The Human Experience

Peaceful, Easy Feeling

The Eagles

I’ve always said that the greatest gift we can give another is to help them feel seen and heard, acknowledged and affirmed, valued and loved. What a blessing that in my professional role as a Life Coach, I get to do this for my clients. I listen deeply to their stories and “see” them for who they really are. It feels so good to create this space for them and is such an honor to be invited into this sacred part of their life.

While I spend much of my energy doing this for others as the “giver”, when it comes back to me…I’m often stopped in my tracks, in awe of the magnitude of how powerful this gift really is.

Being the “receiver” often leaves me speechless.

The Eagles concert

Everyone who knows me knows that I’m a Read more »

Reunited and It Feels So Good

SLP Class of '87 Reunion

High school reunions. You either love ‘em or hate ‘em. I am one who happens to love them. Last weekend was my 25th reunion. Wait, did I just say “25th”?!

I love these reunions simply because they’re so ‘real.’ Back in high school and when we’re kids, we label each other – we say this one’s super smart, this one’s pretty, this one’s whatever. Labels helped us define the world around us as we were learning to find our own way. But as adults now, the playing field gets leveled and no one has any of those labels. We don’t need that anymore.

At the core, we’re all the same anyway. We’ve all struggled. We’ve all had fear get in our way. We’ve all reached for goals or worked hard toward a dream. We’ve all questioned ourselves. We’ve all had a vision for our future.

Bottom-line: We’re all just striving to do our best in life. Plain and simple.

It doesn’t matter what your religion is, what you Read more »

Honoring My Place in the World

Michelle Joy

Recently, there was a game on Facebook that I chose to play. The idea was to look up the number-one song from the week you were born and then find it on YouTube and post the video as your status update. I couldn’t wait to find out what my song was! I figured it would be a super cool song – either by the Beatles or some other classic artist that stirred my soul.

But it wasn’t. The number-one song on February 2, 1969 was “Crimson and Clover” by Tommy James and the Shondells. Not that it’s a bad song. But I never really cared for it. In fact, through the years, if I heard it on the radio I almost always changed the station.

So I posted it on Facebook and unenthusiastically claimed it as my song. Then I figured I might as well Read more »

Taking Time to Smell the Roses

Michelle Stimpson & Bill Stimpson and Bill's Parents

Welcome to the biggest gap between posts since this blog started almost two years ago. It’s not because I haven’t written; I have. Over this past month I’d force myself to write a post and reluctantly toss it on my editor’s desk (Bill), mumbling under my breath: “Good luck with this one.” And later he’d come back at me with, “Um, I like it, but it’s very confusing.”

I know, I know. Forcing yourself to write isn’t good. And it’s not fun. So I finally decided to just drop it and wait until the time was right.

Here’s where my heart and soul have been this past month: Bill’s father, Larry, has been in the intensive care unit in the hospital, following a myriad of health issues. I’m a big believer in being fully present with whatever you’re doing, wherever you are. So, my father-in-law’s situation became Read more »

The Joy of Being Pampered

Michelle Stimpson & Bill Stimpson_Celebrity Solstice

This photo is from a moment I won’t ever forget. It captures one of the formal nights on our recent Caribbean cruise – Bill and I made reservations in the ship’s specialty Asian restaurant, Silk Harvest.

The dim lighting, rich ambience, peaceful atmosphere, and soothing sounds of cultural music with water fountains did me in. And if that wasn’t enough, our lovely waiter, Corsino, waltzed over to greet us and announce that he would be taking fantastic care of us that night. His soft gentleman-like voice, laser-focused eye contact, and welcoming body language spoke a thousand stories to me. It felt as though a knight rode up on a white horse.

For a moment, I wasn’t even sure that I deserved such all-encompassing pampering treatment.

I had to use everything within me to hold back from breaking down as he Read more »

It’s A Wonderful Life

By Bill Stimpson, Associate Editor

Bill Stimpson & Domino Everyone can examine their life and identify from their past what I call life moments. Some of those memories might be the obvious: Graduation day, a wedding, a vacation of a lifetime, or a memorable birth or death. But often these life moments are less obvious at the time and not even appreciated until later, upon reflection.

One such memory for me came on Christmas Day 1992. And every time I recall this memory, not only do I experience the immense joy of the moment – but I also realize its deeply meaningful significance in my life.

Setting the stage

At the age of 25, things were finally coming together for me. Within the prior two years, I had moved away from home and landed my first “real” job. By the time December rolled around, I had even managed to hold on to a girlfriend for an entire six months. Things were definitely changing!

My new girlfriend Read more »

A Bear Hug On Memorial Day

Memorial Day Service

“Today is not a day for barbecues and parties,” our Congressman bellowed at the podium. “Today is about reflecting on and honoring the service of our Veterans.”

As I looked around the crowd, I figured my Grandpa Jerry (“Papa”) was there smiling down on all of us. He always had such a tough time seeing our country celebrate Memorial Day with a “day off” or getting great deals at mall department stores.

Papa and I occasionally attended Memorial Day services together. During the holiday, he was always pensive, thoughtful, and full of somber reflection. You can’t blame a guy for being serious; he was in the Army and endured some of the worst of World War II in the Battle of Guadalcanal in the Pacific. He earned a Silver Star and a Purple Heart, and it was rare that he’d share stories from his horrific battle days. When asking him a question, he’d usually respond with: “I just can’t talk about it.”

We kids always wanted to hear the story about why he walked with a limp. I do remember Papa recounting how he was wounded by shrapnel, then sent home on a hospital ship in a full body cast. He was told that if anything happened Read more »

Honoring a Bright Young Life

Michelle Stimpson & Tommy

We recently honored the 20th  anniversary of our little buddy’s transition to heaven. My godson, Tommy, was born with a rare disease of the immune system and died before he reached his 8th birthday.

* * * * * * *

For seven years, there were four of us. And we were “the grandkids.”

Michelle Stimpson & Cousins

Lucky me, I got to be the babysitter for Tommy and his sisters, Kristin and Maren. We’d play house, doctor, school, hide-and-seek, build forts, read books, walk to the local store, watch movies, and just hang out and laugh.

Tommy was a goofball. I remember one time playing school and Tommy was one of the students. As soon as Read more »

Losing My Breath at the Podium

Have you ever been so overcome that you simply couldn’t speak? That just happened to me a couple weekends ago. Yep, me—the one who loves to talk, isn’t afraid of public speaking, and has a degree in Speech/Communications.

I had the pleasure of being a presenter at the Illumination Event here in Minneapolis. The event’s tagline: “It’s Time to Shine!” What a perfect place for me to share the Following Your Joy message and soak up all the inspiration of the day.

What happened to me there probably wasn’t a big deal to the participants in my session, but it was to me. A few minutes into my presentation, I became so short of breath that I could barely get my words out. I had never experienced this before and was completely stunned—I wasn’t nervous, I had done this before, and I was speaking on a topic I was passionate about.

Why this day was different

To-date, the majority of my presentations had been geared toward business groups and associations, focused on Time Management and Work-Life Balance. Some of what I talked about previously was based on the research of other experts, so it never felt too personal for me; I could easily keep my personal beliefs and ideas at an arm’s length from Read more »

The Heart Of The Matter

Bill Stimpson & Michelle Stimpson_Bill's parents

Today is my birthday and the perfect day for me to honor, celebrate, and revere life. This past week has been one of the most intense weeks I have ever known, prompting me to reflect a great deal on life and the world around me.

All within a matter of hours, my grandpa had a significant heart attack; and my father-in-law went into emergency surgery as a follow-up to heart bypass surgery—landing him directly into the intensive care unit (ICU).

The next few days were incredibly intense and flanked with uncertainty—spending precious time at the two hospitals, talking through options with family members, jumping at each phone call, barely sleeping, dissolving into tears at the drop of a hat, and on and on.

Intense focus

I immediately cancelled all meetings and lunches on my calendar. While these were all scheduled with people I was excited to see, the need for focus was so strong that Read more »

You’ll Love Being a Subscriber!
Michelle Stimpson: Editor/Writer

Michelle Stimpson Hi and thanks for visiting - so glad you're here! This blog is especially for cool people who want to experience joy and live a life of purpose. Welcome!

Here you'll find great stories that will inspire you and remind you that life is good, and there's an abundance of joy all around us. Simply put: When you follow the things in life that make you come alive and bring you joy...the magic begins to unfold.

Start by checking out the "Best Of" page and be sure to consider subscribing above. Thank you and cheers to joy!

Michelle Joy Stimpson
Executive Editor & Writer
Life Coach, LifeShine

Bill Stimpson: Partner-In-Crime

Bill Stimpson Hi! Not only will you see me “show up” in many of Michelle’s stories and posts here, but I also serve as Michelle’s editor, helping her clarify intentions and make her posts shine.

One of the great joys in my life is being involved with this blog! It’s a constant reminder for me to focus on the things that bring me joy. It also feels great to be sharing so many of these joys with you - in hopes that you, too, will find ways to focus on your own joyful experiences.

Here's to an abundance of joy in your life!

Bill Stimpson
Hubby & Associate Editor

The Parent Company

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