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Laughter is a powerful and healthy reaction to stressful situations. It’s a natural way to fight off negative emotions, reduce stress, and boost your immune system. Laughter therapy is the act of using laughter to improve health and quality of life. In order to find more joy, one has to discover what makes one laugh. Let’s explore it, its many benefits and the best exercises are a great way to find more joy in life. Join Kim Mclntyre and me in this episode.
Kim Mclntyre is a Joyful Living Teacher who shows people how to laugh more and stress less to enjoy life NOW. Over the last 20 years, Kim has taught thousands of people how to crack themselves up and feel happy dancing! She helps people reclaim joy and savor the sweetness of life — even if they’ve been through unexpected tough times that have knocked the wind out of their sails. After rediscovering her joyful self during a health challenge, she has shared her mission of joy & laughter with a wide variety of groups and online through her Joyful Being® Academy and her YouTube channel.
Free Play-Sheet with 10 Questions to Rediscover Joy: https://joyfulbeing.com/questions/
Joyful Being® Academy: https://joyfulbeing.com/academy/
Joyful Self-Care Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/joyfulselfcare/
Jenn Dragonette (Host)
In This Episode, You Will Learn About:
[02:02] Kim’s activities that bring her joy
[04:09] How she got into “Joyful Being.”
[05:25] How do you cultivate joyful being when working remotely
[07:06] Kim’s backstory that led her to find more about joyful being
[09:08] Tips on how to use laughter as a therapy
[11:55] What Kim helps her clients do at the burned-out stage
[15:22] Why we all need joyful experiences in life
[16:13] What’s the best definition of joy, and what does it entail
[21:14] Did Yoga start first, or was it her Joy and Laughter Coaching?
We could all use a little more joint or. Right. That’s why we talked to Kim today. She is a joyful living teacher who shows people how to laugh more stress, less so that you can enjoy your life right now in this present moment. Yep. She’s all about joyful being. She even has her own academy, joyful being a cat.
Over the last 20 years, she has taught thousands of people, how to crack themselves up and feel like happy dancing. And in this podcast we did both. She really does help people reclaim the joy and savor the sweetness of life. Even if you’ve been through some unexpected, tough times that have knocked the wind out of your sails after rediscovering her joyful self during her health challenge, her mischief is to share.
Joy laughter in a wide variety of groups and online. Dive in and get more joyful. You’re listening to feed your business with love with Jen dragon net. You are about to experience a tsunami of self love in your life. And. Because we have too much magic inside to just be a ripple, let go of society’s standards.
And those gurus who leave you burned out, put aside any imposter syndrome feelings and ask yourself, what is it you really want? Because success starts from within rediscovering yourself, builds confidence in your message and who you are. Your tribe will follow. Let’s unleash the magic inside by being our true, authentic.
Starting podcasting for your soul in 3, 2, 1. So welcome to the podcast, Kim, thank you for having me, Jennifer. I am really excited about this conversation because you are all about bringing more joy into our lives and who couldn’t use a little bit more joy, especially as entrepreneurs. So I want to know in this moment in time, what is that thing?
That’s bringing you the most? Right now, I’m just enjoying being out with people more, again, like just being out in the world and interacting whether it’s going to a birthday party or the movies or teaching a class or whatever, just to have actual contact with people and to see people’s smiles again, that aren’t hiding behind.
It’s just, I never want to get to the point where I take any of that for granted, because it’s been an interesting two years and just to have that gratitude and that appreciation for being able to connect in a in-person way again with people that’s bringing me a lot of joy. Oh, yes. I love that this last few years, even though it’s been rough has taught us to appreciate those little things like hugs.
I used to not be like a star. I used to be the side hug or the person that came up and was like, here’s the hug now? I’m like two hands hugs. And like I’m in your space. I love that. That’s what’s bringing you joy right now is, is, yeah. Definitely because it felt like during that time period, it felt like everybody’s worlds shrank a little bit, got a little bit smaller and more isolated and, we need that human connection.
That’s a huge part of joy. That’s a huge part of what makes you laugh and enjoy and have a good time in life. So, yeah, it’s really important. Oh, laughter. I love laughter. I feel like the good belly laugh. R so healing, no matter what’s going on, if you have a good belly laugh that lasts for days, I feel like it’s just the best.
I don’t know. It just feels so good. You still have to know how did you get, I know that you have joyful being and there’s, there’s two big components of joyful being, at least in my mind, is that like joyful part and the actually being, instead of being a human, doing, which for this tribe as entrepreneurs.
Combining the two together it’s just magical. Can you tell us a little bit about like how you got to joyful beings? It came to me many years ago because I spend I’m also in addition to doing the joy part and the laughter part, I’m also a yoga teacher and very much into meditation and I teach meditation.
And so being is like the magical component and learning how to be present as you do is something that I practice regularly in all aspects of my life. And. It’s easier sometimes in other aspects of my life, to do when you’re out for a walk or you’re, hanging out, doing something fun with somebody.
It’s something that I practice regularly in my own business in terms of how do I just be present with. So that I know that I’m on aligned with what wants to happen in that moment and not pushing myself past where I really need to be in any given moment. So the beingness part, we are joyful beings.
We’re not joyful doings, just like you said, Yeah, I love. So how does that show up in the joyful being when you are sitting at your computer working on something? Because I know like the teaching aspect is, that’s the fun, that’s the building as joy, but there’s that whole back end. How do you approach that with joyful being?
Sometimes I have to make myself take breaks, so I’ll sometimes do a thing where I set a timer to work on a particular project for 20 minutes or 25 minutes. And. Then I will, after when, during the break, I’ll reward myself by listening to a tune that I really love, or dancing around, or when I finished something to give myself a dance, a celebration.
Yay. I did that. I did that scary thing. And that sprinkles joy throughout the day, instead of just like, Joy’s this separate thing over here, that I get to enjoy on weekends. No, I want to sprinkle it through my day because it lifts me up. It gives me energy. It refuels me so that I can then go do the next.
Refueling of joy. Yes. Please sign me up. And I love how you have made it so simple. Yeah. Sometimes people think that, joy is frivolous. Or that laughter is frivolous and no, no, no. It’s a refuel. It’s what builds you up at what lifts you up? Since you have the energy, it boosts you, it gives you energy and enlightenment to be able to do what you need to do.
And if you’re just. Down to the grindstone, push, push, push, push, push, push, and there’s no room for it. You do burn out, and so when I do speaking gigs my, my tagline is teaching people to avoid burnout and enjoy your life more because that’s the joy is the balance to the burnout.
Yeah. So is there a story, is there a story of your own of burnout that led you to finding this joyful being most? Most definitely. So there was a time in my life spec around the year, 2000, 2001 in that, in that vicinity, like stress had just been piling and piling and piling and piling up, and I had been mad.
And managing to keep my head above water within adjust, hit the point where you’d like with burnout to me is sort of like this experience of, I just can’t do it anymore. I don’t care. It’s like an apathy. It’s a total energy drain. And that’s when I got hit with a health crisis. Right. At that point, I think, cause everything the stress had just built up to.
Where my body couldn’t take it. And it turned out to be not life-threatening, but it still was like the doctors wanting to do all these different things to me in different choices and all the stress of that. And so I put, hit the pause button and went and attended a mind-body healing program that was in town in my city at that time.
And I went there for two weeks. And we did all these really cool things that are all about self care. Right. And the thing we did every day that I love the absolute most was we did therapeutic laughter in play. And so it was just amazing and it felt like coming home, but like coming home to the real me that had kind of got dropped by the wayside in the middle of all the stress and the burnout, and it just lit me up.
And so now, uh, since that time I started back in 2001, I went and got a training to become a certified laughter leader. And I started teaching what I learned, both in that program and in the training. And so I get to see people light up, so that’s part of why being out and connecting with people.
Again, lights me up because I get to go do what I love to do again in person and see people have that light bulb moment, Oh, my goodness. I need that in my life. I need to go for a week, two week long trainings because I need more laughter like using therapy. Laughter is a therapies. That’s so cool.
What does that look like? Like what does a, what does a session like that look like? In that program it looked like, and what I often did when my groups, I used to run a local group in town for five years. We would play games, interactive games in particular. Not necessarily, boring board games, which are fun, but they’re like more reserved.
It would be like interactive kind of guessing game type of things, but we wouldn’t keep. And we just play for the connection and the fun and the play of it. And you so much, laughter just naturally came out of it. So it was really kind of laughter and play sessions. And so I translated that into the groups that I teach.
I always, I mean the things that I’ve learned as a certified laughter leader, I kind of saved that for later on it’s some people call it laughter yoga. And sometimes if you look up laughter yoga online, you can see some really crazy stuff. And so I’m talking to corporate groups, so I need to like, let them warm up a little first with some, just some playful activities.
And then, also giving yourself permission to play like. Like, that’s something I always have to say at the beginning, because then people are good to go. I had took me a while to discover that it’s like, people need permission. And I think in our lives, we also need permission. That it’s not something that should be just shoved to the bottom of your to-do list or not on your radar at all.
If you give yourself permission, then it’s like, no, this is something that’s good for me. And so I’m going to do it. I’m giving myself permission to go. What makes you laugh is different for every person, so you gotta like know, know what your left triggers are and seek them out. Oh my goodness.
Yeah. Think my big, my last big belly laugh came from that. There’s a card deck called kids against maturity. So it’s a spinoff of the cards against humanity. And I have to tell you, the, the adult version doesn’t make me laugh. Like the kid’s version. It was just, I mean, laugh til you cry. And it was so for dumb poop jokes, half the time, that’s just so silly, but it was great.
Yeah. I love that. Yeah. We’ll have to check that out for sure. Okay. So I’m just like, there’s all, I have so many questions about this laughter medicine and all the things, but when you have somebody come into your space and your. They’re normally coming to you, I’m assuming at that burnt out stage or close to that burnout stage where they’re like, I don’t have any joy.
I have no pleasure. I forgot how to be a kid. What’s the first kind of thing that you, you offer up to them, that little tiny nugget that’s like, okay, this is, this is when you’re ready. This is, this is your first little nugget of, of play and joy. Other than the permission slip to, we all have permission to have fun.
I see what you’re going for with that question. Honestly, it depends on the person, what they need, everybody is different. Like I have one client at the time I was doing a, give yourself some fun program. And she had no clue how to have fun. And for her. And this isn’t for everybody, but for her, it was like a harsh voice in her head that said fun is not okay.
You don’t deserve fun. Like, and she had had a very difficult childhood, where that wasn’t part of the program in her upbringing. And so for her, instead of going all the way for fun or all the way for joy, we just worked on. Okay. Let’s find small. Let’s find the very small things for you and maybe aim for something that is comforting or soothing because joy may be too far a stretch for you at this point.
So you start where the person is at, and it always starts with self care and joy is a form of self care, but maybe there’s another kind of self care that needs to come first, depending on the person and definitely awareness for them, helping them, asking them questions, helping them build awareness of.
What it is they need and what joy is for them. And, and that’s why the freebie on my website is a series of questions that you can ask yourself, powerful questions to help you rediscover, what is joy for me? And they kind of dig deep into that for you to kind of have that rediscovery process began.
Because sometimes if you ask people what brings you joy, or they don’t know. And sometimes people think it has to be some big, huge thing when it can be very simple, very small things in everyday life. And if you set it up as some big, huge thing, then you’re setting yourself up to fail and not be able to do it.
Right. Yeah. Yeah. So where can people find that freebie a joyful being.com is my website and the freebie. If you want to go straight to the previous joyful being.com/questions. Yeah, I just wanted to, since you, since you shared that with us, I wanted to make sure our listeners knew that they were to get it from.
Yeah. Yeah. It’s, it’s it’s amazing that people don’t remember what joy is or what they think joy is. Isn’t really what it is for them, because somebody else has told them this is what joy is supposed to be. And it’s really such a personalized. So, yeah. Thank you for doing that. The awareness piece. I think that that’s huge.
And in the last two years, that’s what this, this time has taught me is to find joy and to do things in my life that bring me joy. And I know that I’m not. In that, in that process of like, all right, here’s what our world was. He halt, wait, let’s, let’s reprogram, let’s reset up. And I feel like what you’re bringing is what the world needs is that joy that laughter going back to that, that child self, before we got shut down by everyone else’s expectations or we’re too loud, that’s inappropriate for a 40 year old to be bouncing on the Playhouse.
Cause you know, But it’s so fun and it’s that permission. And I just like what you’re bringing joyful being, uh, it lights my heart up that you’re bringing this to the world. Really need it. Yes. People do really need it. It’s been really unparalleled levels of toxic stress the last couple of years. And it looks different for every person.
Just like the joy looks different for every person, but you need to be proactive to seek it out because people think, oh, joint needs to be spontaneous or laughter needs to be spontaneous. We know you can be proactive and you can decide I want this and I’m going to go find some, so, and that’s what I encourage people to do and how to do, because you can’t just expect it to find you, especially with the world.
Yeah. So outside of meeting people in person and hanging out again, what, what is your definition of joy? Like what, what is joy to you? To me, joy is just the sweetness of everyday moments of life. Whether it’s smelling a flower or watching my cat, do something silly or, taking a walk and just hearing the breeze in the trees and.
Or sometimes for me is reading books and just opening up to a passage in a book that. It just speaks to me. That’s something I’ll often do is just pick up a book. I have so many books and I’ll just open it up and go, what do I need to see today and read what page or a paragraph. And it turns out to be exactly what speaks to my heart in that moment and lifts me up.
So, yeah. It’s the small things and it can also be the big things too. I mean, we went to a birthday party last weekend. Oh my goodness. It was just so good to see everybody gathered again in a hug and smile and, and yeah, so that is so much fun. And, and I also, I get joy teaching teaching is such a, especially, even if I’m teaching stress relief, which is a calming and soothing thing, there’s a part of me that feeds on the joy of just showing up and doing that for people.
Yeah. And actually Coming up soon. I been co-teaching with a woman who has Equis training with horses. And so I do the meditation portion of the workshop and the horse is just kind of wandering around the circle or meditation circle or meditating is so beautiful. And then. When I’m one horse coaching with people through different issues.
And, uh, we started it actually during the pandemic cause it was outside. So it was something we could teach and do outside. And it’s just been such a pleasure to work with her and to see, just see the transformations happening right in front of your eyes. It’s really wonderful. So teaching is always a joy for me.
So two things, one of the things that I hear, like the common theme is being in the. It’s the joint. Yes, you have to be in the moment. You can’t be in the past. You can’t be in the future. You gotta be in this moment right now. Yeah. Okay. Sometimes recalling a past. I can bring you some joy. So I wouldn’t eliminate that, but usually when we’re looking back, it’s not with joy when you’re looking forward, it’s with all the to-do lists or the worries or the anxieties.
And so really the moment now is where joy. And that’s where if someone surprises you and makes you laugh, that’s in the moment, and it lifts you up in an instant, like that makes you feel incredible. So learning to be in the most. Is a practice. It’s an ongoing practice in life. And that means, yes, there’s a possibility for joy in the moment.
But sometimes people avoid the moment because maybe they’re feeling something they don’t like, so sometimes you got to just breathe and be with that as well, so that you can just move through the feelings to another feeling state, it’s just a feeling, it’s something that can move through, but if you stuff it down, then it, it’s living there.
Yes. That’s where disease and illness comes from. I feel like most of the time I’m like, you’re not feeling the feelings. You’re probably going to be sick at some point. So exactly, exactly. Like this is just like what happened to me 20 years ago, for sure. Yeah. I think that it’s so beautiful that you’re combining all of these things, this joyful laughter the horses I’m like I am a 100% horse girl, give me all the horses, all the horse therapy.
It’s like just being around a horse is amazing. And this being present and teaching people to, like you said, you can look at your past to get the happy moments, but your experience that happened. Right now you look to the future of that cool thing that you’re going to do, but you’re experiencing it right now.
Right? Right now is now as the key. And now is also being more in your body, I think as well, because when you bring your focus from the mental chatter down into your body and your breath and what your body is feeling. It’ll tell you what it needs. If it needs to go for a walk, if it needs to dance, if it needs to breathe, if it needs to nap, if it, if it just needs to, sloucher do whatever, and if you’re totally like, if we’re just a giant head walking around thinking all the time you’re missing out on your body and your body’s a key to joy as well.
Yeah. So I have to ask, did yoga start first or was it the laughter and joy coaching? Uh, in terms of being a student the left or started first? I mean, the yoga started first and I’m trying to think I did the laughter and joy started doing the laughter and joy groups before I started teaching. I started teaching younger regularly in 2005.
And I started doing the laughter groups 2001, 2002. So yeah. But they feed each other and there is a tradition. In yoga of laughter yoga, which, uh, some of my teachers, when I was just a student would do, and, I would let her rip and we’d all be on the floor and we just start laughing, just to laugh.
And, uh, it would be a challenge for me to play with different laughter sounds to make the other people. Correct more so, yeah. Yeah. So the definitely, I guess the, in terms of teaching the laughter came first, but back in the nineties, actually the early nineties, before my stress burnout period, I had taken some classes on inner knowing and intuitive development.
And I did teach a few small classes of those as well, because I feel like your inner knowing your intuition. Can lead you on what you need to be doing in any given moment that is less stressful. That is more aligned with who you are and more aligned with joy. And so that has also been a theme throughout my life, as well as something that sometimes people aren’t aware of, they tend to ignore again, because again, a lot of that sometimes lives in the body for people more in the heart, rather than in the head.
So. And in the breath, the breath opens you up to all sorts of things. When you breathe and you relax your body, you can experience life more fully than when you’re just constricted. Sometimes we don’t realize like, I had it. I hadn’t experienced the end of both days today. Like I was relaxed last couple of days doing my work most of the day.
And then towards the end of the day, I saved some of the stuff that was a little harder for me to do. Right. And then I noticed an hour later that my shoulders had tendered. My head had tensed up and I constricted myself. And so I had to like, okay, let’s put the shoulders back down in their sockets to compute deep breath and just relax at the end of the day.
Thank you for the reminder. I’m going to take a deep breath. Yes. And not only deep but slower slowing the breath down also deepens it even more. So yeah, that’s something to experiment. Yeah. It’s, it’s amazing what breaths can change in your life. And I I’m like, now that I’m thinking back, I’m like that does bring me a lot more joy.
Cause it gets me out of my head every time I think about it, I’m like, oh, I need to go back to my breath practices. Thank you for the beautiful reminder. It can be, it can be that easy to bring you back into the state. Of joy of being right. Or even just being, the being, I think starts first joy.
Joy is great when it, but the beings, it starts with the being, so, yeah. Yeah. I love that. So, and it’s, it’s also, the breath helps you be more aware inside. So it’s not just all the focus outside. Cause sometimes people think joy is like an external. N C like, oh, when I get. Then I’ll be happier when I get this, then I can feel joyful or I can’t have join now.
And it got too much to do. I got to, to get to the, get to the goalposts, but then the goal posts keep moving. They just keep moving down the road. So, so if you focus within as joy, as an inside deal, as a state of being as a state of mind as an, just a choice to say. I’m going to find a way to enjoy this.
Like how can I just bring a little more enjoyment or peace or something to this moment and to ask yourself powerful questions like that. That is a super powerful question. I can see using that, especially as an entrepreneur all day, how can I make this tedious task a little bit more joyful? Exactly.
And I might be something as simple as putting on some. Like I used to, I used to actually. Such depression, sometimes looking at a dirty kitchen, like looking at the Judi kitchen that I had to clean. And I would just, it was like this overwhelming sense of, and this was of course during my burnout period too, so that didn’t help and things any, but what I would do was I would put on my, uh, upbeat music dance tunes, and I would dance while I was cleaning would get chin.
And then all of a sudden cleaning. And I did that every time for several weeks that I cleaned the kitchen. And then it got to, I didn’t even need to put the music on. And I was here in boogie fever and my head loading or unloading the dishwasher and it completely changed my experience of that task for the rest of my life.
Like I, I never, I have 20 years. I don’t think I’ve been depressed, looking at a kitchen that’s dirty, so, wow. Yeah, so we can make choices, but again, that’s what it was for me. For me, it was music. It was dancing for somebody else. It might be something else, but really asking yourself what it is for you.
Just asking questions, power of questions. That’s why my freebie is a question sheet, because questions take you deeper into what you need to know for yourself. Yeah. So. I love questions. Questions are my favorite thing. That’s part of the reason I became a podcast host was like, I get to ask questions all day.
That’s my job. Do you have a favorite question that you like to ask yourself? I just, I like to get curious. So it really, for me, it depends on. The situation and I like to ask my favorite one is, is this true? Because I’m in that state right now of, of unpacking all of those, glass, ceiling beliefs.
That aren’t true. So that’s my favorite question right now, but for me, it’s approaching everything with curiosity and then asking the question for that situation. Why is this coming up? Why did this trigger me? Why am I enjoying this? What made me enjoy. Why did I just laugh at that silly little thing? Like there was this bug that rolled down, I was going for a walk and there was this bug that was walking and somehow it must’ve stumbled and it tumbled.
And I’m like, why am I laughing at this? I feel bad for the bug. But I was like, it was like a good hearty laugh. And I asked myself what, what brought me that much joy? And for me, it was, I was that present to notice that bug that tripped over itself. And it was just one of those. For me questions are about more awareness.
Yes. And that just digging in and getting curious. Definitely. Definitely. Yeah. Yeah. And, and just being curious, I think I just saw a TV interview recently with it was a great interview with a classical pianist. They think his name was Jeremy dank. And he talked about that curiosity. How do I make this more enjoyable?
And he talked the story about how he was going through training as a concert pianists as a young person and how the teachers would be like push, push, push, push, push, push, push. And it was kind of like draining and sucking the fun out of the experience for him that the love of music that he went into it for was getting like drained out.
And I think people can. I understand that with your businesses too, you go into it because it’s something you, you enjoy or you love. And then all this other tedious stuff comes in. But then what he found was he went to a new teacher and why he was drawn to that teacher was that teacher had this sense of play and sense of wonder and sense of curiosity about.
The whole process of practice and he is stuck with him the rest of his life. And you could see it, the TV interview had a little bit of him playing the piano and it was just this joyful perky, thing. And I was like, yes, that’s it exactly. It’s like, we need to find how to bring that for ourselves every day.
Not just on special occasion. Yeah. And, and curiosity, I think enjoy, go together well as throw gratitude in there. Like they all kind of intersect over each other, all those beautiful high vibration words. Yes. Energy. I want the energy. It’s a good energy. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. That’s absolutely beautiful.
Yeah, thank you. Yeah. And I like to keep an eye out for stories like that. That just inspire me. I think it’s so important to be inspired by life. You can be looking for all of the horrible things happening in the world because there’s plenty to find, right. Or you can wait for, what’s going to inspire me.
What’s going to lift me up. What’s going to make me feel better about being human being. Yeah. Being a human being got that. Not a human doing in the, doing all the time. Right, right. Sometimes it’s okay. But most of the time I used to kid with a friend cause I have been working on that balance between being.
For, I don’t know, 30 years. And I remember talking to a friend about it a long, long time ago. And she was like, she made up the joke of dooby dooby doo, like is it to combine the things and the music, DVD BTU. So you have that balance of both. Oh, they’ll make it. Maybe it should be, be dooby, dooby, dooby.
Yes. I’m like, I’m going to remember that that’s going to be one of those things. That’ll just every time I get into the doing mode, I’m just going to be like, be, do B2B. I can’t say I’m tone deaf, but you know, that’s okay. Sorry, listeners. Okay. Come think of Frank Sinatra singing to you. Do you read a redo?
That is great. I, yeah, I’m going to have to remember that one. That’s going to be something that’s going to be in my, in my toolbox of joy is when I get stuck there, just start thinking about that. Cause then I start thinking about how tone deaf I am and it’s just going to make me laugh anyway. Perfect.
Absolutely. Perfect. Whatever makes you laugh. That’s the thing. Right? You can laugh at yourself. Hey, yeah. Lighten up about it all. We take lifestyle freaking seriously, and most of the things like, like you’re asking that question, you ask, is it true? Right. But he can also ask, is it really this serious?
Is it really this. Is it really something I need right now? Like all of those questions can follow after is true as well. I mean, they’re all in there, oh, I’ve laughed this. Yeah. Love, love, love this. Bring some more joyful being in your life. Definitely. So where can people find you? Uh, my website, joyful being.com.
You can also find me on YouTube. My channel is called joyful being with Kim. And, uh, those are the two main places I’m also out there in social media too. So if you want to find out where I am in social media, you can go to joyful being.com and go to the social media link at the bottom of the page. So, yeah.
Perfect. Yeah. Yeah. So if someone were to walk away with just that one little mic drop moment that they took with them forever, what would you want them to walk away? To know that they can choose to bring more joy and laughter in that it’s not something that’s an accident, although it’s lovely when it happens, it’s a happy accident, but it is something that you can choose to cultivate in your life every day.
That’s my nugget.