down the street in the pure joy of simply living.

Yesterday, learning that Archbishop Desmond Tutu passed away on 12/26 (I was off of all news feeds), I at first experienced great sadness. His long life and presence was filled with humor, laughter, love and a passion for bringing people together in unity and equality. I believe his legacy lives on in all of us.

I will never forget dancing with him on the stage of a Global Healing Conference in Bali, Indonesia and listening to his keynote address which started with the humor he was known for. “What people will remember me for are three things. My short last name, my very large nose, and my great legs!” Of course the audience of hundreds from 80 countries around the world laughed with him and in that moment of coming together in joyful expression knew well that this humor opened us more to each other and to the collaborative healing work we were all to do in the world. Go forth and multiply……


From Green Renaissance:

Joy is what makes life beautiful.  It’s what gets us through challenges and allows light in to illuminate the shadows.  Joy heals our wounds and fills our souls with goodness.

By reminding yourself of the things you have to be happy about, by creating more time to do the things you love and by spending time with the people you care about, you can create a life that is more joyful and fulfilling.  And you will see and experience life through different eyes.  

In this new year, why not resolve to find more joy in your everyday life!

Happy 2022 wishes to you all – may the year ahead be filled with memories and experiences that make your heart smile.”

With love, Justine and Michael.

Filmed in Montagu, South Africa.
Featuring Sarel van Rensburg.


About 31 Days of Joy & Laughter Project:

As elders with a long life behind us and not as much embodied life before us, and as humans on the planet Earth at this time, we are being faced with incredible challenges that compete to take our attention.

A couple of days ago I realized I no longer choose to have my attention taken by the fear, doom and gloom broadcast daily, whether on our smart phones news feed or while talking to others. I am weary of it all and need a higher vibration energy bath!.

It is not that I don’t want to know what is happening in the world, but instead the question I am posing to myself, and to you, every day is – where do we want to place our attention? We most always have a choice.

For the month of December I am placing attention on joy, laughter, creativity and acts of kindness as a experiment to see what unfolds. Seeking out and being aware of moments of joy sometimes hidden in the deep pockets and lining of each and every day that seem to get passed over without even looking back. They are always there.

Each day in December you will find a small nugget of joy, humor, creativity or small act of kindness that found me and pulled my attention which will be posted here. I invite you to join me and share your experiences and what you noticed so that we may spread it around! (Please use the “Comment” section below).

If you don’t want to miss future posts simply sign up for the blog here:

You can also find ALL of the 31-Days of Joy & Laughter Project posts in the archives here:

Gaye Abbott, Natural Passages Consulting, 12/31/21. Please feel free to share this post and link to WildlyFreeElder

Considering a move? Finding Home: Conscious Relocation Services by Gaye Abbott

2 Comments on “DAY 31: Joy In Life

  1. Thank you dear Gaye, for choosing to share our film, and for sharing your beautiful thoughts and experiences.
    We wish you a very blessed 2022, filled with kindness and joy.
    Justine and Michael – Green Renaissance

    • Justine & Michael, may you both prosper in 2022 in all ways that hold meaning and expand the conscious artistry emerging
      from heart and soul. In appreciation and gratitude for sharing ideas, inspiring change, and opening connections for potential collaboration! Gaye

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