Tag Archives: joy

Christmas 2008

By Jim Selman | Bio

Well, here we are, another Christmas Day, almost another year gone by and people everywhere are at home or, if not, are hopefully getting ‘something special’. I am saying a special ‘thanks’ to all those people who are working today so the rest of us can relax and do whatever it is we’re doing on Christmas day—the soldiers, the firemen, the police, the health care workers and even lots of people in the hospitality and transportation industries.

I woke up today thinking about other Christmas mornings when I was a child or when my own children were young. There is nothing quite like the squeal of anxious toddlers peering with wonder at gifts left by the magical Santa. I remember one Christmas when we left chocolate kisses on the stairs for the children to follow while “Jingle Bells” played on the stereo. The memory fills me with joy and happiness and just a touch of nostalgia for those times when we were young.


read more

The Joy of Pain

By Shae Hadden | Bio

It might be said that existence isn’t possible without both pleasant and unpleasant experiences—without pain and pleasure. They are like a guidance system, helping us navigate through life and orienting us away from illness and danger and death.

We have pleasant, positive
emotional states like love, joy, sympathy, affection, self-confidence,
happiness. And we have unpleasant emotions like boredom, loneliness,
jealousy, fear and sadness.

I’ve been relating to the physical
pain I’m experiencing since my car accident as a source of learning.
I’m actually living ‘in joy’ with it —you might say ‘enjoying’ the fact
of being alive and being in pain. Many people I share this with seem

read more

The Path of the Martyr

By Shae Hadden | Bio

This New Year’s Eve was a refreshing break from the past for me: a friend and I went to a local hall to listen to a concert of Buddhist chants and instrumental music while we walked the indoor labyrinth. The hall was crowded, filled with adults seriously intent on purposeful walking. Two little girls were dancing and skipping the labyrinth together—one following the other. Whenever they encountered an obstacle (that is, an adult moving slowly), they would weave around whoever was in their path. While all the adults were focused on meditating or intensely concentrating on their ‘experience’, these two girls were laughing and smiling, joyously taking whatever life placed in front of them at their pace, slip-sliding in their socks all the way to the centre and back out again.

What struck me was not only that all the adults looked as if they carried the weight of the world on their shoulders, but that they took three times as long to do one circuit. And not one of them was smiling. It made me wonder whether we assume martyrdom is part of ‘being an adult’ in our society. Do we really need to lose our sense of joy in living, our sense of play, by carrying our work, our relationships, and the circumstances we find ourselves in as obligations or

read more

Head-Smashed-In-Buffalo Jump

By Shae Hadden | Bio

There’s a place near Fort McLeod in Alberta that goes by this odd name…the Head-Smashed-In-Buffalo Jump world heritage site …where the indigenous peoples used to lead the buffalo to jump off a cliff. A place where there’s a very finite line between life and death…and where life comes from death. You see, for thousands of years, the native people would use this natural geographical formation to ‘harvest’ these wild animals and feed their tribes each winter.

remembering this place today because I’ve been reminded—not so subtly
by being in a car accident—that life is the dash between birth and
death. The instant I knew my car was spinning out of control yesterday
morning, the only thought going through my head was “I surrender to
you, God, for I am not in control”. In that moment, I felt like the
buffalo must have felt—as if this was the last spurt in that great
dash. As

read more

Elder Employees

I am perplexed by the fact that companies have been laying off older workers for years as part of various downsizing projects. I understand the drive to cut costs. Under normal demographic conditions, laying off older workers would even make some sense from a strictly financial point of view, since they generally command higher salaries than younger workers. The fact is, however, that those same companies are moaning about shortages of qualified people and the difficulties they’re having in

read more

The Quest for Joyful, Vibrant Aging

By Don Arnoudse

I’ve been feeling the pain of transitions lately. Or as my wife observed, “You seem troubled”. Perhaps not a big deal—but for someone who lives life as a perennial optimist, a bit unusual. So what’s going on?

interpretation I have is that I’m just gearing up for what’s next. It’s
a familiar indicator for me to feel restless, a bit irritable, even
fearful as I come to (or beyond) the natural end of a particular phase
and pause in that “white space” between saying “Goodbye” to one chapter
and “Hello” to something new. I never enjoy it, but it is familiar.

I get ready to enter my 60s in six months or so, I’ve been thinking
about how I want to age.

read more


I am spending a few days with a group of my best buddies. We call our
gang the ‘Old Souls’. This started about 7 years ago when nine of us
from all over the USA gathered at Vince’s farm for a long weekend,
generally to talk about whatever was on our minds to and specifically
to discuss our experiences and reflections as we entered mid-life.
We’ve been gathering three times a year at various locations ever
since. Some of the faces have changed over the

read more