Joyology 101

Cover of "Long Way Round"Cover of Long Way Round

No time for wise women today.

Instead, let's talk joyology. Let's talk the study and cultivation of joy. This weekend, joy comes from tea with friends (very good for the soul and the spirit) and from settling down to watch "The Long Way Round," an 8-episode documentary chronicling Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman's motorcycle trek around the world.

Have you seen this show? Fun. Fun. Fun. Think Ewan being serenaded by gun-wielding Russian mafiosas. Think Ewan dining on sheep balls. Think Ewan splattered in mud. Think Ewan -- and his butt -- bathing in icy rivers. And he hasn't even made it out of Mongolia yet!

(P.S. I think Ewan might be my new secret boyfriend. Don't tell Colin.)

Ok. That's me. How are you cultivating joy this weekend?
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Goddess of the Week: Freyja

Sometimes, you might feel like you have to cross a line to get what you want. You might even feel that you need to give up a part of yourself to get what you want. For example, my secret boyfriend, Colin Firth, recently thought he had to make himself all frumpy and old looking (which he may be, but not when he's being my secret boyfriend) and star in a totally boring movie in order to get accolades as a serious artiste. Instead, what my secret boyfriend should have done was thought of the goddess Freyja and practiced some personal restrai

Freyja, by J. Doyle Penrose (1862-1932). Bette...Image via Wikipedia


Freyja is a Norse goddess. Think Venus and Hades all wrapped in one. She is the goddess of beauty, fertility, and love, but also of death and war. I know what you're thinking. How can one goddess represent such opposite concepts? Think lust. Think desire. Now let them out of the bedroom. Let them grow like yeast in anger and resentment, in infidelity and broken promises. There you go. You got Medea. You got Mia Farrow. You got Charlie Sheen. Love, poisoned, leads to bad places.

What Freyja lusted after was the Brisingamen, a golden necklace of dazzling beauty made by four dwarves. She went to the dwarves to buy it.

"No way," they said. "This thing is priceless."

"Everything has a price," she said. "Even a goddess has a price."

So the dwarves made a deal. In return for the necklace, she would spend one full night with each dwarf.

When Freyja returned to the gods wearing the necklace, and when the other gods found out how she had cheapened herself for the sake of mere bling, they were totally grossed out. They couldn't even look her in the eye, and soon she became the butt of so many jokes that she basically had to go star in a Holocaust drama just so that people would take her seriously again.

The lesson here is that what you want, isn't always what you should have. Some prices are just too high. Goddesses may have a price, but self respect does not.

Channel this goddess: If you must channel unbridled lust, be like Freyja. Indulge in precious medals. They're a sure bet in a weak economy.

Need a goddess: The queue is open! Tell me what you need a goddess to help you with, and I will find the perfect goddess just for you. Just post a comment specifying your particulars, and I'll see what I can do.
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Raise a Glass to Inner Peace

White bearded wildebeest, Ngorongoro crater Ta...Image via Wikipedia

Suffice to say, family drama -- namely, my daughter's health, which is not good -- led me to seek inner peace. Nothing we do seems to stop her seizures, and now she is depressed and anxious. You would be too.

So I got out my bar kit. Here's what years of dealing with a chronically ill child have taught me: As bad as things get, you can't let the frail little wildebeest bring down the herd. The herd has to survive. The herd has to live. If the herd gets sucked into the oozing mire, it's over for everyone. So you have to support the little wildebeest, but you have to support everyone else too, including yourself, and that means you need the right cocktail.

My particular cocktail of self help includes walking, meditation, a good night's sleep, hot baths, wine, lunch with friends, movies with husband, and -- most disturbing to the family -- the belting out of show tunes. It's all very Oprah, I know. But, to this mix, I add a little something I call the cultivation of joy. Happiness doesn't just happen. You have to make it happen. And sometimes you have to work harder at it than others.

So after a month of deep reflection and cocktailing, I've decided that inner peace is what you get when you die. Until then, the only peace you get is the peace you work for, and if it passes through your body like water through a colander then that just means it's like everything else in this world. But that's ok. Because sadness and grief pass through that colander too. They're just a little slow to drain because of all the saline. While you're waiting for them to siphon off, drink up. And sing.
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Please Bear With Me

Sacred Geometry / Torus / Inner PeaceImage by Crimson and Sky via Flickr

Taking a little technology vacation while developing inner peace. Please bear with me. Promise not to be smug when come back.
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