The Year of Joy

I am calling this year: The Year of Joy. I thought I would use the month of January as a new beginning to help spread it.  Spread joy.  I’ve been mapping out a path to focus on this year: 31 things that have helped me consciously choose joy everyday and goals that still need constant attention and renewal throughout the year.

Today I want you to know:

You are deserving of joy.

 

You are DESERVING of Joy. #theyearofjoy The Year of Joy: A 31 day series on joy by Ashley Hackshaw / Lil Blue Boo #quote

 

Many times we confuse joy with happiness. They are two separate things. Happiness comes from circumstances, but joy is an attitude that defies circumstances.

Happiness vs. Joy ( The Year of Joy: A 31 day series on joy by Ashley Hackshaw / Lil Blue Boo ) #theyearofjoy #choosejoy #chart #quote

Joy must be practiced and cultivated, and everyone is deserving of it. It’s a gift we were born to have regardless of where we started and regardless of where we’ve been. This means we don’t need anything more to get to a place of joy.  We can jump in, right where we are.

Our society has inundated us with the importance of importance. We have been conditioned to believe in the big, the fast, the expensive and the far away. I’m still convinced that if you have to move even ten inches from where you are now in order to be happy, you will never be. Life becomes more special to us when we look for the everyday miracles and get excited again about the privilege of simply being human.   -Tim Hansel, Choosing Joy

 

There is a quote on my desk:

A writer is someone on whom nothing is lost #quote

A writer is someone on whom nothing is lost.

 

Try becoming a writer for a few days and see how it changes you.  This doesn’t mean “dear diary”….it mean just keeping a pen and paper nearby to write down things that inspire you.  If you feel you heart beat a little faster at the beauty of something: jot that down. If you hear someone say something hilarious: jot that down.  Make lists. Take notes in church. Keep paper close during an inspiration movie or song.  If you see suffering and pain: jot that down too.  You’ll change your perception and train yourself to pay attention to simple things that were probably always there, maybe they were just too close to see. It can even serve as a handbook….and the more you refer to it, as a compilation of joy and inspiration, the more you will see it, the more you will live it.

I’m a big Dolly Parton fan.  The other day I was listening to her song Hello God: Oh, the free will you have given, We have made a mockery of… Dolly wrote the song after September 11.  Reading the news these days I realize that the world needs more joy.  There is hate and judgement and bullying running rampant.  I don’t want to be any part of any of it.  Imagine if we all used more of our free will to choose joy.  I’m going to start in my little part of the world, as tiny as it may be, and defy circumstances. I want to use my free will to cultivate joy in my life and in others.  Free will = choice.  I choose joy again this year. Please come along with me.

Everybody thinks of changing humanity and nobody thinks of changing himself. -Tolstoy

 

Love and Joy,

Ash

 

P.S. Speaking of Dolly….the sun shines in winter:

 

 

The entire month series can be found here.

 

 

A Place of Gratitude

I want to live everyday from a place of gratitude.  Sometimes I’m pretty darn good at it, and other days I fail miserably, but when the grateful days way outnumber the bad days I think that’s a good place to be. 

I want Thanksgiving to be more than just a day. The more thankful we are, the more joyful we become.  Choose it: You have enough. You are enough. Practice this every day.  We are always searching for it, but true joy can never be found without sincere gratitude. Sincere. Gratitude. The prayer I pray the most is thank you, thank you, thank you.

Gratitude Quote via lilblueboo.com

Boo: Are you going to make a turkey?
Me: Do you like turkey?
Boo: No.
Me: Me either. I’m not making a turkey.
Boo: Everyone else is making a turkey.
Me: I’ve never made a turkey.
Boo: The grocery store can make it for you.
Me: When you are old enough to make a turkey, you can make a turkey.
Boo: I don’t really like turkey.
Me: I’m not making a turkey.
Mr. LBB: Don’t make a turkey.

I’m thankful my family accepts me for who I am and I don’t have to make a turkey.

We ate at Ruth’s Chris instead. Steak, shrimp, chicken. Mr. LBB actually did order turkey. I was torn on supporting an establishment that was open on Thanksgiving and I asked my sister-in-law if we should boycott. She was working there today. She said they had 800 reservations today alone and she was happy to work because patrons are spending time with their families. The worst scenario would be to have to work and there not be a good turnout. We made sure every server we came in contact with knew how thankful we were that they were working.  I’m thankful for Ruth’s Chris.

We held hands and said the Lutheran blessing my grandfather always said:

Come Lord Jesus be our guest, let these gifts to us be blessed.

 

During dinner Boo helped us make a list of things we could be thankful for:

So much to be thankful for today and every day.

And from my family to yours:

Have a Thanksgiving full of gratitude and joy!

 

The Story of Dot

This year I became friends with the most unlikely friend: Dot.

People had warned me that Dot was cranky and difficult. I was curious and decided I was going to meet Dot. One day I went up to Dot and introduced myself.  And yes, Dot was cranky, and angry, and short with me. Dot asked me why I cared. I asked if Dot could help me with a little project I was working on.  Dot said yes.

As Dot and I worked on this project, I learned more from Dot in just a few months than I’d learned from anyone else in a long time.  Dot was smart and Dot wanted to help. I listened to Dot’s point of view. I told Dot my point of view. I learned from Dot.  Every week Dot became more excited about the project we were working on.

The story of Dot via lilblueboo.com

I asked people, “Do you know Dot?”
They said, “Dot’s a jerk.”
I told them they didn’t know Dot then. Maybe they should get to know Dot.

One day Dot laughed. It was the first time I’d seen Dot laugh.

One day Dot said, “I feel inspired. I stand up a little taller now.” I left quickly so that Dot could not see my tears.

Dot just wanted to be seen, heard and appreciated.

 

Bill Hybels said in his book Just Walk Across the Room:

What if you knew that by simply crossing the room and saying hello to someone, you could change that person’s forever?

 

What if that walk could change your forever too?

 

Maybe you know a Dot.

See Dot. Hear Dot. Learn about Dot. Appreciate Dot.

Take a genuine interest.

 

The story of Dot (the truth is you don't have to be perfect...) via lilblueboo.com #quote

 

Lead where you are.

The GLS changed my life last year. It will change yours too.  I will attend it every year they have it.

August 14-15, 2014

I’m on the team for the Palm Desert location.  Site #188
Click here to register. Spots will fill up!

 

CONTINUE READING

How to Make a Custom Skateboard and Grip Tape Design

How to make and paint a custom skateboard (custom grip tape to custom design) Great birthday party idea, Christmas gift, etc. via lilblueboo.com #skateboard #diy #griptape #custom #tutorial #gifts #handmadegifts

 

Boo has been asking for a skateboard so I thought I’d make one for her using a blank board. I just finished it up and took it out for a test run today. My skateboarding skills are a little rusty…I think it’s been 25 years since I was on one:

Paint a Custom Skateboard Ashley Hackshaw Lil Blue Boo via lilblueboo.com #skateboard #diy #gift #handmade

It rides pretty well!  A custom skateboard would be a great Christmas gift or even an auction donation….or just hanging on the wall for a shelf or custom decor.

How to make a custom skateboard design via lilblueboo.com #skateboard #diy #gift #handmade

You can buy blank boards from Amazon (this one is 8″): CONTINUE READING

#choosejoy

photo of you choosing joy #choose joy via lilblueboo.com

Want to share your Instagram photos with me? Use the hashtag #choosejoy and tag @lilblueboo. You might see them featured on Lil Blue Boo! Learn more here.

Remember to share the link to your photo on Twitter if your Instagram account is private….otherwise I can’t view it!

Want to add effects to your photos? Read the post on Instagram and Smartphone photo effects!

Click here to view all #choosejoy roundups……you might even see a few celebrities!

Free 2013 Year at a Glance Calendars

Jody from Knapp Scraps is back again this year with the 2013 Year at a Glance Calendars using our Choose Joy and One of Me in All Time downloads! Resize to fit your needs, print on heavy cardstock and display all year long.

2013 Choose Joy Free Year at a Glance Printable Calendar via lilblueboo.com

 

 

2013 Only One of Me Free Year at a Glance Printable Calendar via lilblueboo.com

 

Click image below to download the 2013 year at a glance calendars:

CONTINUE READING

#choosejoy

photos of you choosing joy #choosejoy via lilblueboo.com

Want to share your Instagram photos with me? Use the hashtag #choosejoy and tag @lilblueboo. You might see them featured on Lil Blue Boo! Learn more here.

Remember to share the link to your photo on Twitter if your Instagram account is private….otherwise I can’t view it!

Want to add effects to your photos? Read the post on Instagram and Smartphone photo effects!

Click here to view all #choosejoy roundups……you might even see a few celebrities!

#Choosejoy

Some of my favorite photos of you choosing joy over the holiday weekend…

choose joy with lilblueboo.com #choosejoy

 

Check out past photos of you choosing joy here.

 

Want to share your Instagram photos with me? Use the hashtag #choosejoy and tag @lilblueboo. You might see them featured on Lil Blue Boo! Learn more here.

Remember to share the link to your photo on Twitter if your Instagram account is private….otherwise I can’t view it!

Want to add effects to your photos? Read the post on Instagram and Smartphone photo effects!

Click here to view all #choosejoy roundups……you might even see a few celebrities!

#Choosejoy

I love to see how how you Choose Joy! Here are some of my recent favorites…

Photos of you choosing joy #choosejoy via lilblueboo.com

Check out past photos of you choosing joy here.

 

Want to share your Instagram photos with me? Use the hashtag #choosejoy and tag @lilblueboo. You might see them featured on Lil Blue Boo! Learn more here.

Remember to share the link to your photo on Twitter if your Instagram account is private….otherwise I can’t view it!

Want to add effects to your photos? Read the post on Instagram and Smartphone photo effects!

Click here to view all #choosejoy roundups……you might even see a few celebrities!

#choosejoy

I love to see how how you Choose Joy! Here are some of my recent favorites…

today I choose joy! photos of you choosing joy #choosejoy via lilblueboo.com

Check out past photos of you choosing joy here.

 

Want to share your Instagram photos with me? Use the hashtag #choosejoy and tag @lilblueboo. You might see them featured on Lil Blue Boo! Learn more here.

Remember to share the link to your photo on Twitter if your Instagram account is private….otherwise I can’t view it!

Want to add effects to your photos? Read the post on Instagram and Smartphone photo effects!

Click here to view all #choosejoy roundups……you might even see a few celebrities!

 

 

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