Joy List Monday & Recommitting to a Ritual of Stillness

Last Sunday morning I was in my studio. It was raining, the sound of rain soothing on the roof above me. I had lit a handmade candle sweet with essential oils. The light danced and flickered in its jelly jar, the rest of the room dim.

candlelight, candles, jelly jars, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

I was writing in my journal. Listening to the rain. Slow, still, for the first time in a while.

Despite my good intentions I have not been creating moments of stillness. Life suddenly is full, busy. There are new worries, old worries and it seems I am constantly do-ing. Even in the slower moments I find myself preoccupied with what I need to do next or bothered by little irritations. Or else I'm distracting myself with books, the internet or Netflix.

I checked my Joy Journal and realized I hadn't written a Joy List in almost 2 months.

Have I been avoiding stillness? Maybe unintentionally, but isn't the result the same?

Sitting down that morning, lighting a candle and listening to the rain opened something up in me.



orchid flowers, pink flowers, vintage typewriter, My Giant Strawberry, Anne Butera

I concentrated on that stillness. Slowed my pen as I became fully present. Worries dropped away. My to-do lists dropped away.

And then ideas started pouring in.

The brainstorming led from one idea to another. I felt inspired. Excited by possibilities.

Maybe the brainstorming was just another way my mind was filling the void of stillness, but I'm not going to complain or scold myself for it.

My daily schedule, my rituals have been thrown out of whack. Moments of stillness, of quiet reflection, candles, journaling (real, deep journaling, not the hurried scrawl my journal had taken on these last couple months), writing Joy Lists -- these were deemed non-essential, easy to leave off the to-do list. They don't really accomplish anything, do they?

What a mistake.

camellias, camellia flower, pink flowers, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

Camellia flower, flowers, pink flowers, houseplants, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

Coming up on the end of the year, I'm re-committing to my rituals of stillness. They are essential.

What a wonderful reminder that rainy, candlelit Sunday morning.

And so, here's a joy list for today:

Joy List, Joy List Monday, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

What about you? What's on your Joy List today? Do you have routines or rituals that you are committing to with the coming of the new year?


  1. I can so relate to this post, Anne! Thank you for sharing your joy list with us. Here is mine for today:
    -after a week-long illness, a pups who is finally feeling better ♥
    -sweet peas germinating in their little pots
    -long walks in pine-scented woods
    -cozy fires at night

    1. Hi, Laurie, I think this busy-ness and the do, do, do that we're all ingrained with is just a symptom of this society. Making a point to break free from that, at least occasionally for a short time can be so good.

      Your joy list is delicious! (And so glad your pups is feeling better. Sick pets are the worst!).

      Have a wonderful Christmas. I know how much you love it!

    2. Thank you Anne! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  2. :-) You know I missed your Joy Lists!
    I am with you...we do get too busy. I have to remind self to get back into that healthy routine.

    Joy List
    Family Time
    Old Christmas Movies
    Baking with my boys
    Visiting friends for Christmas cheer!

    1. Thank you, Carla. Maybe I should try to share them more often.

      Thanks, also, for sharing your list. Such wonderful joys!

      Have a joyful Christmas!

  3. Beautiful joy list. It is good to slow down sometimes to get energy back. Wishing you a very merry Christmas.

    1. Thank you, Aga! And you're so right. We need to slow down. I need to be more conscious of that.

      Wishing you a very merry Christmas, too!

  4. Your rainy, candlelit Sunday morning sounds so peaceful, Anne. I'm glad it provided a time of reflection for you, as well as inspiration. It's been a pleasure and gift to meet you and share thoughts with you this past year. I look forward to more of the same in 2016. God bless you. xo ~ Nancy

    1. Thank you, Nancy.

      It's been a pleasure to meet you and watch the progress on your cottage this past year. Thanks for the encouragement and inspiration! Looking forward to a wonderful year for the both of us!

      Many blessing to you in 2016!


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