Advent Daily Devotional: WEEK of JOY: Day 17 -Tue, Dec 14

I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you,
and that your joy may be complete. — John 15:11

Light is sweet, and it is pleasant for the eyes to see the sun.
— Ecclesiastes 11:7

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            For now, begin with the simple act of being present to whatever is going on within you and around you. Pay attention to your body and its experience.

            For instance, engage your senses. What do you see? Hear? Smell? Feel? Taste? Ground yourself by taking this inventory of your senses.

            Now focus on a few simple strategies to cultivate joy through bodily self-care.

            Inhale. Hold your breath a moment.  Exhale slowly. Breathe.

            Mindful breathing offers healthful benefits. It lowers your heart rate and blood pressure, and helps regulate your body’s capacity to manage stress and fatigue. It reduces depression, burnout, and negative thinking. It boosts your capacity to manage chronic pain and positively affects the side effects of other illnesses or conditions such as diabetes.

            Repeat your breathing cycle. Then repeat it again.

            Now smile. Science urges that the act of smiling triggers healthy neurological responses. Floods your brain with positive, empowering chemistry. Improves your wellbeing psychologically and physically.

            Joy is connected to your body-mind-spirit connections. While it grows out of spiritual, emotional, and psychological practices, it remains an embodied experience, too.

            Let your senses ground you in your surrounds and in your own skin. Now inhale deeply. Hold your breath. Smile wider. As you exhale, blow out the Advent candles.  — Rev Gail

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To get the full value of joy you must have
someone to divide it with. Mark Twain

An age is called “dark,” not because the light fails to shine
but because people refuse to see it. – James Michener

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