This book is for you.

It is for you who believe you are too broken to be fixed, too sad to be truly happy and too stressed to be content. This is for you – the overwrought, the overly hard on yourselves, the trying but not getting, the giving until your bones have become brittle.

You may have tried anti-depressants. You may have visited counsellors, life coaches and therapists. Or, you may have gone it on your own trying mood-lifting diets and hope-offering books.

I am you and this is the story of my walk back.

It’s the story of placing one leaden foot in front of the other, putting my worries in their rightful place and removing the weight of the social pressure that bowed me to the ground.

It is about rediscovering who I was meant to be all along … joyous.

My Journey to Joy project covered two years during which time I spent twenty-one days each month focusing on what I hoped would bring me Joy. Month 1 was dedicated to Joy itself, in all of its broadness and breadth. By month twenty-four, after immersion in topics like Creativity, Food, Health & Fitness, Faith, Gratitude, Great Love and Writing, a whole new me emerged – one whose bones had calcified and one whose soul could stand still in the shelter of a new-found strength.

After 44 years of living, giving and letting myself down, I was finally able to hear my calling, and more importantly, to answer it without fear. A beautiful butterfly of a human being emerged – one who was enraptured with life; one who could fulfill her destiny (and the destiny of an orphaned child); and one who was joyous beyond all expectations.

As you journey with me, I will tell you of my full-scale breakdown at age 44, and I will describe my worries, fears and lack of coping skills in relatable detail. However, this dip into the dark will be fleeting and absent of blame as my purpose is simply to have you witness these depths for the sake of recognizing the possible heights – both mine and yours.

I encourage you to choose your own topics of Joy and embrace your suppressed desires as we wind our way through this book, and life, together. May the very act of trying to come up with two dozen Joy-giving topics set something in you free, as it did for me.

I share this tale (which covers seventeen of the most interesting months in my two-year journey) with you humbly, offering only what I have to give – honesty, hope and the profound knowing that we are together in this walk through human-hood.

This is not a self-help book per se, but I consider it a blueprint, a floatation device, a free elixir for the human condition. If you are not struggling, explore the inner workings of a being who was and come to a deeper understanding of anxiety … and Joy.

This book is for you.

It is for those of you who know there is a better way to live, but you just can’t seem to find it.

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