Monday, January 2, 2017

Joy Doesn't Take up Space (What's on Your Plate?)

Lunch is always the first one to go. Sleep comes comes in a tie for some or a close second. Exercise scoots in at third. I'm referring to things we skip or push to the side when a new school year starts. If you think of a plate as symbolizing life's journey and balance, the items I mentioned above should always be on your plate. What do you pile on your plate that brings you joy? 

Blue is a strong and calm color. When I think of blue, I think water, beaches, vacations and relaxing environments. Well-being and balance are strong words that really speak to this color and the joy journey. In our homes and workplace cultures, we have so many items that can start to pile up on our plate. Survival mode kicks in and we immediately move some personal things to the side. 

 Life can throw you curve balls. I come from a family of baseball players, so excuse me if the terminology falls into my writings. It's a delicate balance to keep your balance and joy and I fall into this trap too. Now, I am being intentional starting a new year (2017) about advocating for my balance. Inbox filled with emails with 15 minutes to before I go home? It can wait but I can't. Triple booked on meetings so you skip lunch or dinner? They can wait but your health can't. There are time when I need to get up from the table and metaphorically clean my plate to make room for joy. When challenges fall on your plate, how will your rise from the table to clean your plate to make room for Joy?

Music can be a great way to balance your plate. I have a soundtrack for my joy. My musical preferences are colorful and reflect how I want to feel or am feeling at that moment. Jazz and spiritual music is rooted in my soul. Pop, R and B and some rap give me energy when I need it. I have specific playlists and stations that instantly bring me to peace and calm. In fact, right now it's playing as I write for you. What music can you intentionally play to bring you balance and joy?

It's a new Year and I'm so honored to continue this journey. It's so much bigger than me but at the same time it's transforming me as I walk this journey with #VBHasJoy, #JoyAmbassadors, #VBAdminHasJoy and now #VB5STAROAHasJoy. I want us to start this new year with intentional words, thoughts, people and practices that honor balance, wellbeing and joy. Doing this ensures that you can serve from a full vessel and create, design and cultivate equitable, joyful learning environments and school cultures where all students and adults can not just survive but thrive. Isn't that just so...#Joyful? I think so but I'm a little biased! 2017 is going to be a great one. Love you all and let's do the work that needed for all students...through the lens and armor of #JOY. 


  1. Beautiful. Self-care is and always has been a struggle for me, so I hard work to love and care for myself and make it a priority. You have played such a big role in inspiring me. Thank you!

  2. You're so very welcome, Carol. I'm honored to work with you and you're an amazing #JoyAmbassador. I'm looking forward to this year!