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Crumbs of Joy

This is a term I use quite a lot, in my life and my gratitude workshop specifically. It makes me smile. Probably because I’m food obsessed and think of the delicious crumby goodness of a biscuit or cake, but it's something I realise explains quite succinctly how I feel about gratitude and why it’s been so important to me.

We’ve all been on such a journey this year. Each challenged in our own ways and tested to our absolute limits. The worst part being, it isn’t over. Across this year our lives were stripped back, shrunk to almost micro versions of what they once were. Some parts missed at first but were soon replaced with the warm fuzziness of really engaging with what was important. Family, health, connection, nature, laughter and toilet roll. Back to basics. These things felt bigger and, in our hearts, we felt gratitude. I felt how people realised it was important and it was a joy to witness.

As we continue to do our best to adapt to this new world it can be increasingly difficult to stay grateful. I learnt about gratitude at a difficult time in my life. In fact, I wouldn’t have even called it gratitude at that point. I would call it survival. When you’re grieving it is so easy to succumb to that grief and immerse yourself in the darkness. I had to focus with all my mite on the good stuff. What was present and what made me feel happy. This is how I know about the crumbs of joy.

Crumbs of joy are those tiny moments that make you smile. They remind you of the goodness in life, most importantly they give you hope. The good news is your life is already peppered with them. It has been for some time, you just don’t realise they are there, or your choice is to focus on other things. Maybe you’re someone who is waiting for the big things…the holidays, the plans, material possessions, the ‘stuff ‘we’re programmed to measure a successful life with.

We all do it. I did it. I was decidedly ungrateful for a long time. It wasn’t until I was in a situation where life seemed bleak that I had no choice but to notice the crumbs of joy. I hoovered them up. And, in time I saw more, and I believed more good stuff was possible. How I measured joy changed. You see, gratitude creates the space for us to really think about what brings us joy.

For example. I have one coffee a day and it is honestly one of my most joyful moments. I guess I’ve created a little ritual around it. I buy nice coffee, I serve it in a cup that makes me happy, I sometimes even have cream (what a total devil). I try and drink it in the garden or a space away from my laptop, so I’m not tempted to work. In the summer I sat in the garden and listened to the birds and felt the sun on my face. I engage in that moment each day and I am grateful for it every time because I’ve created the space to be fully present.

And what is so wonderful about these small joys is that when you start to acknowledge them with gratitude they start to add up. For me, gratitude is about squeezing more joy out of what is already there, this is why the wise words from Aesop speak to me so much....

I’m sharing this because on some days maybe it’s only these small joys we have to be grateful for. And, if we’re not making the choice to see them life can seem well, pretty bleak. So, my challenge to you is to think about the crumbs of joy in your own life, start noticing them and I’m certain you will see more of them. And if you don’t? Well then start finding ways to add some in.

I’ll be here to share ways of noticing these small joys or how to add them into your life and the Introduction to Gratitude workshop and Gratitude check in have been created with these things in mind.

We don’t have to go through these dark times alone. Let’s learn, share and live more grateful lives….together.

Love & Gratitude

Charla X

P.s I'd love to know what your small joys are? Or any new ones you discover. Leave a comment below or better still (and if social media is your thing)...tag me in your small joy posts @thegratefulheartsclub

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