Instead of Filling Time, Savor It: Sharing an Example of Unfolding and Releasing with Joy

Yesterday, I wrote about the power of the Full Moon Lunar Eclipse and I shared with you an interview between Elizabeth Gilbert and Brene Brown called *Big, Strong Magic*.

All of that energy must have been stirring things around internally because I woke this morning feeling very focused and ‘on-purpose’. I had a loose plan on how to best use that energy – where I wanted to direct it and what I wanted to get done, today.

However, I practice unfolding.

A big part of unfolding is tuning into the energy around us as well as to our heart whispers and allowing that flow to guide us (instead of insisting upon our way).

Well, the way my day unfolded was far different from what I had planned!  It had tons to do with feeling ease and joy and also ‘releasing’ some energies and ideas that helped to form a barrier to flow for me (perfect – as today’s Full Moon invites us to release!). Since these are the energies we just touched upon yesterday,  I thought I would share the unfolding of my morning with you.

I recognize that I often refer to my practice of presence to unfolding, and I’m sure it sounds great – full of joy, ease, synchronicity and blessings – but it must be hard to understand how it fits into daily life, without having ‘concrete’ examples.

I’d like to share with you ‘how’ this morning unfolded – as well as what I unexpectedly chose to release to Moon today – so you can get a feel for the practice and the ease and joy within it. (And also see how ‘release’ doesn’t have to be *big and scary*, it can be gentle and loving, and fit right into your day.)

As you read about my experience, I invite you to think about and feel into the subtle ways I tap into understanding the energy in my space and how I use that to determine where I will place my attention and presence – ultimately to create my day, as I am moving through it. I invite you to feel into the fluidity of unfolding and to consider where you can begin to explore unfolding in your own life.

My Inspiration for Unfolding and Releasing with Joy, Today

My first commitment this morning was to spend some time with my friends dogs while she was away. As I thought about my day, I decided that I would do a few errands after going to her house, so I packed my bag with the things I needed to run those errands.

I left my house with a ‘plan’ that felt pretty good for the day. Not spectacular, but practical and ‘good’.

Upon arriving at my friend’s house, her pups were so precious and just wanted to have fun and play!! I was laughing as I pet them – each one jumping around for attention, wanting to be as fully loved as possible!

Her pups must have had a ‘party’ last night – each corner of the throw rugs around the house were turned up! As if they were running all around and probably jumping on everything (which I’m thinking aren’t allowed to do when everyone is home).

All I kept thinking was ‘how playful’! That energy was contagious!

When I am doing inner work with what could potentially be intense energy (like today’s Full Moon eclipse) it can at times feel quite serious. I don’t believe it’s meant to be serious, but I can get caught up in too much doing and practicing and not enough being and celebrating. (For me, being and celebrating are often as effective and more empowering than doing and practicing.)

So, I tapped into the strong, clear invitation to play – to have fun with the experience of this day. With that I ‘deleted my loose plan for  the day’. My kids will tell you I do that almost daily – I will consistently choose play over seriousness and I am always ‘deleting plans’ (not commitments, because I do keep my word, but personal loose plans for myself like today’s to-do list was).

The energies of joy, ease, comfort, love and delight support our intentions to heal, grow and share our gifts with world far more than pushing ourselves through the heaviness of *seriousness*.

If something feels too serious, I immediately and naturally look for a way to lighten it up.

Unfolding and Releasing with Joy – Part One

I thought about what was near her house, that would have the feel of being a ‘treat‘ and I remembered there was a bookstore. Although I haven’t been to a bookstore in months, I surprised myself by listening to my heart and driving to the bookstore.

I love the feel of bookstores! I love books! I love that each person there has the common interest of loving books, too!

I love holding books as I look at the covers and author pages.

As I hold a book, I send gratitude to the author for choosing to trust their heart and write and share their words.

I am inspired by the amount of books in each book store, the variety of topics and the joy of being in a space where words are celebrated (and purchased).

I create my clarity collages with photos from magazines, so after celebrating my love of books, I browsed the magazine section.

*grin* This beautiful magazine that I hadn’t ever seen before – Stampington and Company‘s “Where Women Create” – pretty much called my name “Joy….ah….look at me….”!


First, the title spoke straight to my heart (*I’m* a woman who creates, I want to be surrounded by women who create!).

The thickness of the paper, the richness of the colors in the photos felt luxurious – I wanted to feel luxury in my hands. So I picked it up! It felt as lovely as my mind told me it would!

If the cover looked this beautiful, I knew the featured spaces that women create in would be gorgeous! Of course, I opened the magazine to look.

Exquisite comes to mind. Like, I was holding a beautiful treasure.

My heart said “I would love to know people who have spaces like this” (I do know a few and for that I am so glad!). Which evolved to “I would love a space like this, I wonder what it would feel like to be and create in such a space?!”.  And, “I want to create something that invites people to feel this way.” Lastly, “I want to be in this magazine one day” (yes, please, Universe).

Whoa. So, I bought the magazine. Not to cut up and use for clarity collages, but to keep the energies of luxury, richness, beauty and inspiration in my personal space.

When something feels so unfamiliar to me (for example, the idea of women creating together and these beautiful spaces they are creating in), that it’s hard for my mind to imagine, it helps me to have a visual to keep looking at to allow it to become more familiar (and then it’s easier to manifest in).

So, what I unexpectedly released to moon was the idea of ‘not enough’ and ‘settling’ for the bare minimum quality of things and being so used to ‘spinning magic’ around struggle to make it easier to create from, instead of ‘spinning magic’ around creating to make it easier to experiment with and share abundance from.

To be *very* clear: none of what I chose to release is ‘wrong’, but I have spent a lifetime creating with minimal, low quality, often broken supplies, I would love to experience something new and different. So, yes, Moon, you may take this idea I must be holding that luxury and more than enough is for other people, but not for me. (Thank you!)

Unfolding and Releasing with Joy – Part Two

Feeling unexpectedly delighted (remember, my original ‘plan’ was to play with the dogs, then do errands and look how my day opened up!) and having just felt into luxury and released ‘not enough’, I decided to treat myself to something I had wanted to do for a long time.

(Two treats in one day – oh my!!)

I took a magazine (not the one above – I didn’t want to get it dirty!) and myself to a local restaurant for Sunday brunch. I do *lots* of things by myself and I enjoy it, but I typically choose not to eat out by myself. So, this was new and very different for me.

(I even texted my kids to tell them I was doing it and to get some support! Plus, I want them to understand that it can be fun to do things alone so they don’t feel they have to compromise on the quality of a relationship just to fill a seat – so I best show them, then!)

I promised myself that, while there, I would not be on my phone, I would look up and smile at people as they passed and be open to the energy of the space as I enjoyed my food. I would choose foods that my senses enjoyed without judging myself, and I would savor the flavors and experience.

That’s quite a promise! It required a bit of centering before I went in. As I pulled into a parking spot, a huge crow was standing by my car so I took that as a sign that this was a great decision. I looked up to sky and thanked Source for my ability to practice unfolding and my trust in this process.

I went in and the woman asked if I wanted to sit on the brunch side or the bar. (Does this mean that she thought I needed a drink or that solo diners always head to the bar on a Sunday morning?!) I felt my nerves kick in at her question, but I breathed down deep into my toes, smiled and asked to be seated on the brunch side, please.

The food wasn’t the best. But, I chose items that I knew I would enjoy and the overall combination was delightful. As I ate, I kept thanking Source for the food, the experience and whatever I saw in the room that lit my heart (for example, the overhead lighting made rainbow patterns on the pillar by my table).

Of course, there was an entire other side of my table not being used – an empty booth.  I knew I could have called any of my friends and someone would have joined me. But, what I wanted to experience was this newness. I was teaching myself something (although I am still not sure what).


Because manifesting is a natural part of my life, I decided to think about what types of energy I would love to sit on the other side of this booth. Maybe a few ‘women who create’ as we all celebrated the successful completion of an art show we were in together. Maybe my children coming to visit from wherever they choose to go when they graduate high school (which they haven’t done yet – remember, I was imagining), telling me all about the joy in their lives. Maybe someone interviewing me about a workshop I would be facilitating. Maybe a romantic love, along with laughter and hand holding.

Each possibility opened my heart even more, so I didn’t feel alone (like I thought I might), I felt pure joy as I understood that all of what I had imagined was possible. (Except that I was so not impressed with the food, I am sure these future ‘friends’ and I would not be dining there.)

Gosh, what did I unexpectedly release to moon through that experience? My fear of dining out alone and of being judged for doing so, probably some residual ‘not worthy and shame’, a reluctance to visualize anything for myself personally beyond next June, which is when my son graduates from high school.

I left feeling full in all ways.

That was my morning. Far better than anything I had planned. Far more ‘perfect’ than anything I could have thought.

What I tweeted right after I left: instead of filling time, celebrate it.

A bonus: I hadn’t planned on writing today, but the energy and words just flew from my fingertips! Technically what I do through this Facets of Joy is considered “work” (when people ask what I do, I explain I teach presence and mindfulness through online classes and I offer personal guidance and support on practicing presence and energy movement). Writing this article proves to myself (as I experience time and again) that ‘work’ can absolutely be easy and fun!

Dear Reader: Thank you for reading through my experience of unfolding and releasing!! As you consider what I shared, what stands out strongly to you? If unfolding is something you practice, I would love for you to share a recent experience with us. If you have any questions about the practice of unfolding or releasing with joy, please ask. (when you share, you inspire!).

Much peace and abundant love,

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Comments on: "Instead of Filling Time, Savor It: Sharing an Example of Unfolding and Releasing with Joy" (4)

  1. I just loved this post, Joy! I love that you changed plans and treated yourself TWICE!!! YEA!! What a wonderful example for your kids (and for us!). I need to think of some treats because my food choices are pretty limited now and when I do step out of line, it causes problems! :) So I am going to think of some treats and get them and maybe use them for celebrations! I am so glad you got yourself 2 treats for the day, Joy! And it sounds like the magazine could be life-changing! YEA YOU! <3 <3

    • Thank you, Jean!

      While many people associate celebrating with food treats, there are so many different ways to celebrate and ‘reward’ ourselves. Sometimes, I choose to gift myself with time reading for pleasure, or going to a local garden or art museum, calling a friend to say hello, or even making sure to step outside and refresh my energy and take time skygazing (without taking photos).

      You have so much wonderful news to celebrate – I do hope you find a wonderful way to ‘treat’ yourself and enjoy your celebrations! Yea *you*!!

  2. Beautiful post, Joy. Very inspiring. This is how I live my days too now, open and flexible, taking in all the magic. A friend of mine asked me recently how I plan to FILL my days now that my children are both in college. I replied that for me it’s not about filling, it’s about feeling a certain way: joyful, peaceful, open, and that comes from savoring every moment. ??

    • I think ‘filling your days after the kids leave for college’ is a common mainstream practice, Maryse. How wonderful and inspiring to see you choosing joy, peace, openness, and savoring!!! These are healing, heart opening, trust building, powerful manifesting energies, for whatever stage we are in, in life.

      I am grateful you are walking a few steps ahead of me on this ‘children setting out on their own’ path – I am learning so much from how you are choosing to process it!

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