Starting now, this newsletter, Finding Your Joy, is a daily reminder of how to practice joy. Here’s the birth announcement.
Need more joy in your life?
Start your day with a spark of joy.
When you subscribe to this newsletter, you’ll wake up to videos of people dancing, enthusiastic recommendations for books and movies and food, plus specific tips to help you practice calm, every morning.
Why should we have to practice joy? Doesn’t it just arrive?
This isn’t a culture built for joy. We’re taught that earning millions and manic productivity are the keys to success. More, more, more — we must do more. That lie is a big part of why some people are so divided and tribal these days, online and in real life.
It’s not your fault if joy doesn’t come easily to you. It’s possible that no one taught you that you deserve joy.
You can learn to practice joy and rewire your brain for more resilience and calm. If you’ve ever learned to play the piano, drive a car (extra points for stick shift!), or cook without burning down the house, you can learn to build your capacity for joy.
When you practice joy, your definition of success changes.
You might find that your goal is not more money, but this instead: early-morning snuggles with your kids; 15 minutes of yoga before breakfast; talking with your best friend, who always makes you laugh; taking care of the dogs at the animal shelter on your volunteer day; a bowl of chili — sour cream and Fritos on top, please — for dinner; a full night’s sleep.
A good life is when you enjoy the life you’re living in the moment you’re living it.
That doesn’t have to be your story.
Once you practice joy daily, and build your own resilience, you naturally want to be generous and share joy with others.
We can help each other to find more joy.
But how do you practice joy?
Waking up to a reminder of joy every morning is a good start.
Finding Your Joy is a daily newsletter about joy, from Shauna M. Ahern.
Shauna once built a huge community through her food blog, Gluten-Free Girl. She and her husband were featured on the Food Network, won a James Beard award for one of their three published cookbooks, and taught culinary getaways in a villa in Tuscany.
Must have been a pretty joyful life, right?
The creative work and the community — yes.
But the rest?
In 2015, Shauna was updating her website on a constant basis, working toward a cookbook deadline, running a kitchen studio with her husband where they held dinners, packing shipping boxes with packages of their gluten-free flour and drove them to the post office. Together, they raised their two children, on little sleep, and their youngest kid was less than one. Neither Shauna nor her husband had a full-time job, so this had to work. Shauna juggled all this while trying to feed her family through sponsored Instagram. It was lousy. It was a sham. And it almost killed her.
That year, Shauna suffered a mini stroke, triggered by all that stress, compounded with a lifetime of unresolved issues from childhood trauma.
The process of recovering from that changed her life.
Shauna detailed her shift away from that stress, then learning to stretch toward more joy, in her memoir, ENOUGH: Notes from a Woman Who Has Finally Found It. The book was recommended by Brene Brown, The Washington Post, and thousands of readers who say the book changed their lives.
And now, Shauna guides people to find and practice their joy, as a way to heal from trauma. She’s endlessly curious and loves connecting people with other people who are sharing their joy.
You don’t have to live a stressful and exhausting life. Shauna wants to show you how to practice your joy.
And that’s where you come in.
When you subscribe to Finding Your Joy, you’ll receive a brief love letter in your inbox every morning, helping you to greet the day.
Shauna will send you tips, clips, and tricks to calm your life and increase your capacity for joy.
What kind of tips? Specific ideas for how to practice your joy.
Tricks? Choices you can make to bring more calm to your life.
Let’s face it — after these last few years, we could all use more joy.
Through joy, we can change our lives.
Find your joy by subscribing to this newsletter, then start your morning with something inspiring or silly. (Sometimes, there’ll be ridiculous GIFs too.)
“I think whether you’re talking about art or politics or just getting up in the morning and trying to live your life, it’s useful to be able to seek out that joy where you can find it and operate on the basis of hope rather than despair. We all have different ways of coping, but I think that the sense of optimism that I have relied on is generally the result of appreciating other people, first and foremost, my own children and my family and my friends. But also the voices that I hear through books and that you hear through song and that tell you you’re not alone.”
— Barack Obama
That’s the why of Finding Your Joy — to let you know, through joy, that you’re not alone.
You’ll wake up to an email about joy every morning.
You’re invited to join the Sunday morning conversations about hard-won joy with Shauna on Zoom.
You’ll get to participate in the Finding Your Joy book club.
You’ll get exclusive news and the first chance to sign up for upcoming workshops and events.
You’ll find a community of people who want to practice hard-won joy.
You’ll receive two emails a week.
You’ll get details about upcoming events and workshops with Shauna before they go live on social media.
Here’s to finding your joy!