An Invitation to Joy

by Anjana Deshpande

Joy likes to nestle between contentment and acceptance. It waits in the corner of our mundane, everyday life, waiting to be invited. Unlike happiness, which demands pursuit, joy simply is. Why then, do we complain about a “lack” of joy in our lives? Why do we go in search of it, or say that “joy has left” our life? Chances are, joy hasn’t left us; we just forgot it was there.

This month, let us try some ways to consciously invite joy into our lives. Here are some steps to do that:
  1. Create a joy map
  2. A no-pressure date
  3. Bring joy to someone else.

1. Create a Joy Map.

A joy map is fun to do! There are no rules, just some suggestions to make it satisfying and meaningful. Take a sheet of paper and draw a circle in the center of the sheet. Put the word “joy” in the circle and draw lines radiating from this circle. Each line will connect to another circle which contains the word, activity, person, event that brings you joy. Think about times when you were content, relaxed and really “in the moment”. Perhaps you were taking a walk, reading a book, or maybe even doing laundry! It does not matter. If it brought you joy and contentment, it goes on the map.
Next, think of things that you would like to do. Even if they don’t exist in your life right now. Just putting them on paper opens the door to the possibility of making them happen.

You may choose to use different markers for different groups of activities. For example, if traveling brings you joy, use different colors for places that are nearby, and easily accessible and places that are far away and might need some planning to get to.  

» Read More

Anjana Deshpande, LCSW is a certified Journal and Poetry Therapist. She works with both clients and clinicians who wish to get acquainted with the transformative power of writing. She can be reached at

What brings us joy?

We asked the practitioners at the Resiliency Center what brings them joy! Here's what they had to say.

What brings YOU joy? Visit our Facebook page and let us know! 

John Muraco:
Music that dances on the edge of sorrow and bright joy, food made with LOVE, espresso, walks into the woods with my daughter toward imaginary birthday parties, the stillness of nature, jogging in mid-summer heat, and being with awesome people!!!!!

Jeff Katowitz: Spending time with family, pursuing passions and special interests, immersing in creativity, being in nature, giving to those in need, being a part of a community.

Stacey Vinci: Seeing my dogs looks so excited and loving after I come home from work; the look and smell of fresh flowers/nature; watching the sunset; indulging in a delicious dessert; that feeling you get after exercising- especially after a tough workout on a day that I least desired to work out. 

Brittiney George: Dancing, kids laughter, and hugs (I have an 8 a day minimum).

Jen Perry: Walks and hikes in nature ... Being with my children as they learn and grow ... Connecting deeply with others ... Learning new things.... And Capogiro!
Elizabeth Campbell: Time spent with my family and dog, outdoors, or with friends. Getting lost in a book. And yoga. 
Elizabeth Venart: Walks in the woods and along the ocean’s edge, laughing with friends and family (especially my 9-month old niece), painting, singing, listening to beautiful music, connecting deeply with others, building community.
Katie May: Noticing the magic in everyday life brings me joy... The laughter of my son as we ride bikes together on a gentle, breezy day... Puppy snuggles... And tacos. Tacos are pure joy. 
Dana Barron: Laughing with my kids...hanging out in the dog park... feeling the sun on my face.
Kim Vargas: The first sip of coffee on a cold morning; the feeling AFTER exercising on a day that I had a really hard time convincing myself to exercise; connecting with a dear friend that I haven't seen in a while.

What brings YOU joy? Visit our Facebook page and let us know! 

Video of the Month

Poem of the Month

Lingering in happiness

by Mary Oliver, from Why I Wake Early

After rain after many days without rain,
it stays cool, private and cleansed, under the trees,
and the dampness there, married now to gravity,
falls branch to branch, leaf to leaf, down to the ground
where it will disappear but not, of course, vanish
except to our eyes. The roots of the oaks will have their share,
and the white threads of the grasses, and the cushion of moss;
a few drops, round as pearls, will enter the mole’s tunnel;
and soon so many small stones, buried for a thousand years,
will feel themselves being touched.

Featured Program

Self-Compassion Therapy Group

Mondays, 11 am – 12 pm
Cost: $45. Sliding scale available.

In this group, participants will learn techniques designed to address the inner critic and cultivate acceptance, care, compassion, and friendliness toward themselves. Developing a personal mindfulness and heartfulness practice is central to this group as well as exploring ways in which the practices enrich everyday life and ameliorates suffering. Individual intake required.

Space is limited, so sign up today!
» For more information, contact Jen Perry, MS.Ed., MA, LPC, at 215-292-5056 or
View our Services
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June Events

Learn more about all of our offerings – and how to RSVP – by clicking on the program title on our online calendar or following the links below.


Most Radiant You:
A Self Expression and Empowerment Group for Teens

Now Enrolling. Begins July 11, 2016.
» For more information, visit this website or contact John Muraco and Elizabeth Campbell at 315-329-9838.

The Greater Philadelphia Holistic Parents Meetup

2nd Saturday of the month, 1-3pm
» RSVP on Meetup

Sound Meditation and Relaxation Experience

Every other Sunday at 7 pm
» RSVP on Meetup

DBT Skills Group

Tuesdays at 7:30 pm
Pre-registration required
» Learn More

Rumi and Hafiz Poetry Evening

Monthly on Wednesdays, 7:30 pm
» RSVP on Meetup


Rest, Restore, and Move Class

Every other Tuesday at 12 pm
» RSVP on Meetup

EMDR Consultation Group for Therapists

Monthly on Friday at 8:30 am
» Learn More

EMDR International Association Regional Network Meetings

Every other month on Fridays
» Contact Elizabeth Venart, EMDRIA Regional Coordinator, at 215-233-2002 or Elizabeth@ to learn more.


LPC Supervision Group for Therapists

2 Wednesdays per month at 5:30 pm
» Learn More

Interstitial Cystitis/Pelvic Pain Support Group

Monthly on Wednesdays at 7:30 pm

Teen Group Therapy Circle

» Learn More

Philadelphia Writers Workshop

Tuesdays, 7-10 pm
Pre-Registration required
» Learn More


Morning Meditation

Mondays at 8:30 am
» RSVP on Meetup


Evening Meditation

Thursdays at 7:30 pm
» RSVP on Meetup

Qi Gong Classes

Thursdays at 2:00 and 6:15 pm
» RSVP on Meetup

Knitting Circle

Monthly on Saturdays
» RSVP on Meetup

» Learn about these programs and more on The Resiliency Center's events page and online calendar   
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